Review: Crocheted Succulents


Emma Varnam – you’ve done it again lovely lady! What can I say, this book is an absolute joy. Written in Emma’s signature style, full of fun and mischief, this is a book that has even entranced my non crochet friends.

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Emma’s work, she has a generous spirit,  a cheeky sense of humour and a talent for getting her designs “just right”. I cannot tell you how much I envy and admire her in equal measure! I was fascinated to read the story behind this book on her blog –  she is quite honest about how this could easily have been the book she never wrote – thank goodness she did!

So, what can I say about this wonderful book, filled with a mix of easy, challenging and frankly irresistible cacti patterns. Each design is beautifully photographed and Emma has taken great care to provide each plant with it’s perfect pot and has clearly put as much thought into the presentation as she has the designs themselves. The 25 designs use a wide variety of yarns. Cotton, acrylic and eyelash yarns are used to add realistic details. There is a comprehensive techniques section and plenty of advice for making sure your designs look great. Even patterns for the plant pot soil are included.

It’s hard to find fault with this beautiful book – it’s obviously been a labour of love – so much thought and hard work has resulted in what will be a hugely popular  addition to many crocheter’s bookshelves.

Crocheted Succulents by Emma Varnam is published by GMC and is on sale now.

ISBN: 9781784945046

RRP: £14.99


Saturday Review: Granny Squares Weekend by Emma Varnam

8e339f181b7b00dcf4eaba02b3811d68Today sees the publication of Emma Varnam‘s latest book “Granny Squares Weekend” – congratulations Emma – another beautiful book! Like her previous volume Granny Squares Home, Emma has curated a collection of her favourite granny square makes and updated them with her own blend of contemporary colour palettes and GMC’s modern styling. I just love her vibrant granny tote which is featured on the cover.

GMC sent me an early review copy and I’ve been itching to share this with you all. The joy of granny squares is that no matter what your skill level you can make a granny. Once you’ve mastered the basic motif, you can easily modify the design to create infinite possibilities and by choosing your own colour palette, every project will be unique. The projects in this book truly are quick and easy to follow. You really could manage many of them in a weekend, or over a couple of lazy Sundays! Alongside traditional favourites such as a granny square blankets, bags and cushions, you will find a few originals designed by Emma to show off her  eye for detail and love of bright colours. I also love her vibrant interpretation of the granny cowl and there is a gorgeous beret complete with pom pom that I’m sure will leap to the top of many crocheters “to make” lists.

With clear written instructions, helpful sketches and charts you will soon be hooking up your chosen project, even if you’ve never made a granny square before (although you will find it helpful to have some basic crochet skills or to spend some time mastering a basic square before you start as  this isn’t a comprehensive learn to crochet book). I tested the book out on some of my Learn to Crochet students and they loved the projects and were motivated to master the basics in order to make the projects in the book. They all agreed that this is one they’ll be asking for at Christmas or for birthdays, as they thought the price a little high. I know the book is on order at my local library, so perhaps the best option might be to borrow it first to see if it’s one you’ll return to before investing. With so many gorgeous crochet books constantly coming on to the market, your local library is a great place to explore and draw up a short list that you can pull out when friends and family ask what you would like as a gift.

Emma seems to have an innate talent for writing crochet books filled with projects crocheters want to make and she’s always high on my recommended reading lists for students. Granny Squares Weekend doesn’t disappoint and I am already planning which project I will make first when work crochet slows down and I finally have time to hook up  a few treats for friends and family – or even myself – Emma’s fingerless wrist warmers are a definite possibility!


Granny Squares Weekend is published today by GMC at £14.99 (ISBN 9781789436369) and can be ordered direct from the publishers.

New Published Patterns: Make It Today

Issue 5 of Make it Today is now on sale and inside you’ll find patterns for all skill levels. The editorial team asked me to design a simple cafetiere cosy, suitable for a beginner and here’s what I cam up with. The colour selection for this issue is bright and cheerful, ideal for homewares such as this.

In this issue you’ll also find the most adorable owl bag by Ali Campbell

I haven’t seen a copy of the magazine yet, I’m hoping my contributor copy arrives soon as I have my eye on this cute cushion by Emma Varnam.

Make It Today is a “kit style” magazine, which comes with all the yarn and hooks you need to get started right away. Look out for it in your local newsagent.

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