Month: December 2014

Educational Insights Kanoodle Game {Review}

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Kanoodle is a fun game that challenges you to use your brain! Critical thinkers and those that love puzzles are sure to enjoy it quite a bit. Age recommendations are for children ages seven and up but even those younger will benefit. I say this because my nearly four year old son that is somewhat of a puzzle genius has enjoyed it for hours! Patience is key and a child that easily gets frustrated might not enjoy it so much.

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This game challenges you to solve missing piece puzzles of both the 2D and 3D persuasion. You basically decide what puzzle you’d like to solve in the book, set up the pieces as instructed, then figure out where to place the remaining pieces. The combinations are many but only one can solve the puzzle. There are skill levels in which you can work your way up or randomly pick any puzzle to start with. There are 101 puzzles to solve offering a lot to do.

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The 12 game pieces are colorful balls in which no shape is exactly like the other. These pieces as well as the 48-page illustrated puzzle book fits inside the case easily! The case isn’t very big and since it snaps shut tightly, makes for a good choice to bring along when traveling. Major props for easy clean up and storage too.

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My children age 6 & 3 really liked Kanoodle. My son enjoyed putting the Pyramid puzzles together and has said that this is fun! I like it a lot because it provides for brain boosting and building activities during those much needed quiet moments of the day. I would highly recommend it and am eager to check out the other Kanoodle games out there once the playability of this one wears off (which i don’t think will be for awhile).

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Interested in Purchasing?  Educational Insights Kanoodle is available for $10.51 as of this posting on Amazon.com. You can also find this product on the Educational Insights site.

Get Connected: Educational Insights can be found on Facebook,PinterestYoutube and Twitter

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

Patchwork Knitting: 18 Projects to Knit and Crochet Johanna Schwarz {Book Review}

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Patchwork Knitting: 18 Projects to Knit and Crochet Johanna Schwarz is a unique book! In order to create the designs you must know how to both knit and crochet. One without the other will just not work. So, I would not recommend this book unless you are reasonably comfortable with those two fiber arts skills and are aware you’ll be using them together with every pattern.

P1170047The concept is that you’ll be whipping up patches such as squares, rectangles, triangles and other numerous shapes and joining each together using specified crochet stitches. The formula for every piece is explained in detail and when grasped one can start creating any of the projects in the book. Instructions precisely inform how many stitches to cast on, rows to knit, and eyelet holes needed for each pattern. You’ll be working those eyelet holes for the crochet step of the project to seam everything together. I find using crochet instead of seaming with a needle and thread much more fun and easy to do!

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There are 18 patterns which includes skirts, slippers, jackets, scarves, hats, shrugs, pullovers, and home decor. The over 130 full color photos give you a good idea of what your creation should look like. Each of pattern pages also features colored diagrams showing exactly where each piece should be placed when putting it together.

P1170050 There is complete course in how to create slippers with this technique that takes you through start to finish. Near the back of the book there is a section dedicated to step-by-step knitting and crochet skills needed to do any of the patterns within the pages. Following that section is an area for notes.

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I believe my first project will either be the afghan or the set of pillows. I am however head over heels for the Quick-Change Artist Jacket that offers two looks in one. It’s simply beautiful but it will take more yarn than I currently have for it right now. I find it amazing how pieces like these can be used to create a very fitted and attractive finished design.

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If you are looking for a unique book that you can utilize both your knitting and crochet skills, I would certainly recommend this one. Many of the garment patterns can be worn for almost any occasion! The home decor will certainly be a great conversation piece as well! I did find this book in the Ravelry Community Database so if one has any questions for the author or others using this book, you can leave ideas, comments, or questions over there.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book for review purposes from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd

 

 

Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein {Book Review}

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Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein is a must have for needle knitters of any skill level. If you enjoy learning new techniques and creating your own original designs from them, you’ll adore this book. It’s really an extremely well laid out block stitch dictionary that gives you the freedom to mix and match to your hearts desire. I believe one could grow in their knitting needle skills by whipping up one block at a time and in turn the end results could be a beautifully unique afghan of all those blocks!

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This book features 150 block patterns that can be used to create a plethora of projects. Aside from the instructions for the numerous blocks there are also over ten patterns which include a bag, scarves, pullover, vest, afghan, shrug, sweater, a few toys, a tote bag, and several hats. There are many pages worth of different types of edgings and joining techniques which are essential in completing all sorts of projects.

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The Chapters in this book are as follows;

Chapter 1. Basic Building Blocks
Chapter 2. Ornate Appliqué, Embroidery, and Cords
Chapter 3. Creative Colorwork
Chapter 4. Special Techniques
Chapter 5. Cables and Counterpanes
Chapter 6. Eclectic Styles

Fullscreen capture 1222014 121527 PMDo note aside from the chapters that are several other areas in this book that explains to readers the important of gauge, how to mix-and match blocks, abbreviations to know, handy techniques, & resources. I feel that the book is laid out quite well. In each of the chapters, the first few pages are filled with full color photos as well as the name of each block to be knit in that section. The block instructions and charts are easy to understand and follow.
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If you are not a fan of seaming knitted projects this book may not appeal to you. Though I would say that it opens the door for many interesting pieces. In the back of the book there’s copy the pages, cut out the blocks, and try them out on the assembly diagrams in the instructions. It makes for some fun combinations! I really like all the texture and raised designs quite a bit. It’s shown me you can make truly amazing looking things when knitting! I’m looking forward to growing my skills starting with the more simple textures and moving up to dabbling in cables, exploring color work, and much more! I would highly recommend this book for any knitters collection!


About the Author: Beloved knitwear designer NICKY EPSTEIN is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Knitting on Top of the World, Knitting on the Edge, and Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch. Her designs have also been featured in Vogue Knitting magazine and many other knitting publications, on television, and at art exhibitions. She currently resides in New York City and travels extensively, teaching and lecturing.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience of the title.