Monday, 20 July 2015

"Häkelblüten" by Nicky Epstein and a Giveaway!

This is the first days of the school summer holidays and we are enjoying it a lot. My daughter is having a great time at her riding stable this week, she is a happy, happy girl.

My son is also very happy, his best friend who is living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the moment is back for summer holidays. The two boys are having the time of their life, chatting, playing football, swimming and doing all the things twelve year old boys love to do. 

I am in a much slower mood now. I start the day with my mug of tea sitting outside and enjoying the quiet peace of the summer garden. It is such a good feeling to slow down, to get rid of the hectic rush and strict time schedules.

A couple of weeks ago I came across a book blog that reviewed quite a lot of books received by the publishing group Random House. I got curious how this works and visited the bloggerportal of Random House. It was very easy to sign up and as soon as I had filled in a registration sheet I was able to have a look for crochet books. I found several interesting books and asked if I would be allowed to review some of them. First I didn't get an answer and soon I forgot all about it but then one day I received a parcel filled with four books! 
 I couldn't believe my eyes!

So here I go! The first book I want to write about is a crochet book by Nicky Epstein called "Häkelblüten". It was published by Bassermann Inspirations in 2014 and the original American edition "Nicky Epstein's Crocheted Flowers" was published in 2007.
 The book includes more that 40 different crochet flower patterns and additional patterns for garments with floral embellishments. Every flower is wonderfully photographed and staged. The whole book is a pleasure for the eye.

 The book is divided into 5 chapters. The first chapter "Mehrlagige Blumen mit Blütenblättern" (multilayered flowers with petals) contains eight different patterns, there is a pattern of a sunflower I will definitely try. 
The second chapter "Blumen in einem Stück gehäkelt" (flowers made in one piece) includes patterns for a pansy or a poinsettia and there is a wonderful stole that I would start immediately if I had the right yarn for it in my baskets. Just have a look...
Isn't this a beauty? I will make such a wonderful stole for my self one day. Oh, my list of future projects is growing from day to day. 
The third chapter is called "Blumen in Drehtechnik" (cord flowers), it includes several different rose patterns and an inspiration for embellishing a bridal gown:
 I would love to wear this but as I am already married I just can't imagine any other occasion that is appropriate for such a dress.

The forth chapter deals with "Filzblumen" (felted flowers) which I have never tried before. But there are some pretty patterns and I could imagine to give it a shot one day.
The last chapter is called "Blätter, Kugeln und Kettenstich" (Leaves, balls and chain stitch) and includes several leaf and flower patterns. 
I tried out two of the patterns of this book and it was fun to make them. The instructions are very clear and there is not only the written form you can follow, every pattern also consists of a diagram, here is an example:
 Therefore it is not too difficult to follow the patterns even if you are not able to read German.
The first pattern I tried is called "Barockblüte" (Baroque flower). My version looks totally different from the picture in the book, mainly because Nicky Epstein often favours luxurious yarn with silk or other materials that shine or sparkle. I just used a simple cotton yarn but nevertheless I am quite happy with my flower.

Do you want to see how the "Barockblüte" looks like in the book? Here it is:
Same pattern, different yarn, different effect.
The second pattern I tried is a simple poppy. I used Stylecraft Special DK in lipstick:
 Here is the picture from the book:
 To sum up, I really enjoyed looking at this book. There are  a few patterns in this book that are quite simple and I guess that you can find similar patterns for free somewhere in the net. But the presentation of the book is very inspiring and once in a while I love to take a book from my shelf to dive into someone elses creative work and feel inspired.
Because this is my first review of a book and because I am so glad that there are so many people out there who read my posts and leave such pleasant and encouraging comments I want to take this book as a Giveaway for all my readers.  
 And all you have to do to enter is leave me a little comment  here on my blog!
Definitely anybody can enter, I will happily post anywhere in the world.
If you haven't left a comment before, please don't hesitate to do it... One of my reasons for doing this Giveaway is to meet lots more of you and discover much more wonderful blogs to visit.
The winner will be picked on Friday, 31h July.
I hope to hear from you.


  1. This is lovely and so generous of you.Thank you for the chance to win it.

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  3. Thank you for the book review - I think your flowers look much nicer than the ones in the book. I won't enter the giveaway, but good luck to those who do!

    Enjoy your summer and the long peaceful mornings. :)

  4. I like following diagrams while crocheting and am very interested in this book. Thanks for entering mein the giveaway.

  5. I'm glad you're enjoying the summer - I bet your son is having a whale of a time with his friend :) And such a lovely giveaway! I wonder if I can sign up as a non-Germany dwelling person. The flowers you've made are all great, and I'm also intrigued by felted flowers :) xx

    1. I will ship worldwide, everybody can enter the giveaway! Viola

  6. Ah, to be a kid on summer break.... good times, good times :-) I love your crochet... I would love to create some of the things you have, your very good!

  7. Hello Viola,

    Such lovely books, thanks for sharing! They definitely look interesting and worth trying out.

    Ingrid xx

  8. Gorgeous book that I'd really love to win in your giveaway. Thanks!

  9. What a lovely giveaway, Viola! The book looks gorgeous. So glad your children are having such a fun summer break.
    Helen xox

  10. Hallo Viola - How generous of you to share this book. I think your poppy is lovely. I'd love to go in the hat for the giveaway and could even master the German instructions with a bit of practice. Have you enjoyed reviewing the books? Nochmal, vielen Dank und liebe Grusse, Rebecca (in Shrewsbury, UK)

  11. I made lots of crochet flowers about two years ago but didn't know what to do with them in the end... so I stopped. Still like the look of them though :)

    Take care
    Crochet Between Worlds

    1. Do you still have those flowers? You can use them to decorate so many things, especially gifts.

  12. Hi Viola,
    I am glad for you that your pace of life is slowing down, just as you needed. Sigh of relief for you! :-)
    It is interesting that the book, although a German translation, uses the American symbols. I thought they might have 'translated' or redrawn the diagrams with European/German ones. Funny!
    I will have to find the book (either English or German language version) locally (in Australia) to have a look for myself, especially since it contains another poppy pattern! ;-)
    May you one day have the yarn you need to make that shawl. xx

  13. Just looking a the poppy photos - your poppy photo is much better quality than the one from the book - your photo is clearer and a better angle for showing the stitches, shape and construction than the one in the book. It frustrates me when craft books use photos for show but then none for real instruction. I hope the other photos in the book are clearer with their details.

  14. You've made super lovely flowers! ♥ Fascinating how different patterns look when using various yarns. I prefer your choice because the flowers look more "clear" :-). Many many thanks for your great giveaway! I just found your pretty blog today but I will try my luck. I love crochet flowers and this book is on my wishlist already for a long a time. Maybe I strike lucky ;-). Happy Sunday! Nata xxx

  15. hello viola,
    beautiful flowers have you crochet!!! i love this book. many thanks for your great giveaway!
    have a nice sunday,


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