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The Essence of Watercolour || Hazel Soan

It’s a measure of the quality of Hazel’s work and, indeed, of the production of this book, that it looks as fresh today as it did when it first appeared in hardback in 2011. You can see what I said about it at the time here.

Click the picture to view the paperback edition on Amazon

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Acrylic Painting (Art Answers) || ed Jennifer King Drawing & Sketching (Art Answers) || ed Vera Curnow

There’s really not much to add to what I said about the first volume in this series, on Watercolour. The format, feel and production are the same, so if you think that a different take on the hints and tips approach is something useful, click on the word Watercolour above and read what I’ve already said,

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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55 Christmas Balls to Knit || Arne & Carlos

Scandinavians have a wonderful ability to be able to take themselves completely frivolously and yet seriously at the same time. I’m stereotyping because the cover illustration of two men in sweaters that would be the envy of Sarah Lund suggests nothing less than a bit of fun. Ever wondered whether Gilbert and George dissolve into helpless giggles as soon as they’re behind closed doors? Well, these two do, surely!

I want to get this up in time to encourage you to buy it before Christmas and get to work so that your tree can have an authentically Norwegian feel to it. ABR’s knitting correspondent is currently on a gap year but as soon as she’s back, I hope to have a proper assessment of the book’s delights.

Our knitting correspondent adds:

“We live and work in an old train station in a rural community in Norway” – the first thing you learn about Arne and Carlos, and that explains it all. A book dedicated to knitting instructions for Christmas baubles might seem a little mad, but I think it’s brilliant. I am a novice-knitter, and even for me the instructions are simple and easy to follow. None of the baubles are complicated – you’ll just need a bit of patience as the patterns are sometimes a little intricate. There are charts for each design showing you how many stitches are required from top to bottom – you’ll have to make each one four times though, in order to create the ball.

Arne and Carlos cover the basics, so even a beginner will pick up what to do easily. There’s a small amount of crocheting involved as well, and that is clearly explained. I’ve also enjoyed Arne & Carlos’ quirky introductions to the chapters of the book and explanations of how they can up with ideas for designs. 55 Christmas Balls To Knit is just a fun and quirky book, and now I want to have a go at all of the balls… though it might take me until next Christmas before I’m finished!

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