Tag Archives: coming soon
This week we’ve got a great interview with Nicki Trench to beat away those Thursday blues. Nicki is author of several fantastic craft books including the colourful new book, Fair Isle and Nordic Knits, and the bestseller, Cute & Easy Crochet. She also has a new book coming soon called Crochet Basics so we've got one to look forward to! This interview appeared first on Deramores in An Interview With on May 29 2014, and you can view the original post here.
We have absolutely fallen in love with this book (Fair Isle & Nordic Knits), where did you find the inspiration for it?
I’ve always loved Fair Isle Knitting, it’s one of my earliest memories. My grandmother taught me how to Fair Isle almost as soon as I could knit. I’ve always loved working with colour and love all the Fair Isle and Nordic designs, which are having a come back. The Nordic colours are gorgeous - all those reds and blues are delicious.
Who or what influenced you to get into pattern design and writing?
I started by making up my own hand knitted jumper designs many years ago and I also worked as a journalist in London for many years, so the two seemed to go naturally together. I have got into crochet more in recent years and my experiences of teaching really help when designing patterns, I made it my mission some years ago to try and take the jargon out of patterns and make them as easy as possible to read.
Have you got a favourite knitting/crochet book by another author?
I use stitch reference books a lot when I’m designing and I use Barbara Walker as a reference for knitting and the Harmony Guides stitch references for crochet. I really like the Japanese styles at the moment in knitting, crochet and sewing and although I don’t read Japanese, I admire the use of colours and eye for detail.
How do you plan your designs?
I start with a project list. Then I decide what style I’d like for a particular project, choose the colour, then try out different stitch combinations to see what works best with that project. I often throw out about six ideas before I come up with the one I like!
Which do you prefer, knitting or crochet?
That’s difficult to say! I prefer knitted garments, but crochet is so much more portable and easier to undo, so it’s much better when designing because I like to undo a lot!
Do you have any top knitting / crochet tips?
Follow the pattern exactly how it says! Don’t panic when you see the pattern, just follow it stitch by stitch and row by row. People often go wrong by misinterpreting the pattern.
Take your time and don’t rush.
Don’t be afraid of colours - choose what you like and go from there.
Pin and block your work before you sew it up.
Don’t sew up late at night - I have sewn many garments with sleeves the wrong way round when trying to get it finished before I go to bed! Best to leave it till the morning.
Do you have any advice for budding designers?
Learn your craft well. Take time to look around and see what is current and what people like at the moment. Design what you like and if people like your style, they will follow it.
What’s the hardest part of putting a book together?
The designing is not the hardest part. For me the hardest part is checking everything. My publisher, Cico, has an editor, a pattern checker and a proof reader, but mistakes can still seep through. The problem for me is that I get so close to the project from choosing the colour, stitches, design and then technical writing, by the time it gets to checking, I’m far too close and I can’t see if there are mistakes. I worry about small errors getting through.
How do you relax?
I have to take a break from knitting and crochet, just for the sake of resting my hands! I’m learning Argentine Tango, which I love. I have a lesson once a week and then I try to go to dances at the weekends. I’m also learning the violin. Both take my mind completely off work so I can take a fresh perspective when I come back to it.
I’m very excited about Nicki’s Crochet Club that I’ve started recently and I’m also planning on a new Nicki’s Knitting Club later in the year.
I’m also working on a crochet book at the moment, which takes you through a series of workshops and teaches you all the skills you need. It’s a really brilliant crochet bible and I think the most comprehensive ‘how to’ crochet book yet. There are lots of illustrations and step by step guides and I’ve also designed 20 new projects to go with the Workshops.
With thanks to Nicki Trench for the interview and Deramores for the blog post.
Have a lovely day everyone and see you again soon for another mid-week chat!
Here are some other crochet books possibly of interest by us :-
This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Interviews, Interviews, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with handmade, knitting, Nicki Trench, 2014, how to, coming soon, Fair Isle & Nordic Knits, mid-week chat
It’s Chinese New Year! So we’ve got some Chinese inspired recipes for you this weekend in case you're celebrating with a feast tonight and need some last minute ideas, or just fancy a tasty homemade Saturday night Chinese.
The first of our recipes is for tempting Teriyaki Chicken from the gorgeous forthcoming book, Friends Around the Table, and can be easily enjoyed by a couple of you or a whole party of people! The second recipe is a nice and healthy wheat-free dish from Super Grains & Seeds - Buckwheat Noodles with Pak Choi, Cashews & Tamari Sauce - so you can enjoy a delicious meal without breaking your new year diet as we head into February.
teriyaki chicken breast
This is a great dish to prepare in advance when you have lots of guests, as it works perfectly served at room temperature. It’s an amazingly easy marinade that also works wonders with fish, especially tuna and salmon.
4 skinless chicken breasts
olive oil, for frying
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chilli sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons fresh
coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped
1 red chilli, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 thumb-size piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 spring onions/scallions, sliced
salad leaves/greens or steamed pak choi/bok choy, to serve
a ridged grill pan
an ovenproof dish
Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF) Gas 7.
Ideally you’ll need a ridged grill pan for this recipe. Don’t fret if you don’t have one – a regular non-stick frying pan/skillet will do just fine. Heat the pan until it is smoking hot. Rub a little olive oil onto the chicken breasts and cook for 3 minutes on each side, until the chicken is marked. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover with kitchen foil and cook in the preheated oven for a further 12 minutes, until cooked all the way through. Test the meat by pricking with a skewer and seeing whether the juices run clear. If they don’t, just cook it for a little longer. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes, covered in kitchen foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, gently warm a non-stick frying pan/ skillet and toast the sesame seeds, stirring frequently, until golden brown, then remove from the pan to cool. For the marinade, mix together all the remaining ingredients and add the toasted sesame seeds. Pour over the cooked chicken and leave to marinate for a few hours.
Serve with a crisp green salad or some steamed pak choi/bok choy.
Friends Around the Table by Acland Geddes is published in February. Click here for more details.
buckwheat noodles with pak choi, cashews & tamari sauce
This is a great go-to Asian dish. Buckwheat flour is often used in noodle dishes. Some buckwheat noodles do have wheat in them so check the package if you want them wheat-free!
340 g/12 oz buckwheat noodles
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
200 g/1 large head pak choi/bok choy
50 g/1⁄2 cup roasted cashew nuts (see Note)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (check for gluten-free)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1⁄4 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 teaspoons flaxseed oil
2 teaspoons clear honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
Note: If you can’t find pre-roasted cashews you can roast them yourself by scattering them on an ungreased baking sheet and cooking in a preheated oven at 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4 for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Prepare the tamari sauce in advance. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until combined.
Cook the noodles in salted water in a large saucepan or pot over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.
While the noodles are cooking, chop the onion, ginger and pak choi/bok choy. In a large frying pan/skillet, fry the onion and ginger in the grapeseed oil until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped pak choi/bok choy, until wilted.
Drain the noodles, then mix together with the fried vegetables in the reserved bowl of tamari sauce. Toss with chopped roasted cashew nuts and serve.
Super Grains & Seeds by Amy Ruth Finegold is out in February. Click here for more details.
Enjoy your celebrations everyone, have a lovely weekend and happy cooking!
How about our book oodles of noodles as well?
This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with New Year, party, dinner party, chinese new year, feast, recipe for the weekend, noodles, diet, friends around the table, super grains and seeds, celebrations, coming soon, Gluten-free