Let’s Learn Crochet: The Basics

Does knitting baffle you? Even after all the helpful links I gave you in a previous post?

But you still want to attend Needles & a Movie on June 26th? Well maybe crochet will be more your style!

Aren’t they both the same thing?


Then what’s the difference?

It’s actually rather simple once you know what to look for. The most basic difference is the tool you’re using to manipulate the yarn.

When you knit, you are using two needles to form interlocking loops with the yarn in order to make your hat, scarf, blanket, Tardis, whatever.


Different Size Knitting Needles (Wikipedia)

And the stitches can look like this:


Knitting: Stockinette Stitch (Wikipedia)

In crochet, you are using ONE hook rather than needles. 

crochet hooks

Various Size Crochet Hooks (Wikipedia)

And the stitches can look like this:

Single Crochet Stitch (Wikipedia)

Single Crochet Stitch (Wikipedia)

 How do I get started crocheting?

I’m glad you asked! Remember NewStitchaDay? No? Allow me to refresh your memory. While they had a lot of helpful videos on learning to knit, they have a crochet section as well!



 That’s a lot of videos, I know, so let me break it down for you.

This is a slip knot video (no, no, not the band. This is a type of knot you make in knitting, but necessary in crochet as well.)

This is a video for the chain stitch. Chaining multiple stitches is how you create a foundation for whatever project you’re working on. Think of it like the crust on a pie. You can’t (well, you can but I don’t recommend it…) put in any pie filling without the crust as your base.

If you want methods on how to chain and do your first row at once (a little bit more complicated), visit here.

I created my chain! What do I do with it?



But let’s stick with two for now:

Single Crochet

Double Crochet

The two stitches are the basic building blocks for creating a project. The possibilities are limitless! With the power of the internet, you can do anything.

Want books with patterns in them? Visit the library on the third floor for our collection of books on crochet.

Need clarification on anything I mentioned? Have anything you’d like to add for beginner crocheters? Respond in the comments!

Summer Anime 2015: Coming to a Browser Near You

Coming out this summer of 2015 is tons of new and returning seasons of anime! The following are the six that interested me most. What are you excited to see? Respond in the comments below!

Most of these should be available to watch as they air on crunchyroll.com

New Shows:

chaos dragonChaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Senyaku

Synopsis: The story takes place in Huanli (the Year of Dazzling) 3015. Donatia and Kouran, two countries fighting for supremacy, are causing the world to be torn apart due to the constant war. Amidst the strife is the island country Nil Kamui, which has lost its independence. Red Dragon, the guardian god of Nil Kamui, goes out of control. Will the island country be able to regain its independence?
(source: MAL news)

Genre: Action / Fantasy / Supernatural

When? July

Akagami no Shirayuki-himeAkagami no Shirayuki-hime

Synopsis: Shirayuki was a young girl born with unique apple-red hair. She meets a famous but foolish Prince Raji, who falls in love with her at first sight and orders her to become his concubine. With nowhere else to go, Shirayuki cuts her hair and escapes to a neighboring country. While traversing through the forests, she meets a young boy, Zen, who helps her after she boldly cures his wounds but then gets poisoned by an apple given to Shirayuki. Meanwhile, Prince Raji sends out henchmen to search for her. What will happen to Shirayuki? What is Zen’s true character?
(Source: Aerandria Scans)

Genre: Drama / Fantasy / Romance

When? July

rokkaRokka no Yuusha

Synopsis: When the “Majin” awakes, the goddess of fate will choose six warriors and bestow them with the power to save the world. Somewhere on their bodies, a crest in the shape of a flower will appear and as a result the warriors are “The Heroes of the Six Flowers.” As the day of the Majin’s revival nears, Adlet, a boy who calls himself the strongest man in the world, is chosen as one of the “Six Flowers.” But when the heroes arrived at their designated location, they found that there were seven heroes present. Which meant that one of them was an imposter and an enemy. Confused by the impossible situation, suspicion and paranoia spread among the chosen. And within a thick forest, the heroes’ fierce battle begins!
(Source: NanoDesu)

Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy

When? July


gatchaman crowdsGatchaman Crowds Insight

What is? The next season (2) of Gatchaman Crowds

Gatchaman Crowds (Season 1) Synopsis:

The story is set in Japan in the early summer of 2015. 180,000 people live in Tachikawa City, the “second metropolis” of the Tokyo area. Among them are “Gatchaman”—warriors who fight in special reinforced suits powered by “NOTE,” the manifestation of special spiritual powers in living beings. A council has scouted a group of individuals with latent powers to protect Earth from alien criminals. In recent years, the council has assigned Gatchaman warriors to deal with the mysterious entity known as “MESS.”   (Source: ANN)

Genre: Sci Fi / Adventure

When? June

Non-Non-Biyori-RepeatNon Non Biyori Repeat

What is? The next season (2) of Non Non Biyori

Synopsis of Season 1: Elementary school student Ichijou Hotaru has moved with her parents from Tokyo to the middle of the country. Now she must adapt to her new school, where there are a total of 5 students in the same class who range through elementary and middle school ages. Join their everyday adventures in the countryside.
(Source: MangaHelpers)

Genre: Comedy / Slice of Life / School

When? July


What is? Season 3 of Working!!

Synopsis of Season 1: Set in a family restaurant in Hokkaido, the northern prefecture of Japan, 16-year-old high school student Souta Takanashi works part-time along with his strange co-workers: Popura Taneshima, a high school girl who’s a year older than Souta, yet easily mistaken for an elementary/middle schooler, and Kyoko Shirafuji, the 28-year-old store manager who doesn’t bother to do any work at all.
(Source: NIS America)

Genre: Comedy / Slice of Life

When? July


See the full list of everything else coming out this summer at these two links!

And remember, the library has plenty of anime to watch while you wait for the next episode to come out!


Author Spotlight: Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones

16 August 1934 – 26 March 2011

Diane Wynne Jones

I’m sure most of you have heard of the movie Howl’s Moving Castle produced by Studio Ghibli. What many of you may not know though is that Miyazaki’s film was actually based on a novel of the same title: Howl’s Moving Castle which was written by, none other than, Diana Wynne Jones.

Howl’s Moving Castle is actually my favourite Miyazaki movie (Spirited Away is a close second, but that’s a post for another day). When I found out there was a novel, I was worried that nothing would be able to compare. Would the novel stand up in my mind since I had seen the movie first? Would it be ruined for me because I’ve already seen the movie? Usually whatever medium I’ve seen first, that’s the version I prefer. With a deep breath, I grabbed the book off the shelf and took a risk.

The risk was worth it.

Jones’ writing is spectacularly vivid. There’s few authors I’ve experienced that can pull me entirely into their world to the point where I can block out everything else that is happening around me. You’re not just reading about her characters’ journeys, you’re experiencing it with them.My attachment to Howl and Sophie grew tenfold. I wanted more. I needed more.

So I grabbed all of her books that my local library had at the time and dove right in.

Where to start?

DogsbodyDogsbody (standalone)


“The Dog Star, Sirius, is tried – and found guilty – by his heavenly peers for a murder he did not commit. His sentence: to live on the planet Earth until he can carry out a seemingly impossible mission – the recovery of a deadly weapon known as the Zoi.” (library catalog)

Howl’s Moving Castle (#1 in series)Howl's moving castle

“Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.” (library catalog)

I finished those, what do I do with my life now?

castle in the airCastle in the Air (Companion to Howl’s Moving Castle)

“Having long indulged himself in daydreams more exciting than his mundane life as a carpet merchant, Abdullah unexpectedly purchases a magic carpet and his life changes dramatically as his daydreams come true and dangerous adventures become daily fare.” (library catalog)

House of Many Ways (Sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle)house of many ways


“When Charmain is asked to housesit for Great Uncle William, the Royal Wizard of Norland, she is ecstatic to get away from her parents, but finds that his house is much more than it seems.”

(library catalog)

A tale of time cityA Tale of Time City (standalone)


“London, 1939. Vivian Smith thinks she is being evacuated to the countryside because of the war. But she is being kidnapped–out of her own time. Her kidnappers are Jonathan and Sam, two boys of her own age, from a place called Time City. Built eons ago on a patch of space outside time, Time City was designed especially to oversee history. But now history is going critical, and Jonathan and Sam are convinced that Time City’s impending doom can only be averted by a Twenty Century girl named Vivian Smith. Too bad they have the wrong girl.” (back of cover)

For a full list of all her works visit wikipedia or her official website.

Find these books and more on our library website!


Video Game Review: Bravely Default

Bravely default

(Image: Gamestop.com)

: 3DS

Rating: T

Genre: Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG)

First Released: October 2012

Part of a Series? Yes
Bravely Second: End Layer (release date yet to be announced)

Brief Synopsis: “Explore Luxendarc as Tiz and other memorable characters on a visually stunning quest to restore balance to the world.” (Gamestop)

Other Neat Info:

The Nintendo Store on the 3DS has a free demo for those interested! I highly recommend playing it because if you complete the demo (which is more of a chance to explore the battle system than the actual in-game story), you get some extra items when you start up the actual game file!

Spoiler-free Commentary:

After that lackluster description from the publisher, I bet you’re wondering why you should play it.


The Story

The oceans are rotting. Volcanoes are erupting. The wind is no longer blowing. Do you have what it takes to save your world? If not, too bad! Screw your courage to the sticking place and team up to save the world from seemingly inevitable destruction. That’s as much about the story as I’m willing to tell you for fear of revealing any spoilers.


While the story is extremely captivating (and not to mention hilarious), the gameplay is the biggest draw. I can go on and on about how wonderful the gameplay is in this game.  Bravely Default does a lot of things that are hard to find in JRPGs.

I’m not going to go into every awesome feature because that would just be tedious on both our ends but there are three that are especially awesome.

Say Goodbye to Random Battles Ruining Your Life

bravely screenshot 1The most important feature is you can turn random battles off. Yes, you heard me correctly. I’ll say it one more time for those whose brains just broke: you can turn random battles off. This fact alone makes this game one of my favorite JRPGs. No more taking half a step in a dungeon and getting into fifty bajillion encounters you didn’t want to deal with. If you feel confident enough in your character’s levels and you want to grab all the treasure in a dungeon before fighting the boss, you can turn off random battles and goodbye frustration!

The random encounters setting in the config menu (that you can change at any time) is a slider you can set between 0% and 200%. 0% being no encounters and 200% being double the amount you normally find while exploring.

No More Tedious Level Grinds

My other favorite feature is that when you press the “Y” button, it will have your characters complete the last move you previously selected for each one. This lets you automate your battles! Turn encounters up to 200%, and you got yourself a match made in heaven for leveling! (Tip: make sure you’re in an area where your characters will not get decimated, otherwise I don’t recommend completely automating everything. In too high level of areas, that can result in a game over! Another option is to have at least one character heal while the others attack.)

Bravely Default Rewards You and Your Friends for Having Nothing Else to Do

bravely screenshot 2Last, but not least, Bravely has a great linking “friend-to-party member” mechanic. If you have a friend who plays this game, make sure you add each other’s friend codes to your systems! If the game recognizes that you both play the game, you can link your friend to any one member of your party and any abilities your friend learned, you will now know for that linked character! You can only link one character per friend at a time, so choose wisely and convince all your friends to play! It doesn’t hurt you to not link your characters (it is entirely optional) it is just extremely helpful for when learning abilities early on in the game. You can also summon your friends in battle once per day if you’re getting a bit stuck! By the power of friendship, you will save the world!

With those three features, Bravely Default easily soars near to the top of my favorite game list. It makes exploring the game’s overworld extremely fun and enjoyable rather than a chore, which is the exact opposite reason of why you’d be playing a game!

The Big Question: Where can I find it in the library?

This will be on the second floor to the left of the media reference desk with the 3DS & DS games


Bravely is a great game for newcomers to the JRPG genre and seasoned veterans. Check it out today!

Stuck at a level? Visit Gamefaqs, Prima Games, or IGN for help! (Beware of spoilers! Tread carefully!)


Every Hero Has a Story Summer Adventure 2015

escape above cityAttention all superheroes!  This summer, join the fun and set off on an adventure.  Fountaindale Public Library cardholders can register online, at the library or on the Bookmobile between
May 4—July 18, 2015.  

Adults, teens and children can collect points to earn prizes by completing fun activities such as reading, crafting, attending library programs, visiting a Bookmobile stop and more. Track your points online or on your printed activity log [English or Spanish], May 18—July 25, 2015. View a complete list of Summer Adventure activities by clicking here or receive a paper log from a library service desk. 

Every Hero Slogan EditedParticipating in Fountaindale’s Summer Adventure?  Share your photos on social media using @fountaindalelib and #libraryhero.

You can also share your
short stories, letters or poems
about your personal hero by emailing programming@fountaindale.org.

Don’t miss our Summer Adventure 2015 Kick-Off events! 

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the Bolingbrook Performing Arts Center, and enjoy an hour of songs by Laura Doherty & the Heartbeats on Wednesday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Give your summer a super start at Superhero Saturday on Saturday, June 6 from 1:00—5:00 p.m.!  Dress up as your favorite superhero while you enjoy this action-packed day full of fun and prizes.

Border Adult Edited

So You Want to Knit: Resources for Getting Started

Starting June 26th, the Vortex will be holding a monthly Needles & a Movie event! You can bring in any sort of needle craft you’d like to work on while watching a movie. It starts at 3PM and will run until about 5PM (depending on the length of the film).

What’s that? You don’t know any needle crafts but want to learn? Lucky you! In this post, we’re going to focus on learning to knit.

In the age of the internet, picking up new skills and hobbies is easy because you no longer have to know someone in person to teach you; the only limit on learning is time.

My favorite method of learning by far is watching videos on the internet because you can replay it over and over and it’ll never get frustrated!

Zelda Blanket

With time, patience and practice, you too, can make something like this! (I MADE THIS BEAUTY. )

One of the best sites out there to learn from is New Stitch A Day. They have a gazillion videos for what seems like every type of stitch for knitting out there. The provided link will bring you right to their beginner’s section.

I recommend doing the videos in the following order:

  1. How to Make A Slipknot
  2. How to Knit the Knitted Cast On
  3. How to Knit the Knit Stitch
  4. How to Knit the Garter Stitch
  5. How to Knit the Purl Stitch
  6. How to Knit the Stockinette Stitch
  7. The Basic Knit Bind Off

 After viewing those videos enough times and you feel comfortable enough with your abilities, feel free to venture out onto the rest of their website! (They also have crochet on their site but that’s a post for another day!)

Another helpful place to learn to knit (and actually the YouTube channel I learned from!) is the Knit Witch.

A lot of the stuff she has is also on New Stitch a Day, but she explains things slightly differently so it all depends on who makes more sense to you!  Just follow her videos in the same order as the ones from New Stitch a Day.

If you want some book resources, the library has plenty as well!

Don’t delay, knit today!