Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY- "Crochet! Techniques•Stitches•Patterns"

When Tara from Soho Publishing (aka Sixth & Spring Books) asked if I would do a review on the book, I was thrilled. Then she offered a blog giveaway and she will personally send a copy to the winner. I love crochet reference books and admittedly can't resist any of the really good ones. Well, in my opinion, this is a REALLY "MUST HAVE" reference book.

by Marie-Noelle Bayard (click link to take you to Amazon page)

GIVEAWAY RULES: Easy rules, just leave a comment and let me know where you heard about the giveaway (This helps me figure out also how to notify you if you win). I will use random number generator and pick the winner July 5th. I'll announce the winner here, on Facebook and Twitter. You'll email me your mailing info and the publisher will send you the book-easy, no?

First off, I have a bunch of reference books and use them often and I have my favorites. I also have a bunch sitting on a shelf I refer to occasionally, but not nearly as much as my favorite 4 books. I learned that before I buy a book, I usually get it out of the library and see if it's one I'll USE again and again or if it's just fluff. The patterns aren't a big deal to me, it's the REFERENCE. I will say, this book has both.

This book is written in a way that the patterns go with each section, so I'll have to start at the beginning.
Chapter 1 - Techniques:
  • Yarns (this covers the basics and if you're not a beginner and have used several fibers, you might skim over this part,) but it is well written and explains the origin of the fiber, as well as what it is suitable for. I learned a few things from this, so don't blow this part off.
  •  Tools-Lists basic tools needed and discusses hooks and material they are made of and has a chart of
     hook sizes in metric system, UK and US and materials.  I know and own hooks that are size 9 mm and not made of plastic, so this is just a guideline.  Can be skimmed over.
  • Instructions, abbreviations and symbols  To me, this is one of the main reasons for making this book a keeper.  It explains abbreviations, use of asterisks, parentheses and check swatch samples. However that this book offers that for someone like me, who wants written out patterns and doesn't rely on charts, but is finding more and more foreign patterns are charts only (and yes, I bought chart fonts StitchinCrochet from Myfonts.com and it's great if I should ever write a pattern using it, that is another story,) however I can read crochet charts, just don't prefer to.  This book offers 5 pages of symbols, abbreviations (with instructions and UK abbreviations  included) and for that alone, I think this makes it a stand out book.  It covers basic stitches, but also crossed double crochet, granular sc, you get the picture.  This alone makes it worthy of keeping it around.
  • Getting Started - How to hold hook and yarn for left and right handed peeps.  Working your first stitch. chain stitch, changing yarn, increases, decreases, etc all with color photos and full instructions.  Second reason this is a keeper ARMHOLES (square, classic and raglan)  Necklines-square, round or crew neck and v-neck and buttonholes-horizontal, vertical and loop.  This has pics and full instructions for all.  Next hiding loose ends, joining with crochet hook, needle (backstitch seam and overcasting).  Again, great full color pictures.
Chapter 2 - Basics
  • Fundamental stitches of crochet.  Yeah, you need these stitches to form every pattern stitch in an infinite variety.  Full written instructions with color pictures.  Then, much like a Harmony Stitch Guide (keeper), swatches with pictures, instructions and charts of the basic stitches.  Combining the fundamental stitches into something much more.  Stitches I never heard of (toleware stitch, riddle stitch, starry stitch).  This to me, took it past the basic stitches and yet made it simple to create a fabric using these basic easy stitches.  Explains the multiples of___.   Yeah, it's giving me ideas.
  • Using these stitches, it has patterns for a bucket bag, carry all, baby pullover, stuffed toy, baby booties, cardigan and scarf and beret.  All written instructions, no charts, but diagrams of how to put them together.
Chapter 3 - Textured Stitches (much less complicated than they appear)
  • Raised stitches-horizontal ribbing, vertical ribbing, clusters, puff stitches, crossed double crochet.  Again, swatches and full instructions and charts.  This has raised chevrons, triangular leaves, raised petals, raised scales-really amazing stitch patterns simplified.
  • Using these stitches, it has patterns for square pillow (might make this, many textures), carrier bag (cute purse with leather shoulder strap), Irish sweater, Japanese pillow (more rectangular).
Chapter 4 - Lace Patterns (includes simple stitches and composite stitches)
  • Patterns include Shade Trim, Crib blanket, lacy scarf, slippers (I have to admit, of all the patterns, I disliked this pattern immensely.  Nothing to do with pattern itself, I just found them hideous looking-so now you can't say I just sucked up to the publisher, these are, in my humble opinion, birth control slippers, if you get my drift).  I apologize to Ms. Bayard, no I did not graduate from a Paris design school and no, I do not have a book published and no, I am not a famous designer who worked for Marie-Claire or Elle, but these were just not my style and kinda freaked me out a little. Tank top (which I may make).  Again, assembly charts for all sizes shown.
Chapter 5 - Composites-whether a square or circle, every crochet composite starts with a ring and is generally (unless specified), worked with the right side facing, so you never turn the work.  They have a right side and a wrong side, something you need to know when putting the elements of the pattern together.  This has many motifs, hexagons, squares, etc.
  • Patterns include Accent Pillow, lampshade, afghan, brooches and belt pattern.  
Chapter 6 - Indexes -Stitches, Pattern Stitches, Techniques, Patterns in the book, General Index and Acknowledgements.  Great addition with pictures listed with page number for each stitch and patterns.

On the whole, I thought it was a great book and actually, found it more informative than Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet.  I know many consider this one of the "bible's of crochet", but it's my opinion and I am sticking with it.

In a nutshell, this books has Basic Technique, 80 Crochet Stitches with great color photographs from the simplest to most elaborate, 20 Original patterns and illustrated indexes.  Perfect for every skill level.  Gave me many ideas.  This goes on the shelf of books I will refer to often.

So leave a comment, tell me how you found me and stay tuned for the winner!


Heike said...

I have made your Hippie Chick Shawl and followed your here where I read your Review of Crochet! and it looks terrific!

Please enter me in the draw for a free copy;

Heike Harte
email - hharte01@hotmail.com

Thanks, Heike :o)

Bethany said...

I saw this offer on the blog yarns and musings. first time vistor.

Woven Spun said...

Always looking for a good crochet reference book. Thanks for the review I read on you blog.

Small and Moody said...

I always enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for the giveaway! Looks like a great book!

~Cynthia and Girls~ said...

Yarns and Musings on Facebook :)

Typstatting said...

Found your blog through another blog Sunflower Crochet. Please enter me for a free copy!

Laurie in Maine said...

I googled "Crochet" and clicked blogs and this was at the top of page 2 in the search :) So far I've clicked a blog with a mom-crocheted beanie propeller hat for her little boy and a lady who asked what size hooks for amigurumi. Your book review was 3rd on my list and I was even convinced I should get this book for my shelf. (hope I win ;)

Fiber Deviant said...

I followed the link from your Facebook acct! :-)

Linda F. said...

Wow! This looks like a great book! Thanks for the excellent review. BTW, I first saw this on Facebook.

Heather said...

This book would be an awesome addition to my little crochet library! I've been a regular follower of your blog for a while now, via Blogger. :)

CrochetBlogger said...

I reviewed this book as well and gave away my copy but now wish I had it back! I follow your blog via RSS so that's how I saw the giveaway. :)

noricum said...

Sounds good! (Sorry I've been a slacker about reading your blog... life has been busy. I happened to see the link in FB while skimming the recent posts. You know how to contact me. ;) )

Traci said...

I subscribe to your blog. If I don't win I think I will have to buy this book.

noricum said...

Yay! I just noticed that you have full posts in your feed! :) This will make it easier for me to keep up with your blog. :)

Amy V said...

I'd love to win-I'm rather new to crochet but am getting better the more I do it! I found your giveaway by searching for crochet giveaways!


Anonymous said...

Saw it in your blog. Love to win the book!

Deneen said...

Anonymous post at 3:30, it would be great for you to win, however, no name or contact would make it impossible. Please leave a post with your name or some sort of contact, should you win.

principeta said...

Wow,this is lovely.I find you in google =o)

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