|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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Patterns include Accent Pillow, lampshade, afghan, brooches and belt pattern.
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!