Book Review: Look, Learn, + Create Crochet (Giveaway)

Winner of the Crochet book: Congratulations, Creative Crocheter! You’ve won the crocheting book!

Winners of the Felting books: Congratulations to Traci Johnson and LaTrecia Rafferty, the winners of the two felting books reviewed in Wednesday’s blog post.

Today is the last day of the 1,500th-blog celebration. The three traveling journals left today and are on the way to the winners. The felting books will go out on Saturday.

The book cover

Today, I’m reviewing a brand-new book on crocheting. It’s ready to go to a randomly drawn winner, too. If you are one of this week’s five previous winners, you can leave a comment (I love your comments!) but I’m making room for new winners. Once more, I’ll spring for international shipping. I have an international audience, and I want them to feel included.

Title: Look, Learn & Create Crochet (A Workshop 101 in a Book)

Author: Deborah Burger

Details: Creative Publishing International, hardcover over spiral bound pages, 192 pages. $24.99 Includes two hours of online tutorials.

Content:

  • Crochet Basics (stitches and project to practice each stitch)
  • Putting it all together (combining stitches, patterns, detailing, finishing, and six projects)
  • Crochet Traditions (More complicated stitches, projects, tips and tricks.)
  • Glossary, Abbreviations, Symbols, Index

What I like: This line on one of the first pages grabbed my interest: “It’s important to remember that you’re training the muscl es of our hands and fingers in movements new to them. Be patient with yourself–muscle memory develops by repetition.”

A binding that stays flat and fresh, interesting projects update crochet from doilies to wearable fashion.

A description of what fibers work with crochet and which don’t

Steel and aluminum hook-size comparisons; standard yarn weight system charts

Excellent close-up photos of how to do stitches, troubleshooting photos of both good and failed examples

Instructions that are truly step-by-step for beginners that advanced crocheters can also use

Instructions begin with “What You’ll Learn”, “What You’ll Need”, and “Stitches and Abbreviations Used”.

Clear instructions for reading charts and schematics along with diagrams and photos

At least one photo per spread, many spreads with five and six photos. Good step-out photos, good page layout, good book design. (Good doesn’t mean “OK” it means well-done.)

What I didn’t like:

if I never see a granny-square project again, it will be too soon. I know it’s a practical pattern, and I know the tote bag is a good use for this project, but crochet is often thought of as a “old lady hobby” and this modern book could have done without the cliché of over-used squares.

The typeface is too light for a project book. I’ll admit that as someone who wears multi-focal lenses I like larger types so I can focus both on the project in my hands and the type in the book. While smaller, tightly-kerned type may look good, it’s hard to read.  The typeface is a serif face, and that is a big plus.

* * *   Leave a comment if you want to win the book. The drawing for the book will be on Saturday, September 8, 5 p.m. Phoenix time. Winners will be announced on this page as well as on Sunday’s blog.

-Quinn McDonald is writing her second book and still wants to find time to read more books. She finds nothing wrong this this idea.