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.

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22 thoughts on “Book Review: Look, Learn, + Create Crochet (Giveaway)

  1. I know am late,sadly.Just wanted to say that is so generous of you that you sending international,noticed that almost all only send in US.I am in Europe and don’t have crochet books here,beside from net sites in another countries where postage is higher for me.Anyway,lovely of you and have a lovely day.

    • Almost 1/3 of my readers come from Europe. It makes sense to me if I didn’t have to pay for the book (Publishers send me free books to review, although I don’t get paid to review them) I can splurge to send them internationally. No doubt it’s expensive (one book went to Canada, one to New Zealand) but I didn’t run the contest until I could fit the mail into the budget. Stay tuned, Danijels, I will be doing another book give-away soon.

  2. Not interested in the book (I already have one that I like very much ;). Just wanted to say that you over there in North America (and in Britain too) hold your hooks in a weird way! 😉 Here high up in the Northern Europe we seem to have a completely different way of knitting and crocheting. I wonder why? If I was to colour a world map according to the way of holding the knitting needles, how would it turn out? Would the colours follow the different language zones or what? Just thinking. This always gets me thinking. So weird. In a heartwarming way.

    • That’s a really interesting thought. My mom, who was French, taught me to knit and crochet and she held her needles “differently” from the way my American friends did. I wondered the same thing–what makes that difference?

  3. I like you style of writing a book review, Quinn! Listing what you don’t like, too. I agree with your complaint about the typeface and I haven’t even seen the book! It seems that those publishing magazines and non-fiction books such as these must be very young. You also see a lot of text on dark backgrounds or backgrounds with images. What ever happened to plain black on white (light)? Anyway, I do crochet, but can always learn something new, especially something that will help me to teach someone else.

    • Before I decided to do book reviews, I knew that I had to make them useful to the audience. I don’t expect myself to be objective, because I have likes and dislikes, but I want to give people the opportunity to know what they can expect if they spend money to buy the book. Dividing it up by what I like and dislike gives people the chance to know what the book has, and see if that is what they like or dislike. I think (I hope) it allows readers to decide.

  4. Hi, Quinn. I do not want to win the book, I’d rather knit than crochet usually except for one crocheted battle jacket that’s a really tight “weave”, but I did want to comment on the light typeface. It seems this is a new fad. I just bought two graphic design books and the typeface is incredibly hard to read because it is not dark enough on the page. Size and shape is fine. It doesn’t make sense to me.

    • It’s a fad. And Ive seen it before, in the late 80s. I hated it then, when I didn’t need glasses and I still hate it. Type doesn’t have to be horsey, but when the letters themselves are not thick enough, it’s hard to read. And an instruction book should never be hard to read.

  5. Thank you Quinn for another chance to win a good book! I love books so I am always game! I know how to crochet a little, Mom taught me but I don’t know how to make wonderful pieces of clothing and such. I know how to make basics: Scarves, granny squares, etc…

  6. I’m not into crochet but I have a dear friend that is so if I won the book I would send it to her. Thanks for the opportunity, Quinn.

  7. I just found your blog recently and I’m hooked! I’m also loving Raw Art Journaling. I love to crochet and am eager to learn new techniques. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  8. This sounds like a good basic book that could take me beyond the basic single and double crochet I know. One can only make so many simple scarves — it’s time to stretch.

  9. Morning Quinn…summer coming to an end,long cold nights in front of the fire ahead,always fancied trying my hand at crochet! Plenty of old Spanish ladies in my village to give me some tips as well! My grandmother was an amazing knitter,but my mum could hardly sew a button on,different generations! I can get the products here for that as well,easier than art pens …daft! So please put me in the draw. Thanks….well done for your 1500 blog week,inspirational.x

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