Crochet Book Bonanza

Ever since I was a child, I would look forward to trips to the library. Poring over the books, cracking musty spines, picking books based on their covers (I did!), and long wooden boxes from the card catalogue could entrance me for hours... not to mention once I started actually READING the books!

When I got to the age where I was doing research papers, I discovered the joy of borrowing books from other libraries in the system. And how nice it is when libraries in your system have great books to borrow! I perused online the crochet books available, and then eagerly awaited their arrival at my local branch. Here are a few I found:

24-Hour Crochet Projects by Rita Weiss

Twenty-three various projects (several with multiple patterns), from thread doilies to worsted afghans, with tops, hats, scarves, purses and more between, this book is full of patterns I would make. Out of the 23, there are 13 I would definitely make (and another 2 I would if I lost a little weight, or had a more toned friend who wanted it!). Full color pictures (with an s... multiple of each project), detailed patterns, and "countdown clocks" of time to make the project (yes, they all clock in under 24 hours of crocheting, though your time may vary) make this a great book for anyone who likes a wide array of projects.

Who this book might not be for: crocheters afraid of gauge, or who prefer stunning afghans.

Crochet: Fantastic Jewelry, Hats, Purses, Pillows & More by Jane Davis

When I requested this book (and all of these books), I did so based on the title (or in some cases the author(s)). I did not have the picture you see before you now. I get it. It's for kids.

That being said, I would recommend checking this book out if you have a young (middle school, tops) crocheter on your hands! The projects are all things kids could make (the first two "projects" are basically making a chain, used as shoelaces and the "cat's cradle" game), and actually use (purses, cell phone holders, slippers, juggling bags). This book also has a lot of content besides patterns - how to crochet; how different yarns are, well, different; techniques like felting and sewing pieces together; and reading patterns. This book also has more "boy" oriented (or at least neutral) projects than many other books I've seen.

Who this book probably isn't for: older crocheters (late teens and up) of any skill level; experienced young crocheters.

Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs: 40 Prize Winning Crocheted Designs by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader

I had peeked at this book briefly at Michael's, and one of the patterns was featured at Annie's Attic as their "Free Pattern of the Day" a while back, so I was already excited this book was newly added to the library's collection. I loved it! The patterns range from simple elegance to intricate designs, both commercial designs and original designs. I did think it was "cheating" a bit that there were two "doubles"; the same pattern, simply stitched by different blue ribbon winners with different yarns. There were also a proliferation of granny square afghans.

As a "coffee table book" junkie and fair enthusiast (just don't ask me to ride the rides!), I was also enthralled by all of the bits and snips regarding the history of fairs in America, as well as a smorgasboard of pictures of all facets of the fairgoing experience liberally peppered throughout the book. A few of my favorites are the "Sweet Baby Afghan Sampler", "Noah's Ark", and "Victorian Elegance".

Who this book probably isn't for: crocheters that don't like afghans. But there are seriously afghans for all levels in this book, so if you like afghans, go for it!

A note on this book: I've heard from Deb that there are a whopping 5-1/2 pages of corrections to patterns in this book. Yikes. Crocheter beware. I'm still going to use the book, but you might want to ask for corrections before you start a big project.

Vanna's Favorite Gift Afghans

This is another I had briefly perused at craft shops, so I had a good idea what to expect when it arrived.

Forty-five afghans, with suggestions for occasions (from "Welcome, Neighbor" to "Mother's Day"), fill this book. There are various types of afghans - they're not all mile-a-minute, though there are a few. While all of the afghans are lovely, they all seem as though they would work up fairly quickly, making them fun (no time to get bored by a simple pattern) and easier to part with for the recipient for whom the afghan was intended!

I will definitely be making the "Double Wedding Ring" afghan, and I'm sure it won't be the only one.

Who this book might not be for: crocheters that prefer more intricate, challenging and/or unique afghans.

Woman's Day Prize Winning Afghans

This was listed under "crochet" in the card catalog, but when I got it I realized that's only half true. About 50 percent of the book is actually knitted afghans. Great for "ambifiberous" crafters, but not for me. I guess I'll just say that I liked checking it out from the library for ideas, and if I had it I wouldn't be throwing it out, but I wouldn't buy it new (I'm not sure I even could; it came out in 1988). Also, quite a few of the afghans were the "Cross stitch on the afghan stitch" variety, and I find that oh so tedious.

Who this book might not be for: people like me., Narrow, I know, but I'm tired of this book and am ready to take it back.

I hope these reviews are helpful to a few. I know I always enjoy hearing pros and cons of new-to-me books from fellow crocheters!

Additional disclaimer: I haven't actually made any of the afghans from these books yet, so I can't speak to full accuracy of patterns.

posted by Unknown on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 @ 12:15 PM


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