This week’s crochet book review is about a book that I picked up the library by an author named Lesley Stanfield. The full title of the book is 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet: A Collection of Beautiful Blooms for Embellishing Garments, Accessories, and More.
Who is this book for?
This book can be used by knitters or crocheters. I don’t knit at this point in my life so I only paid attention to the crochet part of the book. I made several of the projects in the book and liked how they turned out. However, I found some of the instructions in the book to be a bit difficult to follow. It seemed like there were parts missing and the phrasing of some of the instructions was confusing in my opinion. For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend this book to beginning crochet artists. The book itself says it’s good for beginners and even children. However, I found that you have to have a good sense of what’s going right and wrong to make these patterns work out properly. That said, there are some really cool flowers, leaves and butterflies that you can make using this book.
The book begins with a basic introduction to the book itself as well as to the materials and techniques used in the book. This is a fairly common intro for a crochet book. This section is followed by a directory of flowers. This is cool because it shows all of the projects in the book laid out in beautiful color photographs, loosely grouped together by color. It says the name of the flower and the page its instructions are on. The only downside is that the crochet and knitted flowers are bunched together so you may see a flower you like only to find out that it’s a knitted flower and not one that you can crochet.
The instructions are next. It starts with knitting instructions, so I skipped that section. The crochet section begins with “basic designs” and then has intermediate and advanced designs. The format of each set of instructions is:
- Name of flower
- Page where you can find the flower in the directory
- Yarn type and color used for the project
- Image of the flower
- “Method”. This is the written instructions round-by-round.
- Image showing the pattern stitches. I never use these because they just confuse me. I learn best from written directions. However I’m glad to see this is included for people who learn better with visual stitch directions.
After this there are ten little projects at the end of the book that you can do. They’re basic projects like embellishing a clothespin bag with a flower or using the flower as decoration on a gift. I’ve done crochet flowers on gifts before. I didn’t find any of the other projects particularly inspiring so I didn’t do any of them myself. However, there are some decent ideas in there so I wouldn’t write them off entirely.
Favorite projects from this crochet book
The two flowers I liked best that I actually made were the Ruffled Rose and the Irish Rose. There are also leaves, veggies and fruits and butterflies featured in the book but the roses are what I liked best.
The main complaint I had about this book was that the phrasing of the directions wasn’t as easy to understand as other crochet books I’ve worked from. For example, the first round of the Hellebore (a basic crochet design) reads:
(RS) 3ch, 2-st dc cluster, 2ch, [3-st dc clsuter, 2 ch] 4 times, with B ss to top ch of 3ch, 5 clusters and 5 ch sp. Continue with B.
I understand basically what all of that means (crochet on the right side of the work, do three chains, etc.) I got a little bit lost on the dc clusters even though I read the instructions in the intro of the book several times. I never did get the pattern to work out right!
Also, another thing I didn’t like was that this book doesn’t suggest what size hook to use. I understand that flowers may be any size but I’d love it if it said what size hook was used to get approximately a certain diameter using a specific yarn. As it is I had just had to figure out the size by trial and error using different yarns until I got what I wanted.
What’s your favorite book for crochet flower patterns?