Crochet! Book Review and Giveaway

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Today is something old and something new. Just like every other week I’m doing a crochet book review. The new thing is that I’m also doing this blog’s first giveaway. It’s of the book Crochet!: Techniques*Stitches*Patterns Crochet! Book Review and Giveaway by Marie-Noelle Bayard. It’s a great stitch dictionary that I’m thoroughly enjoying so I’m happy to be able to offer a copy to one of my readers. The review follows as normal and the giveaway information can be found below that.

Who this crochet book is for

Bayard’s crochet book is three things in one making it a great book for any crocheter’s library. First it is a basic primer on how to crochet, providing techniques that make it a great starter book for the beginning crocheter (and a great reminder for the intermediate crocheter). Second this book is a stitch dictionary, something that everyone should have because you can do so much when you know different types of stitches (such as riddle stitch and granite stitch, which are both featured in this book). And finally it’s a crochet pattern book with twenty original designs that run the gamut from clothing and accessories to toys and home decor, meaning that there’s a little bit of something for everyone in this crochet book. I really love that it’s primarily a stitch dictionary but that it also includes pattern – this is unique from most of the stitch dictionaries I’ve checked out.

Crochet book format

This crochet book uses the following format:

  • One page preface that packs a punch. I’ll be quoting it in a future “crochet quote of the day” for sure.
  • Part One: Techniques:
    • Guide to different types of yarns, where they come from and what types of projects they’re good for crocheting. For example, it notes that baby wool is good for special items such as layettes.
    • Guide to crochet tools including both crochet hooks and additional dressmaking tools.
    • Information on the instructions, abbreviations and symbols used in crochet patterns.
    • Guide for “how to crochet” with information on how to hold your yarn if you’re left handed or right handed, etc. What’s great is that the directions for each step are super easy to understand and are accompanied by clear photographs. After providing basics on how to crochet it shows how to do specific techniques, such as creating different types of necklines for a shirt.
  • Part Two: Basics. This is the stitch dictionary portion, which also uses very simple step-by-step instructions accompanied by photos. It starts with the basic stitches, of course, like double crochet. Then it goes into less common stitches, such as crab stitch. And then it goes on to describe pattern stitches (which is where you’ll find that riddle stitch I mentioned earlier). I found that most of the stitches were familiar to me but some were new and fun, which is always great to discover in a stitch dictionary.
  • Part 3: Textured Stitches. This is where you’ll find ribbing, puff stitches, honeycomb stitch and other textured stitches. I have to say this is my favorite section of the book because I love the feel of working with textured stitches!
  • Part 4: Lace Pattern Stitches. Here you can find directions for lacy stitches like lace fans and eyelet pyramids.
  • Part 5: Composite Stitches. Put together some of the information that you’ve found in other sections with these complicated, beautiful composite stitches (really more like motifs). This section doesn’t have the step-by-step photos but instead has a regular photo and then a stitch diagram. I never use stitch diagrams because I’m more of a word-learner so I can’t vouch for how good they are but they look clear from what I can tell.
  • The Patterns. These start in the middle of the basic stitches and are interspersed throughout the stitch dictionary section of the book, using the stitches in that section (for example, lace-based patterns are at the end of part 4 on lace patterns). They include a box that shows the materials needed, the size of the finished product, the skill level required and the stitches used (with a page reference to help you find the stitch in the stitch dictionary – a great feature!) Then you get the row-by-row instructions (clear, easy to understand), a photo of what the finished product looks like, and a drawing providing additional helpful information for putting your project together.
  • The Index. In most books the index is something that you ignore until you need it. However, this book is different. There is an entire index section that is photo-based. It shows the photo, the name of the stitch and the pages that you will find the stitch on. So you could actually start using this book by going to the index, seeing a photo of a stitch that you like (or a pattern) and then finding the pages that have its instructions and related patterns. Very cool. The index for pattern stitches also has small stitch diagrams for those of you who like learning by diagram. At the very end is a traditional index as well.
  • Notes. There are a few blank lined pages in the book where you can add your own notes. How thoughtful!

Examples of crochet patterns from this book

Here is a glimpse into a couple of my favorite patterns that can be found in this crochet book:

 

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Japanese Pillow

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Cuddly Toy

 

 

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY

Like I said, I think this book would be a great addition to any crocheter’s library of books. If you want it, then enter the giveaway to win. Here are the rules:

  • This book was published by Sixth and Spring Books. Go to their site and check out their other crochet books. Then come back here and leave a comment naming the book that you find most interesting there. This is the mandatory entry and must be done before any bonus entries.

After doing the mandatory entry, you are free to do any or all of the following bonus entries (one extra entry each):

  • Follow me on Twitter @Crochetblogger. Leave me a comment here on the blog letting me know your Twitter handle. (If you already follow me, that counts, too, as long as you mention it in a comment here on the blog.)
  • RT this giveaway. Leave a comment with your Twitter handle and a note that it was RTd so I know that you did.
  • Check out the other crochet book reviews I’ve done. Leave a comment on any of those reviews. One bonus entry for each additional comment. No need to comment again here about this one – I’ll count all comments on crochet book review posts that are posted between now and the end of the giveaway.
  • Check out my crochet articles on HubPages. Leave a comment on any of them. Come back here to let me know how many you commented on (one extra entry each).

This giveaway ends on Saturday, May 14th at midnight PST. I will use random generator to select the winner. The winner’s name will be announced on the blog on Sunday. As with all giveaways it is important that you provide an email address or a link to your site when you comment so I can reach you to notify you if you win!

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Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!
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