Usually if you visit this blog on a Tuesday morning you will find a single long review of a crochet book that I’ve been reading. However, I have a whole stack of books that I’ve held off on reviewing. The reason is that they are not just crochet books but books that combine knitting and crochet patterns in one. I thought about reviewing these books individually but some of them are really heavy on the knitting and since I don’t knit I didn’t feel like I could give them a fair review. And yet some of them are good books so I didn’t want to neglect them entirely. I decided that this week I’d do a brief roundup of those books. Hope you enjoy!
This is one of the books that is produced by Sixth&Spring, the same company that published the Crochet! book that I gave away last month in a giveaway that was really popular on the site. Lots of people mentioned that they liked the books that this company was offering and that bodes well for this one.
The good: This is my favorite of the books on this list. This is due in large part to the fact that it is very crochet-friendly and has at least as many crochet patterns as it does patterns for knitting. In fact the first dozen patterns are all crochet patterns. The instructions are straightforward to read, there is a photo of what the product should look like and there are some really creative blanket patterns in this book. The designs are organized into seven different sections so you can easily find striped patterns, square-based patterns and baby blanket patterns.
The bad: There are no stitch diagrams in this book which may bother some people. Some of the joining instructions were a little bit confusing although do-able. The patterns are loosely grouped by knit and crochet but not completely so you do have to look at the pattern for a moment to figure out which craft is used (the best way is to check the materials list to see if it says hooks or needles). And the book doesn’t have an intro which isn’t really an important but I happen to like hearing from the writer / editor so it kind of bummed me out.
This is a strikingly similar book to the first one in the sense that it’s a book made entirely of afghan patterns and there are many different designs, a lot of which are beautiful. However, the designs are entirely different and so the books complement each other rather than replacing one another.
The good: I am happy to say that the first pattern in this book is also a crochet pattern and about twenty of the fifty patterns are for crocheters. Although the crochet and knit patterns are mixed together, it’s fairly easy to identify which is which because in the materials section of the pattern the part that says either Crochet Hooks or Needles is in large print.
The bad: This is a Berroco book so if you have any issues with that yarn or with pattern books made by yarn companies then that could be a drawback. Mostly people I know seem to like this brand, though, and I’ve mostly enjoyed working with it. Again there are no crochet stitch diagrams which may bother some folks.
This is a book of 28 patterns that are designed to accessorize your wardrobe. The items in it are trendy and modern, which makes this book attractive. The designs are organized into four chapters based on whether they are meant to be worn in the morning, afternoon, early evening or out on the town at night. It’s kind of a fun form of organization and adds some hipness to book.
The good: The designs are all really beautiful, in my opinion. There are lots of photos as well as some drawings that show off the pieces well. The patterns note any special abbreviations or stitches and provide tips for finishing the piece.
The bad: This pattern book is primarily for people who know how to knit. Several patterns are knitting patterns that include small bits of crochet like crochet fringe. In fact I can find only two patterns that is crochet-only and it is for a pair of crocheted pearl earrings and a matching crocheted pearl necklace.
I actually didn’t even realize until I started the review of this book that it’s authored/edited by the same author as the first book reviewed here. Unfortunately, this one is much heavier on the knit than crochet patterns.
The good: Right under the title of each pattern is a message that tell you who the pattern is for (such as a “beginner crocheter”) so that you can easily separate the crochet and knit designs and choose one that is right for your skill level.
The bad: Only four of the fifty sweater designs are for crocheters. And again there’s no intro to the book and no stitch diagrams for the patterns.