Today’s crochet book review is of Afya Ibomu’s Get Your Crochet On! Hip Hats & Cool Caps. This 2006 book by The Taunton Press offers twenty patterns or hip urban hats, with patterns available for all ages.
Who this crochet book is for
I actually didn’t find this book in the regular crochet section of my library but instead in the teen section. That, combined with the fact that a large portion of the book is devoted to instruction and information about crochet, suggests that this book is really for beginner crocheters. I would say that’s mostly true.
However, I really love some of the hat designs in this book and things that they are detailed and unique enough to be of interest to crocheters of any level who are looking for quick projects to work up – especially ones that can be gifted to others!
Format of this crochet book
The book begins with an introduction by the author who shares her story of coming to crochet as well as some of her expectations for what you can get out of the book.
Then the first third (or so) of the book is dedicated to “Getting Started”, which is basically step by step crochet instruction. It includes the following information:
- Info on yarn types, hooks and additional items you may use (like elastic)
- How to hold your hook and yarn, make slip knots, do basic stitches, etc.
- How to crochet with double strands, something done in several of the patterns later in the book, and how to work in rounds (obviously important for hats)
- An introduction to choosing colors based on the intended season of wear as well as color theory (with a note that you can choose any colors you fancy of course!)
- Instructions on how to make bibs (the name for the bill of a crochet hat), earflaps, pom poms and fringe
- Name of Hat, often with a funky urban twist (like “The MC”)
- One sentence description of the hat, somewhat like a descriptive subtitle, short and to the point. I like this feature and the way its done. For example, we learn that Mellow Moods was “inspired by the 70’s cinema fashion”.
- At least one photo of finished product. Often there are two photos – one showing the hat worn in an urban setting and another with more detail as to the stitch.
- List of materials needed
- Gauge information
- Row by row instructions. One of the things that I love is that the number of the row (such as Row 1) is set off by a different color then the instructions so it is super easy to tell when you’re moving from row to row.
- Finishing instructions, with photos as well as page number information if there’s another source in the book for the relevant information.
- Specific instructions for adding elastic, making the brim or other parts and then finishing the rest of these added details.
Favorite crochet patterns
Some of my favorite patterns from this book are:
My guess is that some people will be turned off by the fact that the first large chunk of the book is instructional. However, there are actually some helpful tips in there even for people who already know how to crochet. For example, I found the section on how to weave in and cover elastic to be useful. Plus the book still does have twenty patterns, which is comparable in amount to many other pattern books, so it shouldn’t be dismissed as too simple.
What is your favorite crochet hat pattern?