This week’s crochet book review is a review of Pat Harste’s Hooked on Jewelry: 40+ Designs to Crochet. I didn’t realize until I started writing this review that it’s another Sixth and Spring Book. This publisher is so great about putting crochet books out there!
Who this crochet book is for
This crochet book is for people who are familiar with the basics of crochet and who want to take that experience and crochet jewelry. There are patterns that range from beginner jewelry to more advanced so it is suitable for people at different levels. I feel like the section that provides info on jewelry tools and techniques is helpful enough that a beginning jewelry maker would be able to get going fairly well with this book. However, crochet jewelry isn’t simple and therefore I wouldn’t recommend it to a totally beginner crocheter (unless you’re determined!)
Format of this crochet book
This book begins with a short introduction. It tells us how the author came to begin crocheting jewelry, where the inspiration came from for the projects and what to expect in the book.
This is followed by the section on “materials and techniques” which includes a guide to crochet hooks, info on threads and yarns and the how to for basic stitches. There’s a page of terms and abbreviations and a chart showing the standard yarn weight system. This is then followed on a special section on jewelry-making supplies, tools and techniques, which I think is really helpful because knowing how to crochet doesn’t mean that you know what you need to know to make jewelry. I think the photos in both these sections are great and they add to the descriptions, tips and info here.
Next we get into the projects. What I think is awesome is that each project is made up of more than one item and each can either stand alone or go together as a set. (Each project is called an ensemble). For example, the Tumbling Leaves project is made of a necklace and leaf-motif earrings.
Each project includes:
- The name of the ensemble and a description of it. The name of each item in the ensemble.
- Photo of finished project – both the whole ensemble and individual photos of the pieces.
- Finished product measurements. Materials required.
- Stitch glossary for unusual stitch information (such as SLB, which means to slide the bead next to the crochet hook).
- Detailed gauge information.
- Directions with row-by-row instructions, finishing information and assembly instructions. I felt that the directions were all very easy to understand.
- Sometimes there are little tips or bonus information – such as tips on choosing bead color for the project or directions on “how to tie a lariat”.
The book ends with a set of resources and the acknowledgments. There is no index.
Favorite projects from this crochet book
The very first page of the book, which normally just shows the title name and author, shows a mosaic of all of the projects in the book, which I think is just really wonderful! The only thing I wish is that it showed the page number to find each project.
There is one odd thing that you’ll notice if you scan the table of contents, which is that there are four beadwork earrings projects that are listed as “bonus patterns”. That’s fine but they are added in with other projects and yet aren’t listed in the rest of the table of contents for that project. So for example The Out of Africa project lists one bracelet and four necklaces but actually also includes a set of beadwork earrings. I can see why those are pulled out, in a way, since they aren’t crochet and I kind of appreciate that but it comes off as a little odd that they aren’t in the project list in the TOC.
Conclusion: I think this book is a great item for people who are seeking to crochet modern jewelry, especially if you enjoy putting together ensembles instead of one-off pieces.