Crochet Books: AwareKnits

by Kathryn on August 16, 2011 · 4 comments

in Crochet Books

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This week’s crochet book review is of AwareKnits: Knit & Crochet Projects for the Eco-Conscious Stitcher Crochet Books: AwareKnits

Who this crochet book is for

Any knitter or crocheter who wants to know more about making eco-friendly choices in their stitchwork. It is rich with information about yarn.

Format of this crochet book

This book begins with an introduction that explains that each project in the book meets one of the four features of green crochet and knitting:

  1. The yarn source is abundant and easily regenerated, like bamboo.
  2. The yarn comes from animals that are raised organically and humanely.
  3. The yarn is made from a recycled material.
  4. The yarn supports indie communities (non-profits, artisans, etc.)
The intro also explains the difference between sustainable, green and eco-friendly. Awesome.
After the intro we launch into the patterns. The patterns are about equally divided between two options: patterns for the body and then patterns for the home. In between the two is a short but hugely informative section profiling “global efforts to live, create, employ, and sustain via yarn crafts” where we learn about programs like Krochet Kids International and Quaytu.
Getting into the meat of the patterns, each one includes:
  • Project name and short description. The description shares a little of what makes the project sustainable (such as that it uses alpaca fiber).
  • Photo of finished project. Also an inset close-up photo of what some of the finished fabric looks like.
  • Skill level (via star rating).
  • Size and finished measurements.
  • Materials and Tools list (including the specific yarn used, which makes sense since choosing eco-friendly yarns is a key feature of this book).
  • Gauge information.
  • Row-by-row instructions and finishing instructions.
  • Chat box. I LOVE this feature. It’s basically a set-apart box that looks like an online chat screen and shows what each of the two authors are saying to each other about this project. This also includes additional informative tips on how to go green as well as how to improve your project. For example, the box for the first project (Neck of the Woods) explains why it’s great to use alpaca and why you should buy organic yarn from a local farm when possible plus we find out Adrienne Armstrong’s favorite thing about alpaca. In another project we get tips about stretching when you crochet to keep your hands from hurting. Seriously, I love this feature – it makes the book so informative and yet so personal.
  • Sometimes there’s a small sketch.
In this book the basic techniques refresher is at the back of the book, which I tend to prefer since I don’t always look at that these as much as I did when I was newer at crochet. It has photos and drawings that seem really clear. There are also charts for the knit and crochet abbreviations, yarn weights, and needle and hook conversions. Plus there’s a resources section that provides links and recommendations to lots of good green stuff.

Favorite projects from this crochet book

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Vickie Howell's Capelet Crusader - I love capelets and I love shell stitch so this is a no-brainer for me!

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Greenhouse - this jute rope crocheted welcome mat is natural and cozy for the home!

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Green Peace eye pillow

Special notes

So I have one big complaint about this book and one pet peeve. The big complaint is that there aren’t very many crochet patterns so it’s really more a book for knitters. There are some patterns that include both but very few that are just crochet. It always frustrates me when a book is supposed to be for both knitters and crocheters but is so heavy towards one end or the other.

The pet peeve is that the crochet and knitting projects are mixed in together with each other. I always hate that since I don’t knit. I really wish more authors would include a list of knit and a list of crochet projects somewhere in the book – the TOC, the index, somewhere. But most don’t and this one is no exception. Moreover, there is no clear label on the patterns to allow you to easily see if the item is knit or crocheted (if you’re like me and can’t always tell from photos). So you have to look at the materials list or instructions to find out what type of project it is. This doesn’t bother everyone, especially if you both knit and crochet, but it’s a pet peeve of mine.

That said, I think that this book is super informative and love it for all of the great eco-friendly information in it so I’d recommend checking it out for that even if you don’t end up doing the projects.

Conclusion: Great for eco-friendly information on yarn as well as some terrific insider crochet/ knitting tips. Unfortunately heavy on the knitting patterns, not so much for crocheters.

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  1. [...] reviewed and really enjoyed AwareKnits: Knit & Crochet Projects for the Eco-Conscious Stitcher by Vickie Howell and Adrienne Armstrong. The projects are cute but what I really loved was the [...]

  2. [...] Eco-Friendly Yarn Book: AwareKnits + 11 Things I Learned About Yarn from This Book [...]

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