Today’s crochet book review is of a lovely unique book called Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts!: Lacy Crochet. This book takes some of the crochet patterns that you are likely to see in Japanese craft books and translates them into American patterns.
Who this Crochet Book is For
This crochet book is ideal for the people who love to look at Japanese crochet patterns but never work them because they don’t read Japanese. The items in this book are all home decor items and small accessories so it’s a good crochet book for people who like to make quick little projects. There are tons of photos and drawings to show you how to crochet so the book might be good for a beginner for that reason. However, the format of the book differs a lot from other standard crochet books so it may not be ideal for all beginners.
Format of This Crochet Book
This book has an interesting format compared to other crochet books. Normally you have the pattern for each item, right? But here what we have is a photo and description of each pattern and then a note that points you to the page of instructions. The first half of the book is the items and then the second half is the patterns. It’s a slightly awkward crochet book format to get used to but that doesn’t make it bad.
The first half of the book (the items) is divided into three chapters:
- Small Crafts for Interiors. Here you’ll find patterns for things like jar covers and doilies.
- Private Time for Favorite Handicrafts. Crochet patterns for your own crochet stuff, like a scissors case, hook case and lace basket.
- Fashionable Items for Every Day Life. This chapter has crochet patterns for cell phone cozies, buttons and coin purses.
- Item name and short description. Straightforward and to the point.
- Photos of finished products. I love the way they use props properly in the photos to show off the size of the finished items. For example, there is an apple placed on a coaster to show you the size of the coaster. Place the photos are really lovely.
- Tips about how the item is worked. For example, the potholders have a note that you’ll work a front and back piece and stitch them together.
- Note on what page in the book to go to in order to find the method to work the pattern. (Such as: “For method see page 44.”)
- Crocheting Rings of Circles Round Doily.
- Crocheting a Flat Pattern from a Chained Cast-on Square Doily.
- Lots of photos showing the different steps including detailed little steps like making the first chain and turning it into a circle.
- Materials. Note that hook sizes are given in numbers instead of letters.
- Finished pattern size.
- Stitch diagram.
- Row by row instructions with tons of photos.
- Finishing tips.
Favorite Crochet Patterns from this Book
I really like the jar covers, which you can see on the cover of the book in the image at the top of this post. Some of the other crochet patterns that I like in this book are:
Baby Shoes with Ties
Mobile Phone Cozy
Many people rely on visual charts and symbols to complete Japanese crochet patterns but there are some of us that just don’t have visual brains like that so it’s neat to see a book that offers these patterns in standard written format. There are symbol charts for people who do want to work with those, though.
I do think that the format of the book is awkward but that may just be because it’s not what I’m used to. Honestly I think it would be terrific as a digital book because you could easily follow links back and forth between photos, patterns and instructions. The way the book is written requires doing all the flipping back and forth yourself and it can feel a little confusing.
CONCLUSION: I love the photos in this crochet book and think there are some nice patterns here. I think it’s great that some Japanese patterns are available in this format for Americans. However, I think the format of the book is a little bit awkward so it’s not right for everyone.
Do you enjoy Japanese crochet patterns?