Crochet Book Review: Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts Lacy Crochet

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:

  1. Small Crafts for Interiors. Here you’ll find patterns for things like jar covers and doilies.
  2. Private Time for Favorite Handicrafts. Crochet patterns for your own crochet stuff, like a scissors case, hook case and lace basket.
  3. Fashionable Items for Every Day Life. This chapter has crochet patterns for cell phone cozies, buttons and coin purses.
In this first half of the book, each item in the chapter includes the following:
  • 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.”)
Following the items, we get into the “how to” and patterns. This starts with two “pattern lessons” that are designed to teach you many of the basics that you’ll need to know for creating patterns in the book by working your way through both a round and square doily.
  1. Crocheting Rings of Circles Round Doily.
  2. Crocheting a Flat Pattern from a Chained Cast-on Square Doily.
Each of these two patterns includes the following features:
  • 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.
After the two doily patterns we are given “how to” information on “lacy crochet techniques”. This is what you normally get in the introduction to crochet books – the “how to” of basic crochet stitches It is filled with drawings.
Next we get the patterns for the items we looked at in photos at the beginning of the book. This is similar to the format of the “pattern lessons” above. However, instead of having “row by row” instructions, it has “crochet steps”. For example, in the round coaster, step one is to “cast on” and you’re reminded where in the book to find the info to do that. Then step two is crocheting the base, where you get basic round-by-round instructions for the entire piece. Then step 3 is the edging and you are told how to work the last round of the pattern.
The book ends with no index.

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

Other Notes

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?

Subscribe to all posts by daily email or through a feed reader.

Subscribe to my newsletter where I share crochet news and updates every 1-2 months.

Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

4 Comments:

  1. Thank you for the review, I see this book on eBay a lot and have been tempted by it- I love the style of Japanese crochet. I can read the symbols ok, and fortunately they do the measurements in metric so I can understand that much as well. (Also, one of the Japanese companies- Pierrot, I think- has been putting up translations of their patterns. Interestingly, you don’t have to register to see the Japanese ones, but you do have to register to see the English ones!) I still daydream about Japanese stitch dictionaries, I have heard wonderful things about them!

    As for the format thing, I have seen older books with a similar format going on- they’ll do it by section rather than the whole book, with each section having 2 parts. Interweave Crochet has moved to this too, dividing the patterns up by section, then showing you bigger pictures at the beginning of the section and a smaller picture with the pattern. I thought companies had moved away from this as the other examples I’ve seen were older, but perhaps it is more of a pendulum thing. :(

    • Thanks @Carmelvineyard for the great information here. Although I have looked through some older crochet pattern books, I’d never seen this pattern before. Interesting to note that it’s not only been done before but making a sort of comeback. Since we all think differently I’m sure this format works for some people even though it’s not idea for me.

      Thanks also for letting me know about Pierrot. Something I think would be worth looking into!

  2. Pingback: Crochet Blog Roundup: September 2011 — Crochet Concupiscence

  3. Pingback: Then and Now in Crochet (9/16 – 9/22) — Crochet Concupiscence

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Image of Cover for Crochet Saved My Life

    Crochet Saved My Life tells my story of how crafting healed me from chronic depression. It also shares the stories of 24 other amazing women who hooked to heal. Read the book today!