This week’s crochet book review is of a book that I previously quoted for author Betty Barnden’s great point about crochet seams. The book is titled Super Finishing Techniques for Crocheters: Inspiration, Projects, and More for Finishing Crochet Patterns with Style.
Who this crochet book is for
This crochet book is designed to teach crocheters how to make sure that their work looks professional using the proper finishing techniques from blocking to adding edging to incorporating zippers. It is good for a beginner who doesn’t yet know these things. It’s also good for the more advanced crocheter who has gotten by for awhile without learning all of this stuff. (Ahem, guilty on some fronts here!)
Format of this crochet book
This book kicks off with a great article titled “10 Golden Rules for a Great Finish” that presents exactly what the author thinks you need to know in order to give a great finished look to your crochet creations. This is followed by a simple guide to crochet hooks, other finishing accessories and yarn options.
The book then proceeds in eight parts:
- Construction Techniques. This is where we learn how to make neat edges, do the shaping for our projects, assemble our projects properly, adjust fit and block our crochet work. The instructions are clear and there are a lot of small photos to show what the author is trying to explain. My favorite section is the one on shaping which goes beyond just decreasing and increasing to information about how to shape the more complex patterns that we might use.
- Additions. This part gives the basics about edgings, which we get into more detail with later, and also teaches us about collars and pockets. The pockets section is one of my favorites even though it’s a short section.
- Fastenings. Many crochet items require a drawstring, button or zipper to complete the item and this section teaches us those things. We learn how to make our own buttons with crochet and we also learn about vintage and novelty buttons. Very thorough.
- Creative Touches. Once we know the basics of finishing our crochet work, we can get more creative. Here we learn about combining yarns, making stripes, felting and doing different types of crochet like surface crochet and filet crochet. I’m a little obsessed with wanting to learn surface crochet lately so I am bookmarking this section and moving forward with it ASAP.
- Directory of Edgings. This is a section of patterns that teach us many common edging options like crab stitch, shell edging and ruffles. For each edging we see a photo of the finished edge, a description of the stitches, row-by-row pattern instructions and a symbol chart.
- Directory of Trims. Here we get the instructions we need to make pompoms, tassels, fringes, spirals, flowers, stars and hearts. As with the edging section, we see photos, symbol charts and row-by-row instructions for how to make the various trims that might be used in our crochet work.
- Adaptable Projects. This is the project section of the book where we get patterns to make eight different projects that can be adapted using what we’ve already learned in the first sections of the book. We get the instructions and then there’s a section of tips for each pattern on how to “be your own designer” to adapt the pattern. I like this approach.
- Crochet Basics. It’s an interesting choice to put this section at the end of the book but here’s where we find the basic crochet stitches, crochet abbreviations, etc.
I like the way that the edging directory is done. Here we see the block edging and frilled flowers:
I enjoyed several of the adaptable patterns but my favorite is probably the felted rug:
Other book notes
I just wanted to note that Crochetbug mentioned the helpfulness of this book on her blog, saying:
“Until I encountered Ms. Barnden’s book, Super Finishing Techniques for Crocheters, I I had yet to come across directions that were able to take the experience and skills of the author and through text and photos, successfully transmit that knowledge to me.”
Conclusion: I think this crochet book is a good addition to a crocheter’s library. It provides smart tips for making your work more polished and also has the great edgings and trimmings pattern sections to refer back to again and again.