Today’s crochet book review is of a fun book published by Leisure Arts in 201o but that’s new to me. It’s called Unexpected Crochet for the Home and is written by Lena Maikon.

About the crochet author

Lena Maikon is originally from Russia where she learned to crochet and knit from her grandmother at the young age of five. She didn’t keep up the crafts continuously but did return to them as she got older. She finds both of these crafts to be healing forms of self-expression. She uses unconventional materials to make both wearable items and home decor items although obviously this book is about home decor. Lena has written half a dozen knitting and crochet books. She has an Etsy store named Leninka.

Who this crochet book is for

This crochet book is for people who already know how to crochet and who are interested in making items for the home using a combination of yarn and more unconventional materials. Some of the patterns in the book are easy so a fairly new crocheter could use this book but it does not have the guide to basic stitches that many books have so it can’t be used as a tool to actually learn how to crochet.

The format of this crochet book

This crochet book begins with a short introduction as to what you will find in the book. This is followed by a yarn weight chart, crochet abbreviation chart, guide to yarn select, etc. There is a nice section on “special materials” since the author introduces us to crocheting with leather, soft jute rope and more. This is followed by a guide to the special stitches used in the book like the overlay chain stitch, the loop stitch and the puff stitch as well as special techniques like making the crochet magic ring. These are shown with step-by-step instructions with a clear photograph for each step. Very well done.

Next we get into the crochet patterns. Each project includes:

  • Name of project and short description.
  • One full page photo of the finished item as well as multiple photos showing up-close details.
  • Skill level of project from one to four.
  • Finished measurements in inches as well as centimeters.
  • Yarn used. The intro of each project gives a generic basic description (like Yarn A, medium weight, dark brown) but there’s a section at the end of each project that says the specific yarn actually used to make the items photographed for the book.
  • Hooks and other tools needed, gauges and a list of special stitches and techniques with the page number to find their descriptions at the beginning of the book.
  • Row-by-row instructions for each section of the project along with finishing instructions. These are very clear and well-written so they’re easy to follow. Makes sense!
  • One of the projects has a color placement diagram but the others do not require this. This book does not use crochet stitch diagrams.
The projects for the home in this book include a range of items from cushion overs and couch throws to crocheted wall hangings and decorative flowers. The designs are multi-colored but not necessarily brightly colored so they have an elegant, classy look that would work well in many contemporary homes.

Crochet project samples

Gourd Containers

Strips of Sprouts Wall Hanging – my favorite pattern from this book!

Decorative Crochet Chrysanthemums for the home

What’s fun about this crochet book

What makes this crochet book unique from other home decor crochet books is the muted but multicolored tones of the projects and the use of unconventional materials for some patterns. For example, the “large luminous pod” is an organic shaped crochet lampshade made using a combination of cotton yarn, hemp yarn and jute twine.

Do you enjoy the muted tones of these organic home decor items or do you prefer the bright colors of traditional granny square crochet?


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


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