Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Review: the Cool Girl's guide to Crochet

Book Depository; Dublin City Public Libraries; Ravelry

By Nicki Trench

This one is aimed at teenagers and folks in their 20's opening with a chapter entitled New-age Crochet.  Much talk about it no lomger being associated with black-clad grannies of Southern Europe. This leads into a section on how it's now hip and cool and if you're a man you can use it to pick up girls. Can you see the eye-roll that induced? Then "crochet is so much easier than knitting" and I started to realise that this really wasn't being marketed at me. The closing quiz is full of puns.

Rapidly leaving that chapter I flicked through the what you need and what to do with it chapter which has a pretty good run-down of yarns and what they're good for, apart from the slightly smug "if you buy a woollen garment that has been hand knitted or crocjeted in South America, it is sometimes rough on the skin and may even have bits of wood and straw tangled up in it that haven't been removed at the fleece combing stage; it seems the South Americans are less concerned with the roughness of some garments, maybe because they use these as jackets or over-garments and wear something else underneath them." or maybe it's all they have and can afford? Or maybe they keep the nicer stuff for themselves and sell what the tourists are willing to buy...

First steps in crochet are covered with a right-hand assumption there is no mention of the possibility of left-handed knitting that I noticed. There is a mention of the differences between UK & US terms.  There's plenty of good photographs of techniques here.

Part three are patterns with a preamble talking about them and how they could be adapted.

First up is a beanie hat using three basic stitches it's a pretty good beginner piece. Worked in an Aran yarn with a 4.5mm hook

A flower throw is up next using a granny-square variation, seamed with a double crochet seam, worked in an aran-weight yarn with a 6mm hook

Next is a simple shawl in Rowan Kid Silk Haze and a 3.5mm hook

A pet's playmat is up next with a fringe, in aran-weight yarn and a 4.5mm hook

Summer flower camisole has simple appliqued flowers sewn on after making this garment that's worked in pieces and then seamed. Worked in 4ply cotton

A stripy dog blanket worked in an Aran-weight yarn and a 5mm hook would make a great stashbuster.

Striped hairbands have a tie fastener worked in Rowan Handknit Cotton and a 3.75mm hook

A bag made with debbie bliss cotton dk and colinette point five, a mesh bag that some may want to line, uses 3 & 5mm hooks.

A tie bolero is up next in debbie bliss baby cashmerino and 2.5, 3.25 & 3.5mm hooks, made in pieces.and sewn this can be tied around or in the front.

flower power beaded belt links flowers with robust beads and ties with a ribbon, worked in Dk cotton and 4.5mm hook

Summer brimmed hat is a floppy hat with an applique flower and contrast trim, Rowan handknit cotton with a 4mm hook and cotton glace and a 2mm hook for the flower, I suppose, check for errata on this one.

Daisy cashmere scarf uses granny-square variations sews them together and adds pompoms. Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino and a 3.25mm hook

Fingerless gloves in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Dk and a 3.75mm hook

Beaded purse uses aran yarn and a 3mm hook. It has a contrast frill and handle

Ribbon slippers have a ribbon threaded through the top and flowers sewn on. Worked in a chunky yarn for the body with 4.5mm hook and a dk yarn and 3.25mm hook for the flower.

Hot water bottle cover is pieced, in big wool and a 5.5mm hook, personally I'd be inclined to work it in the round.

Cushion cake two worked pieces, joined with a frill and decorated with s flower. Worked in aran-weight yarn and dk for the flower and 5mm & 3.25mm hooks.

Loopy cushion is worked in aran-weight yarn with a plain back and some contrast stripes, worked in pieces using a 5mm hook

Clutch bag with bow is worked in dk yarn with a 4mm hook and lined. Note the lining isn't included in the materials list

Last pattern are placemat and coaster worked in cotton with 5mm hook

The book finishes with a love questionnaire, to which I have to ask why? Also knitty magazine makes an appearance in the useful websites list but not ravelry and a quick look at the copyright page reveals that it was originally published in 2006, this edition is 2011, so double check the resources.

I wasn't terribly impressed, but then I'm not the market for this, which also would mean that it probably would be short-lived in someone's collection.

I got this from Dublin City Public Libraries who pay my wages, but have offered no other inducement to reviewing this book. Many thanks to the Cataloguers who pass Knitting and Crochet books on to me.

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