Thursday, 15 October 2015

Crochetopedia review

The edition to hand was the UK edition in the link and the Dublin City Public Libraries edition.

Dublin City Public Libraries

The first thing that I really like about this book is that it's spiral bound, great for a reference book.  Starts with a history of Crochet.  It then moves onto a discussion of yarns and fibres, with a piece on yarn weights, equipment etc.  It even has a mention of where to measure a crochet hook.  Yarn labels are examined, yarn substitution and care are all covered, as are blocking and reading patterns.  The How-to even mentions left-handed crocheting (the advice of using a mirror is used), there is also a mention that this book is UK terminology and what the US terms are.  The descriptions of methods and stitches are detailed using drawings with supportive photographs.  There are almost 100 pages of introduction before any projects are discussed.  The words Worsted and Aran seem to be used interchangeably with some of the yarns.

The only way I think this book could be improved would be to have the page numbers associated with the skills alongside the skills list on the projects, and a bibliography.

Is it the only reference you will ever need? No. There is no one book that can offer everything, but it's a solid beginners book with a lot of jumping off points for a lot of techniques.  I would recommend it to beginners.

Projects are divided into Simple, Intermediate and advanced.  Each pattern comes with stitches and skills, yarn, measurement, notions and yarn alternatives.
The simple projects are
Square Pot Holder - could be done in a single colour but two colour allows you to hearn how to work with multiple colours.  Made in an Aran medium weight yarn.
Beanie Hat with Pom-pom - again some minor colourwork (I would use some of the alternative colour in the pom-pom myself.  This is pretty simple and easy enough, uses a worsted weight yarn.
Bow Headband - quite simple but can give a sense of pride, made in a worsted-weight yarn
Fingerless Gloves - made from side to side these have texture and are made in worsted/Aran yarn
Phone Cosy - made in worsted yarn, it's a chance to practice stripe colourwork.
Bobble Scarf - a chance to try texture, aran yarn
Baby Booties - this is a make a square and seam it for the shape, the original is in a DK yarn.
Motif decoration - another project that could be in any yarn, dependent on hook.  Original is in Worsted.
Arm Warmers - with the fashion for 3/4 length sleeves these are a useful bridge between bottom of sleeve and wrist made in a worsted weight yarn.
Flower Brooch - a felted project in a worsted weight wool
Amigurumi Russian Dolls - not nested dolls but like the nested dolls, enhanced with embroidery. Made in Sport-weight yarn these would be a good introduction to amigurumi.

Sampler Baby Blanket - Play with practice swatches using some of the patterns from the book or other books, make squares, join them together, use a single yarn to join, this is a good project to use up practice squares or spare yarn.  It uses worsted weight yarn but any yarn would do.  With some squares you might have to work it a few times to get the proper tension but with only about 20-22 stitches per square this isn't too hard.  The only thing not noted is to ensure that you don't mix yarn types, like pure wool and pure acrylic for ease of washing.
Chevron Rug - looks impressive, made in super bulky yarn and it does suggest using a hardwearing yarn, contrasting stripes.
Intarsia Cushion - a good learning tool to working in Intarsia, and pretty quick in a worsted weight yarn. Very Mondrian.
Lacy Beret - this one hits a bit of a button, it isn't very lacy, it starts with a small lacy motif and then works down in a solid pattern, which reduces the usefulness of the hat.  It's worked in a DK yarn.
Lace Scarf - worked to the middle and seamed, so both ends match, uses sportweight yarn
Starry Night place mat Plain worked mat with surface crochet on top. Uses worsted yarn.  While pretty I sometimes question the practicality of non-flat place mats.
Slippers - worked in worsted yarn, I would add a tip to research non-slip grips for painting or sewing on.
Felted Tote Bag - I am a big bag person, but this one is quite big. Also features no zip or closing mechanism, I'd be inclined to make the half-granny into a full granny and use half as a flap.
Honey Cat - worsted weight stuffed toy.
Little Hen - DK weight stuffed toy

Advanced Projects
Broomstick Lace Clutch - worsted weight, this is lined.
Beaded Earrings - with a bead this is a delicate piece and rather fun
Hairpin lace mobius wrap - made in a light or medium weight yarn this will expand the hairpin lace skills.
Lacy Cardigan - simple repeated clusters for this v-necked light cardigan.  Uses DK yarn.
Shell Top - small amount of shaping for this DK weight sleevless t-shirt.
Toe-up lacy socks - done in sock yarn.
Swirl thread bowl - spray starch is used to make this with 3ply yarn, you will also need a bowl form to finish.
Filet thread runner - has several elements of filet crochet in 3-ply yarn.
Tunisian Neck Warmer - two button to fasten bulky weight yarn using the Tunisian diagonal stitch.
Child's Unisex sweater - in the main quite basic but the contrast stripe features cable stitches to learn the technique.  Made in DK yarn.

The book closes out with a stitch directory, which isn't exhaustive but a good set of begining stitches.  It also has some motifs. 

They do mention Ravelry in the resources.  Many of the mentioned yarns are US brands.