Happy new year everybody!
One of my more serious resolutions is to be better about blogging. I do enjoy doing it, but do you notice that when you go a couple of days without writing, it gets easier and easier not to?
So I've been toying around with the idea of discussing different books that I have, since whenever I'm on the hunt for a new crochet book I like to read and rely on reviews from regular people, not necessarily from experts in the field or what the publishing companies have to say, but from what the typical person who buys the book and uses it has to say about it. I do read those other things too, but my favorite reviews are almost always from fellow readers/crafters. It'll also help me remember why I choose certain books, and help me keep my book reviewing skills fresh so that when I do actually get back into being a librarian when my little ones are older I'm not rusty.
So anyway, my first book is Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet. I think it's fitting to have this one as my first, since it's the first book I bought Fall '06 when I was learning stitches and how to read patterns. Up until that point I knew how to slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet. And that's it. And I didn't know what they were called either. My grandma had taught me those stitches when I was a little girl and since she'd never learned how to read patterns, she didn't know the names of the stitches either. Also, since I'm left handed, that one fact has great bearing on how much I base my opinion on user friendliness. It's just a sticking point for me since it's a bit important when supposedly teaching something that is pretty much a one handed, and then disregarding crocheters who would otherwise benefit from seeing left handed illustrations, instead of having to compensate yet again. I know, I know, boo hoo.
Well, that bit of a diatribe leads to my glowing praise for the Encyclopedia of Crochet, it's fantastic for both left handed and right handed crocheters.
It's divided into 5 sections, delineated by color coded tabs, the sections being-
- The introduction & an informative history of crochet
- Basics, which include stitch names & symbols for them, materials you need to crochet, basic techniques, stitches & finishes with illustrations for left handers on the left side of each page, and illustrations on the right side of each page for right handers. Then there are 7 projects you can make using the techniques & stitches learned in this section.
- Next section is a bit more advanced, with discussions on color, thread crochet, bead & wire crochet, tunisian & details like pockets and buttonholes and the like. There are also 13 projects included in this section.
- Then along comes all the lovely patterns which act as a stitch dictionary with written instructions and diagrams to illustrate how to make them as well. In this section here's a sample of what you get- shells, lace, ripples, spiked, bobbles, tapestry, net, motifs, filet, edgings & tunisian.
- Finally, all the boring, but especially useful information at the end. The resources & supplies list, notes, index & bibliography.
I think that this is an excellent resource for both those just getting started, and those with more advanced skills who want to incorporate different patterns into their projects or designs.
So this is always the type of information I'm looking for when I want to find out about a book, and I hope you find it helpful. I don't necessarily know how often I'll try to do this, I'd like to make it weekly, but it's a nice way to start off 2008!