Reported by Chel Micheline
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I started crocheting about eighteen months ago. Despite the fact I armed myself with a bunch of “Let’s Get Started With Crochet” and “Crochet for Absolute Beginners!”-style books before I even got started, the first thing I realized is that I was not going to learn the basics of crochet by looking at the photographs and diagrams in the books.
After three days of frustration (as well as a series of really odd knots that sprang from my crochet hook) I finally gave in and headed to YouTube. Within a few minutes, I had crocheted my first row of foundation chains, and then moved on to a second row of single crochet stitches. I made a simple (but wonky) blanket. For my next project, I wanted to try double crochet, so I returned to YouTube and learned it in a snap.
I’ve been kind of “making do” with those stitches ever since then. But earlier this year I wanted to learn more and expand my repertoire, so I headed back online. But there was just too much information, and it wasn’t organized or easily to refer to. My computer lives on my desk, and I crochet in different areas in the house (not by my desk) so I didn’t want to have to run to my desk with all my yarn and crochet hooks every time I wanted to try something new with crochet. If I want crochet instruction or ideas, I want to turn to my bookshelf and be able to flip through a book, find something interesting, and then refer to that page as often as I need. And I realized there were a lot of good crochet books out there, books that were a culmination of all the great things randomly pinned to Pinterest and presented on You Tube, all in a single volume.
One of those “good” crochet books is “Crochet Stitch Dictionary: 200 Essential Stitches with Step-by-Step Photos” by Sarah Hazell, published by Interweave Press.
True to its title, the book does contain 200 different crochet stitches. Each stitch is “thumbnailed” in the table of contents, and the book is color-coded: as the stitches get harder, the page accents and example photos change color. No, that isn’t essential for learning crochet, but it’s certainly a great way to organize the book (and also definitely eye candy – this is an absolutely beautiful book.)
There is some “getting started with crochet” information at the front (as is the case with most books on any craft) but there’s not too much, so experienced crocheters can flip past those pages and get to the good stuff – the Directory of Stitches.
Each page of the Directory of Stitches contains either one or two stitches, with full color photos and diagrams to round things out.
The book starts out with some basic crochet stitches, and variations on basic stitches. There were definitely a lot of stitches I have seen before, but there were quite a bit I hadn’t seen, and I loved having them all in one resource. As I said earlier, I’m a fan of flipping through a book when I need to reference something.
As the pages continue, the complexity of the stitches rises.
However, they didn’t get so complicated that I got confused, which is a big deal for me. For some reason, crochet stitches and patterns fascinate me until they begin to completely boggle my mind, and then I just retreat way back to single crochet and blanket-making. This book didn’t make me want to retreat – instead, it made me want to work my way through every single stitch in the book.
All in all, I believe this is an essential book for beginning to intermediate crocheters. The instructions are clear and concise, the photographs are very helpful, the diagrams are easy to follow, and the overall color and design of the book is gorgeous. I have already flipped through it numerous times, and I plan on leaving it on the coffee table so that I can refer to it constantly. Overall, I rate this book as highly recommended.
- Easy to refer to.
- Stitches may be too simple for advanced crocheters.
Crochet Stitch Dictionary: 200 Essential Stitches with Step-by-Step Photos by Sarah Hazell is published by Interweave Press and is available in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon.com.
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