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Books | Crochet At Home by Brett Bara

cahI’ll admit it- I consider myself a bit of a lazy crocheter. Crochet is something that I do for fun, to relax, not something I do to achieve a certain level of mastery simply for the sake of increasing my skill level. I’m sure many other hobbyists feel the same way.

I spent many years doing needlepoint as a hobby, and as a result, have spent many hours hunched over and squinting at complex stitch and color charts. The better I got at needlepoint, the more complex the charts got, and the more complex the charts got, the less interested I became in the whole process.

Crochet was my “break” from needlepoint. When I started to crochet, I promised myself I wouldn’t do anything that involved patterns or stitch guides. I just wanted to simply work the yarn with my fingers and the crochet hook, letting muscle memory take over.

I quickly mastered a few different stitches, and I have been able to crochet many, many basic things with those stitches – most notably, straight afghans, blankets for the cats, and scarves. But how many scarves can a person crochet (especially when said person lives in Southwest Florida)? Of course, I turned to the internet for some ideas. But there’s so much out there that after spending several hours searching for potential projects, I became completely overwhelmed and went back to making more scarves.

A few months ago I started referring back to the crochet books I purchased when I first began the hobby and realized books are a wonderful resource for someone interested in crochet simply because they are edited. I say “edited” meaning that there’s someone else out there who culls through all the thousands of projects out there, and then chooses just a handful, organizes them, and makes sure that the instructions are written in a concise way and that all supporting illustrations and information are provided. Basically – a good crochet book is having someone hand-select projects and deliver them to you in an easy-to-use format.

“Crochet at Home”, edited by Brett Bara, is one such book. There are several things I enjoy about this book.

The first is that every project in the book is fairly unique. By this, I mean it’s not some variation on a giant granny square. There is everything from wreaths to dolls to bowls and coasters in this book. And every project is not only beautiful (without being cheesy), but in addition none of the projects require extreme skill.

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IMG_3322Don’t get me wrong, there are many projects that are based on the granny square motif (it is a foundation of crochet, after all), but those that do include it are well thought out and designed in such a way that even if you fill your house with them, it won’t look like a crochet explosion from the 1970’s.

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IMG_3320In addition to the projects that make use of the traditional stitches and construction of crochet, there are some lovely items that introduce new approaches to crochet.

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IMG_3323And a bonus is that many of the projects in this book are very easily adapted to other projects – table runners can be adapted to shawls, bowls can be adapted into bags. The possibilities are endless.

“Crochet at Home” is a modern, inspiring book that deserves a place on any beginning to intermediate crocheter’s shelf. Overall, I rate this book as highly recommended.

Pros

  • Beautiful and appealing projects.
  • Easy to follow instructions and patterns.
  • Colorful and well-designed layout.
  • Perfect for the beginner.
  • All yarn weights represented.

 Cons

  • Projects may be too basic for very advanced crocheters.

Crochet At Home: 25 Clever Projects for Colorful Living is published by Interweave Press and is available in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon.com.

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Chel Micheline is a mixed-‐‑media artist and writer living in Southwest Florida. After receiving her Master's Degree in Media Studies in 1999, Chel spent several years as a graphic artist before deciding to focus on both writing and mixed media art. In addition to writing regular columns for several online and print publications, Chel spends significant time in her art studio working on jewelry design and various mixed media projects. In 1995, Chel began to design and maintain the website Gingerblue. Originally intended to be a multimedia art experiment, Gingerblue soon evolved into one of the very first personal journals on the internet, and also hosted several collaborative projects for other writers and artists. Over fifteen years later, Chel is still writing regularly at Gingerblue, pondering everything from paintbrushes to philosophy to life with her husband, Tom, and her daughter, Gracie.
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2 Responses to Books | Crochet At Home by Brett Bara

  1. Avatar
    Cassandra May 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    I love those matryoshkas! Almost enough for me to want to start a new hobby. 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Debbie May 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    I was so excited when this book came out! There are so many patterns to do! The dolls are very cute, and I love to crochet up different granny squares. I too love the color choices; bright happy colors, instead of the neutrals that are being used alot right now. So, it will become part of my crochet bookshelf, when I find it on sale. Thanks for the critique!