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Book Review | Mollie Makes Crochet

Reported by Angela Butler-Carter

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

Do you want colorful illustrations? Wonderful projects that are easy to accomplish, and beautiful pictures? Then Mollie Makes Crochet is for you.

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As a crocheter (and I use that title quite lightly), to me this book was refreshing and a delight.

The projects were simple and many of them were great new ideas for projects that I would never have thought of to crochet. There is so much information included. The book is easy to use because it is organized by project and then by technique, making this a great reference book. This makes the usability of the book very long lasting. The only real downside to this book is that some of the illustrations can be very confusing in terms of direction of the hook.

This would be a great addition to anyone’s crochet library both for its fun patterns and as a reference.

Mollie Makes Crochet: 20+ Cute Projects for the Home Plus Handy Tips and Tricks is published by Interweave Press and available in hardcover from Amazon.com for around $13.

Book | Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

Reported by Cassandra Darwin

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

I was so thrilled to be able to review the “Mollie Makes Woodland Friends” book! The book includes 20 different projects, all featuring the cutest creatures in the forest.

Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

Projects include gifts and home decorating items like a “Sew Faux Happy Log Pouch” jewelry roll, “Sew Sweet Hedgehog Sewing Set”, “Reverse Applique Mug Rugs”, and a “3D Felt Badger Pillow”. The project techniques range from knitting and crochet, to sewing, embroidery, and paper crafting.

Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

I read through the projects and picked out a number that I am excited to get started on. The book covers so many different skills that I think any crafty person can find a project that they will be excited to begin. The “Felt Applique Napkin Ring Portraits” (below) caught my eye. Not because I desperately need a set of napkin rings with adorable animals, but because the critters are so cute and you can use the pattern to make any number of projects. I am thinking of leaving off the napkin ring portion on the back and making the embroidered felt animals into Christmas ornaments.

Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

And because I am always looking for ways to use up some of my fabric scraps, I love the “Machine Applique Animal Pictures” (below). The step-by-step instructions for this project are easy to follow and include helpful tips. The projects include a detailed list of required materials and photos that highlight all the important instructions.

Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

One of my favorite aspects of this book is the pattern section at the back of the book. Every project includes patterns for the different shapes, which you can scan, enlarge, and print or use a photocopier to do the same thing. I can see myself using these patterns over and over again because the woodland theme is a favorite of mine and I especially like the animals and shapes featured in this book.

Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

There is also a helpful stitching guide for all of the embroidery and applique projects. Although I originally thought that I would use the book to make a few projects for my daughter’s room (which has a woodland theme), I now want to get started on a few projects for myself! Some of the projects in this book are fairly basic (pillows, garlands, quilts), but the animal characters and patterned shapes are what really make this book special. I would highly recommend this book to any crafter that favors woodland creatures or wants to create some fabulous gifts.

PROS:

  • The patterns included in this book are unique, and have the potential to be used over and over again!
  • Project instructions are clear and concise with great photos and helpful hints.
  • Covers a wide range of crafting techniques (sewing, crochet, paper crafts, etc.).

CONS:

  • Covers a wide range of crafting techniques. I can’t crochet, so I’ll have to have a friend make those projects for me.
  • If the woodland theme is not for you then you should probably check out a different “Mollie Makes” book.

Mollie Makes Woodland Friends” is published by Interweave and is currently available on Amazon.com for around $10.

Books | Crochet At Home by Brett Bara

Reported by Chel Micheline

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

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I’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: 25 Clever Projects for Colorful Living“, 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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Don’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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In 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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And 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.