Saturday, September 15, 2018

Crochet 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily through Step-by-Step Instruction

Crochet 101 is a new tutorial book in the Look, Learn & Create series by Deborah Burger and Dee Stanziano. Released 1st sept, 2018 by Quarry Books, it's 192 pages and available in ebook, paperback and spiral bound formats.  Purchase of the book gives access to online tutorials and additional content, which is a neat additional support for the beginning crocheter.

I'm a lifelong fan of fibre arts and crafts.  For people who aren't so lucky as to have a handy family teacher or friend nearby, well written tutorial books can be a great substitute. This book is clearly written in accessible and non-confusing language with clear illustrative photos.  It presupposes zero familiarity with crocheting and starts with the basics. 

The introduction provides a visual and written description of tools and materials. There's an included gauge chart and photographs of different (well defined) types of yarn.  Vocabulary terms are well presented in sidebars which are tied to the pages or projects they're referring to, to minimize confusion.

The instruction part of the book begins by showing how to hold the hook and yarn, and refreshingly says 'there is no absolute correct way', do what feels most natural. There are also useful sidebars with troubleshooting advice and tips scattered throughout the book. The very beginning technique and glossary sections cover roughly 10% of the page content. and are followed by some really clever and appropriate project tutorials.  The chainstitched scarf project really made me grin.  I'm a long way away from being a beginner, but I am going to make a few of them for myself or for gift giving.

The next section combines several techniques into slightly more advanced projects (hats with crochet flower embellishments, patterned projects, combined stitches, etc).  These projects are also well within the realm of possibility for a keen beginner.

The next section provides an overview of higher gauge work including threadwork doilies, filet crochet and an intro to Tunisian crochet.

With any solo-learner tutorial it's vitally important that the book be as error free and clearly written (and photographed) as humanly possible to avoid overwhelming frustration for the reader.  I would have no trepidation giving this book to a complete beginner. 

I am also impressed that more advanced crocheters will find appealing projects which are useful and beautiful.  I really liked the felted mug coasters as well as many of the other projects.

Five stars, unreservedly recommended.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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