Monday, September 30, 2013

Guest Post: Get Hooked on Crochet with Five Easy Books!

For vintage chic or a vintage doily, the artful simplicity of crochet is easy to master with these top five DIY books.

Learning to crochet is a versatile skill; it can be used to make anything from accessories to furnishings, or even add a vintage-looking trim to a summer dress. The techniques are easy to pick up if you have access to a good tutorial, and DIY books help you learn the craft at your own pace and without paying for several lessons. Most offer step-by-step pictorial instructions and projects to ensure you keep progressing.

Learn to Crochet: Clear stitch diagrams and instructions, 20 simple projects to make
(Rowan Yarns, 2005) – £6.99
This portable-sized book is small enough to take anywhere, perfect for learning on the go or on holiday. The basics on how to hold a hook and yarn are shown step-by-step, as well as offering advice on what yarns, threads and sizes of hooks are suitable for different projects. Each stitch is laid out with diagrams and clear instructions accompanied by colour artwork. 'Learn to Crochet' also features 20 first time projects, such as accessories and clothing, taking you from easy to advanced to help you see results.

Crochet Unravelled: A Clear and Concise Guide to Learning Crochet
(Pottage Publishing, 2005) - £6.99
'Crochet Unravelled' combines step-by-step crochet patterns, which help you master each technique and put them together to develop the craft. The book includes tutorials on how to hold the hook and yarn, make basic stitches, understand patterns and even features an American conversion chart for patterns from the USA. 'Crochet Unravelled' is full of illustrations and 11 small projects to get you started, making it accessible for children as well as adults. It also has the added bonus of providing examples for both left- and right-handed crafters, which makes it unique and a must-have for the former!
by *Leanda

First Crochet
(Collins & Brown, 2011) – £7.99
This book describes itself as the 'ultimate beginners guide' to learning crochet. Combining clear instructions with modern step-by-step photographs, and even fold-out tabs with vital techniques, 'First Crochet' is ideal for quick reference. With a detailed explanation of the basics, such as how to hold a hook, this book then guides you through fundamental techniques of creating intricate patterns and individual effects. 'First Crochet' also contains over 20 projects to begin as soon as you have mastered the basics, including stylish scarves, bags and cushions.

The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet: Learn to Crochet with More Than 30 Cool, Easy Patterns
(Watson-Guptill, 2008) – £12.99
The 'Chicks with Sticks Guide' boasts that 'anyone can learn to crochet in just a weekend'. The Chicks are not only informative; their anecdotes and wit make learning enjoyable at the same time. Leading you first through an introduction on the basic tools and materials, the book is then laid out in a range of lessons, each introducing different skills and new patterns to keep you progressing. Including over 30 contemporary projects to work on, ranging from belts to jumpers, this guide is best appreciated by those advanced beginners who have done a little crochet before or are re-learning the skill.

Crochet Workshop: Learn How to Crochet with 20 Inspiring Projects
(Quadrille Publishing, 2012) – £16.99
'Crochet Workshop' takes a comprehensive approach, building on techniques learnt in previous sections to produce more intricate weaves and designs. This book takes you from the absolute basics to completing its 20 projects, through colour photographs, images and helpful charts. As the title suggests, this book is a workshop, meaning you will see results as you progress. By the end you will have mastered a range of crochet techniques and have a nice selection of items to show for it! The projects begin with hats and scarves to help you accomplish the fundamental stitches, moving on to thicker weaves, such as laptop cases, before culminating in delicate lace crochet.

With advice and designs for beginners, these books are ideal to help you see results from your skills and will become a well-thumbed point of reference on your shelves. With so many accessible books to help you master the art of crochet, there is nothing stopping you from getting hooked!

This article was written by Jenny, a dedicated crafts blogger from Leeds.
Mami's 3 Little Monkeys was compensation for this publication. 

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