Crochet Chic: Haute Crochet Scarves, Hats & BagsBy Francine Toukou, published by Lark Books (November 1, 2007)
Firstly, this is a hardcover book, and that gets my vote straight away. I love hardcover books, not only because they look and feel so nice, but because wear well over time.
Sometimes it seems that a book has a whole heap of amazing things in it, but only one or two patterns that people would feel comfortable wearing in public, or that people would be happy to buy in the supplies for and take the time to make. The patterns in this book are very usable, lots of bags and scarves – and some more unusual patterns such as the Victoria Collar.
This book gets another big tick from me since it looks as if most, if not all of the projects work up very quickly. Crochet is great for that anyhow, but team up a quick technique with a speedy pattern and I am very satisfied. Another big plus is that all of the projects are made using crochet, but not many of them look like they are crocheted. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of the one hook method of playing with yarn, but so many patterns look like granny squares all sewn together, or seem to be made into things that don’t hang or wear well. I can forgive the two patterns in this book that ARE actually made of granny squares all joined together because the rest of the projects use a combination of embellishments (pom poms, fringes, ruffles, flowers, appliqué, bobbles or a contrasting edge), a variety of yarns (mohair, ribbon yarns) and techniques (felting), and of course well written and designed patterns to create items that look and feel gorgeous.
In addition to seducing the reader with so many great projects, this book goes on to educate any reader new to crochet as to actually HOW to do the stitches and techniques used for the projects. This section includes information on the very basics of crochet, how to do the stitches mentioned, how to join things together, and how to make the embellishments. It even has a section on garment care and keeping your projects looking nice. On top of all this, it has another section that includes handy information on gauge, hooks and different kinds of yarn.
This is a stylish book full of projects that are quick, easy – it is well designed to showcase the projects and to make it easy for people to make them.
About the author: Kate is a busy mother of three (soon to be four) and has far too many craft projects on the go at any one time. These could include, but are not limited to, crochet, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.