Friday, January 9, 2009

Not your Mama's Crochet

Here is the next book in my review. It has been awhile, and I am sorry, I will try to get the rest of my books up here with a complete run down of what is in them and how well they are put together.
So, Not You Mama's Crochet is supposed to be about fun new patterns that are nothing like stuff made by your mother. I find that some of the patterns do fall under this category, but the others are just rehashed patterns that we have seen everywhere.
We begin with Chap 1 entitled "Crochet 101". It is the obligatory chapter of how to do your basic crochet stitches. They try to liven it up with a lot of slang and cute cliches, but overall it has decent pictures of the stitches, I just don't know if a beginner would pick up very well because they do not include pictures for every step of each stitch. For example, the only two pictures for treble crochet are the first yo, and the finished stitch. Other books, such as the Encyclopedia of Crochet (see other reviews) give clear pictures for every step in both right and left handed and I would recommend that to learn rather than this book.
Chap. 2, "Stitches to Make Your Knees Weak" now gives actual black and white photos of all the basic stitches worked up in swatches. These are the author's 12 favorite stitches and they include a granny square and lacy flower.
Chap 3, "All about Yarn" is just as it states, all about yarn. I find that for most novices, trying different yarns is a bad idea. I think the novice should stick with acrylic or cotton until they get comfortable with their stitches, because if you are starting crocheting with, lets say, a boucle, you are going to give up real quick. But this is a very good comprehensive chapter that does a better job of explaining different yarn and techniques you can try to make your own and I enjoyed reading it.
Chap 4, "One Hook or Two?" is meant to give you the run down of the basic crochet hook and different gauges they come in. It also goes over a list of must haves for your crochet basket.
Chap 5, "Be a Fashion Designer, (Or Just Look Like One)" gives a whole range of body measurements for you to take if you plan on fitting any of your garments. I don't think this chapter really belongs in this book. When you follow a pattern for a garment you have never made before I am not sure how you are going to adjust it for your size. It's not like you can make it and then cut it up (hello, crochet). It's a great intro into fitting clothes but would be better in a beginner's sewing book.
Chap 6, "Ready, Set, Crochet" goes over the anatomy of a crochet pattern and all of the lovely little symbols and abbreviations you will encounter when working with one.
You then move in to the Projects. This book is interesting because all of the patterns have a color photo in the middle of the book and then a handdrawn picture on the page with the pattern. One thing that is nice is that they point out the cost to make it if you are using the yarn they suggest. One thing that is annoying is that instead of sticking with the difficulty level of "Beginner", "Intermediate", they use "cute" alternatives such as "Flirtation", I really don't want to have to keep finding the page that shows me what these words means.
Now for a rundown of the patterns:
1. Market Bag: Simple crocheted bag that we have seen everywhere, but a nice beginner pattern. It also shows you a variation of the pattern as done as a dishcloth.
2. Preppy/Hippie Scarf: Cute striped scarf with fringe. See it before but it is still cute.
3. Toque/Beanie: What can I say, it's a beanie.
4. Spiral Scarf: you can get a version of this pattern for free from Lion Brand, nothing new yet.
5. Vest: as worn on the model looks quite cute. It's not a v-neck 80s reject, but an updated high
neck version with no buttons.
6. Chunky Scarf: Boring, another scarf, this one in a openwork pattern.
7. Capelet: This too have seen before, waiting for not my mama's crochet still.
8. Plaid Skirt: I still dont understand why people would design, make or wear a crocheted skirt, it just seems a bad idea all around, but if you are going to make one, please avoid this
"hookerish" one. It is tight crochet at the top, then once you pass your butt area it turns see through with a butt high slit. Not cute
9. Kimono top: finally something new and cute. I really like the look of this kimono, will be trying it out soon.
10. Granny Sqaure Cardigan: This is mesh and granny squares put together, not really digging it.
11. Shrug: Funky with its flutter sleeves, see it done already.
12. Boyfriend Sweater: I like the fit of this sweater, it is cute in its boxiness. Defintely try this one.
13. Skull Motif: very cool Day of The Dead looking skull. I have made it and it is easy and works up fast.
14. Cozy Peacoat: Cute and clever. Would wear it.
15. Throw: Fuzzy and weird looking, don't think I would make this.
16. Page Boy Hat: Dont like the yarn used, makes it look clownish, could be cute but is not on my list right now.
17. Daisy Neck Warmer: Cute idea, more like a necklace, can't see that keeping anyone's neck warm.
18. Daisy Pin: Super basic flower pattern with a pin through the back.
19. Two bowling pin looking people: Weird yet kind of cute amigurumi people.
20. Belt: boring and done before
21. Fringe Scarf: guess what? another scarf... with fringe. enough said
22. Who Hat: my most favorite pattern in here, but if an adult wears it, it better be halloween, a multi layered beanie with whimsical top. would make for my daughter.
23. Another shrug: this one is short sleeved and still not grewat looking
24. Eco-tote: anyone who has the time and inking to make a purse out of grocery bags, this is the pattern for you. Sorry but I just couldn't go out in public with that.
25. Crocheted Bling: actual title of this pattern. Cute crochet jewelry, super slutty picture that shows it off.
26. Jean Round Rug: only thing new about this rag rug is that it is made with old denim.
27. Felted Purse: boring rectangle shape, but good for a first felting project.
28. Yet another scarf: with fringe... again... but it is felted... still a scarf.
29. Cat toys: looks more like coughed up hair balls then crocheted toys.
All in all, the patterns are somewhat cute even if they are reused and not quite up to date as they were hoping to be. However, you can get this book for under $4 right now on Amazon, so I would definitely purchase it for that price. Click on the title of this post to be taken to the Amazon page with the book for sale.

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