Friday, April 3, 2009

The Happy Hooker

Stitch'n'bitch The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller

Contents: A brief history of crochet - Tools of crochet - Making the basic stitches - More advanced stitches and How to add yarn - Increasing, decreasing and working in a circle - How to read a crochet chart and Fancy stitches - Color work and Filet crochet - Blocking and Sewing pieces together - How to read a crochet pattern and Abbreviations (the book covers a lot of ground so this is just a taste of the contents!)

ISBN: 0761139850 / 978-0761139850
Pages: 256
Language: English
Flickr search: debbie stoller + crochet
Buy it: amazon.co.uk - amazon.com - bookdepository - play

The first part of the book is all about the techniques. Everything is explained very clearly and simply. The pictures and diagrams are also very precise. The conversational style makes you want to give it a go. And it does a very good job in my opinion. I'd been trying to learn to crochet for a year until this book crossed my path and taught me to crochet. Just like that! Sort of.

It comprises pretty much anything a beginner 'hooker' could want to know - and quite a few things that the more seasoned one sometimes need to go back to.

The second part of the book is all about the patterns. For each project the first spread has a large picture of the final project and a page like the one above. There is a short introduction to the inspiration for each project (they are all designed by different designers), a sidebar with the measurements of the final project, description of materials (yarn, hook, notions), gauge and special stitches. The patterns are all very clear and fairly easy to follow -of course, if you've just learnt to crochet you probably won't jump straight onto a cardigan - start with a scarf or a shawl.

For each pattern there is also a diagram and/or sample pattern which is very helpful in instances where you can't get a grip on the written instructions. Knowing how to read a crochet diagram is very useful - luckily the book teaches this in part one!

A few examples of the projects to make; there's lots of variety and something for everybody (even the guys!): scarves and shawls, hats, bags, tops, bikini, accessories, softies and a sock monkey baby set. Some of the designers behind the patterns include: Julie Holetz, Camilla Engman, Cat Mazza, Linda Permann and Ileana Rodriguez.

If you want to learn to crochet, this is one of the best books there is. It covers everything you need to know. And when you've crocheted for a while you probably find yourself going back to it from time to time too brush up on stitches or other that you don't use regularly. This is definitely a book that your personal crochet library won't be complete without.

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