Today I’m reviewing Crocheted Granny Squares (Twenty to Make), the latest book by Val Pierce in the Twenty to Make series. I recently received a review copy from Search Press. (I previously interviewed Val and reviewed four of her other books in this series: Mini Christmas Crochet here, Knitted Mug Hugs here, and Crocheted Bears and Knitted Bears here.)
Like the other books in this series, Crocheted Granny Squares is a book focused on projects, not techniques. The small size and light weight make it portable for crocheting on the go. Beginners will be terrified by the intro, which mistakenly says that “Each square takes only a few hours to make…” (!) Not to fear, granny squares like the ones in this book (most of which are 4 round patterns) usually take just a few minutes each.
After the intro, the book has a short Hints & Tips section, which explains the difference in terminology between US and UK abbreviations. The patterns in this book are written with the US terms first and the UK terms in parenthesis (e.g., “31 dc (UK tr) into ring”). The motifs were crocheted with DMC Petra cotton thread, but suggestions for both US and UK hooks sizes to use with different weights of yarn are included. Val also wisely recommends weaving in the ends as you go, rather than at the end of large projects, to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
The book defines granny square broadly, and includes 15 square motif patterns, 1 triangle motif pattern, and 2 patterns each for hexagon and circle motifs. The patterns don’t indicate a difficulty level, but most use simple stitch combinations so should be within the reach of any beginner crocheter who can crochet in the round.
In addition to the motif patterns, the book includes instructions for 9 projects made with motifs: a vase cover, a cushion, a baby blanket, hand warmers, a pincushion, the Daisy Loop Scarf (my favorite project, made with the lacy Daisy Loop square), a shoulder bag, and a table mat.
This book is ideal for a crochet or granny square newbie, or for a commuter crocheter since it can easily fit in a purse or other small bag. The vibrant colors, fun backgrounds, and cute projects make this book visually appealing.
The down sides: Unfortunately, the patterns aren’t listed on Ravelry yet, but you can see many of the motifs on the book cover. Some newer pattern readers may find it confusing to see both US and UK terms in the same pattern. The book uses only pattern abbreviations and no stitch diagrams. The use of yrh (yarn round hook) instead of yo (yarn over) may be confusing to some American crocheters.
Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for new crocheter or a granny square pattern collector who would like some patterns for crocheting on the go. If you are more interested in techniques or have crocheted oodles of grannies already, this book may not be the right fit.
I’m giving away my review copy of Crocheted Granny Squares (Twenty to Make) by Val Pierce, courtesy of Search Press. This giveaway is open to all readers. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, December 16, 2012.
Leave a comment telling me about your granny square experience: are you a granny pro or a newbie? What projects do you usually make with grannies? For additional entries, like Underground Crafter on Facebook, follow Underground Crafter on Twitter, join the Underground Crafter group on Ravelry, and/or share a link to this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. (And then, leave a comment here, on Facebook, on Twitter, or in the Ravelry group letting me know what you did!) One winner will be chosen at random.