Every Tuesday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be reviewing crochet books. Today’s post features a giveaway of my review copy of Crochet with Color by Kazuko Ryokai, courtesy of North Light Books.
I recently received a review copy of Crochet With Color: 25 Contemporary Projects for the Yarn Lover by Kazuko Ryokai from North Light Books. This is the English translation of a Japanese book published in 2008. If you have had access to Japanese crochet pattern books, the basic format of Crochet with Color will be familiar to you.
The book opens with a 40+ page project gallery. Each project layout is two pages and includes a picture of the full project displayed along with close ups of several project details. The projects are organized into two sections: Domestic Bliss Crochet (home decor) and Out and About (accessories for women and children).
The next section, Crochet Techniques and Instructions, features information such as tips for reading symbol patterns, different methods for starting a project in the round, and joining motifs. The rest of the book focuses on the patterns for each project. There is a small photo of each project (so you don’t need to flip back to the project gallery), a list of materials, and general instructions about construction. Then patterns are shown through crochet stitch symbols. The materials list is general – e.g., “49 yards (20 g) of aran-weight (#4 medium) merino yarn in purple for grapes” – so you can easily identify appropriate yarns for each project.
This book, like most of the Japanese crochet books I’ve seen, is delightful and inspiring to look through. The color palette is bright and cheery, the photo styling is wonderful, and the projects, while not overly complex, are more interesting than what you might find in most American advanced beginner project books. Kazuko’s designs make great use of crocheted adornments like flowers. Ravelry members can see several projects from the Japanese edition of the book here. My favorite projects are the Basketweave Pillows, the Daisy Throw, the Garland Scarf (called Lariat on Ravelry), and the English Garden Scarf.
On the downside, as a small yet thick paperback, it is difficult to keep the book open while crocheting. Those who don’t like stitch symbols will have a hard time following along as written pattern abbreviations are not included.
Crochet with Color is a great book for an advanced beginner crocheter who has the basic stitches down but is able to read crochet stitch symbols (or willing to learn how). Working through these projects will introduce new stitches and colorplay. More advanced crocheters might find the patterns too simple, but would still enjoy looking through this book for ideas for adding color to their projects, displaying their projects around the house, and using crochet adornments to add a finishing touch to a project. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m hosting a giveaway for my review copy of Crochet With Color: 25 Contemporary Projects for the Yarn Lover by Kazuko Ryokai, courtesy of North Light Books/F+W Media.
This giveaway is open to all readers. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, March 10, 2013. To enter: Leave a comment telling me about your experience with crochet stitch symbols and/or colorwork. Are you a pro at reading stitch symbols or a newbie? Do you fear color or love to combine it? 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. Good luck!