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101 Crochet Stitch Patterns & Edgings is a stitch guide, and, like most Annie’s Attic books, it is paperback and filled with glossy pages with a combination of illustrations and full color photos. The book is organized into 8 sections:
- Before You Begin,
- Swatches 1-77,
- A to Z Sampler Afghan,
- Swatches 78-81,
- Patchwork Squares Afghan,
- Edgings 82-101,
- Basics, and
- Crochet Stitch Guide.
Before You Begin provides a helpful overview of a crochet stitch guide, explaining what stitch multiples are and showing the same swatch in different sizes to demonstrate gauge.
Swatches 1-77 is the largest section and features most of the stitches. Each stitch pattern includes notes explaining how many colors are used and whether turning chains count as stitches. Special stitches are usually explained at the beginning of each pattern. Each swatch includes a large, colorful photo, and a maximum of one pattern is presented on each page, so there is plenty of white space to allow for easy reading. There are some of the standard stitches you might expect to see in a comprehensive stitch guide, but there are also some stitches I haven’t seen before. There is a nice range of open work (including several pineapple patterns), solid and textured stitches, and ripples/chevrons. My favorites in this section are Swatch 21, Swatch 25, Swatch 31, Swatch 35, and Swatch 41. It is a bit of a bummer that the patterns are not only unnamed, but are also referred to as swatches rather than as stitches. Swatches 1-47 are authorless, while swatches 48-77 are credited to Darla Sims. This last group of swatches is used for the A to Z Sampler Afghan, so exact stitch counts are provided for sampler blocks. It isn’t clear what A to Z has to do with the pattern, since all the stitches are numbered :), but instructions for joining and edging are included.
Swatches 78-81 are credited to Susan Lowman, and because they are used for the Patchwork Squares Afghan, exact stitch counts are also provided for blocks. As with the other afghan, instructions for assembling and the border are included. Edgings 82-101 are credited to Bendy Carter and include instructions for dealing with corners. Each edging is photographed with a solid row of white and an edging row in another color.
The Basics section is more comprehensive than what you find in many contemporary stitch guides. The information is presented in a lesson format and the topics covered include yarn, hooks, making a chain, counting stitches, the foundation row, the basic stitches (single, double, half double, treble, and slip stitch), bead crochet, changing colors, and reading patterns. This section is illustrated but also includes photos of stitch swatches.
This book doesn’t lay flat, so it is challenging to read and crochet at the same time. Also, the stitches aren’t organized in any way that is memorable and since they are also unnamed, it is hard to find a favorite stitch once you put the book down. The patterns are written in U.S. pattern abbreviations, and don’t include international stitch symbols. In spite of these issues, 101 Crochet Stitch Patterns & Edgings is a really solid stitch guide (especially for those of you who don’t already have more than 20 others as I do!). I would especially recommend it as a first stitch guide because of the information contained in the Before You Begin and Basics sections, and to crocheters who love to make blankets because of the two sampler projects and the edgings. For these two groups of crocheters, I would give this book 4 stars. For crocheters with several American stitch guides in their collection, I would recommend looking it over in person first to see if there are enough new (to you) stitches to make this book a worthwhile purchase.
Full disclosure: A free review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.
Giveaway I’m giving away my review copy of 101 Crochet Stitch Patterns & Edgings, courtesy of DRG. This giveaway is open to all readers with a mailing address in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, May 16.