This post contains affiliate links.

Today is International Crochet Day, so proclaimed by Jimbo’s Front Porch a few years back.  (By the way, Jimbo is hosting an awesome giveaway, too, so you should stop by!)  I’m doing my little part to promote crochet in this part of the world by sharing several crochet themed posts (each with a giveaway) today, so read on for details…

Beginner Crochet Book Reviews

If you’re never crocheted, perhaps today will inspire to get started.  I have two new beginner crochet books to review, and I’ll be hosting giveaways for both books at the end of this post.

 

Crochet 101

I recently received a review copy of Crochet 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily through Step-by-Step Instruction by Deborah Burger from the nice folks at Creative Publishing International.  Crochet 101 is a photo filled book that also includes access to online tutorials.  The book’s tagline is “a workshop in a book.”  The book starts with the very basics and includes projects at every stage.  The first projects are written out with step-by-step instructions, and later the projects are written using pattern abbreviations, chart symbols, and annotations to help beginners along.  The book includes 16 progressively more challenging projects for beginners.

What I like about this book:

  • Crochet 101 is a spiral hardcover, which allows the book to lay flat so you can read while crocheting.
  • While the book includes plenty of pictures, it doesn’t skimp on text.  If you learn from a combination of the written word and photos, this is a great book for you.  (Access to supplementary online videos is also included.)
  • Each project explains what you’ll learn by making it, provides a clear list of materials, and includes pictures and annotations to help a beginner along.
  • There is a great section on blocking, which is rarely covered in crochet books.
  • Although the book is aimed at beginners, it doesn’t shy away from demonstrating a variety of crochet techniques, including filet crochet and Tunisian crochet.

What I don’t like or what could be improved:

  • There is very limited use of white space, which means that the text is densely packed in on each page.  If you are crocheting and reading, it might be difficult to find your place on the page after looking away.
  • The projects are fairly typical beginner projects, and don’t use a very inspired color palette.  As a result, I don’t think the projects alone would draw anyone to this book.

Overall:

Crochet 101 is a solid book for anyone wanting a thorough introduction to crochet basics.  It’s short height makes it slightly more portable than many crochet books (although, as a spiral-bound hardcover, it is a bit heavier than other books).  It includes projects, tips, and additional online access to supplement the book.  If you like to read about the “why” when learning something new, this may be the beginner crochet book for you.

 

Simple Crocheting

The folks at St. Martin’s Press sent me a review copy of Erika Knight‘s Simple Crocheting: A Complete How-to-Crochet Workshop with 20 Projects, which takes an artsy approach to sharing the basics of crochet, using a combination of step-by-step illustrations, fashion friendly projects, and design tips from an established knitwear designer.

What I like about this book:

  • The book layout is designed to appeal to your inner artist.  A harmonious, neutral color palette ties together all the projects and the swatches.  “Ripped” pages with notes are photographed atop swatches, projects are photographed beautifully, etc.
  • The book includes a nice introductory stitch guide.
  • Several of the patterns include a “masterclass” section where additional tips and variations are provided.
  • Although the book is aimed at beginners, it includes beginner, easy, and intermediate level projects, so you can “grow” with the book.

What I don’t like or what could be improved:

  • The book relies on illustrations to teach the crochet skills.  If you don’t learn as easily from illustrations, this may be a challenge.
  • The book is paperback so it doesn’t lay flat for reading and crocheting.  However, it does include cover flaps so you can mark your place.

Overall:

Simple Crocheting is beautiful book that will inspire you to improve your crochet skills.  Many beginners will need to supplement the book with YouTube or online photo tutorials since illustrations are sometimes unclear to a newbie.  If you are a beginner who is inspired by the look of well photographed projects, this might be the beginner crochet book for you.

Full disclosure: Free review copies of these books were provided by the publishers. 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.

Giveaways

Thanks to the generous folks at St. Martin’s Press and Creative Publishing International, I’ll be giving away my review copies of  Simple Crocheting: A Complete How-to-Crochet Workshop with 20 Projects and Crochet 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily through Step-by-Step Instruction, respectively.  This giveaway is open to all readers with a U.S. mailing address.  Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, September 19, 2012.

International Crochet Day 2012, Part 1: Beginner Crochet Book Reviews and Giveaways

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