Every Tuesday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be reviewing crochet books. Today’s post features a giveaway of my review copy of Granny Squares by Gohr, Sturm, and Wilder, courtesy of Trafalgar Square Books.
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My regular readers know I have a soft spot in my heart for the granny square. When I first learned to read patterns, a little over 10 years ago, the granny was one of the first I learned and it was certainly the first pattern where I could claim mastery. To this day, I find great comfort and relaxation in following motif patterns.
Granny Squares: Over 25 Creative Ways to Crochet the Classic Pattern by Stephanie Gohr, Melanie Sturm, and Barbara Wilder is a book that is designed for a crocheter who is attracted to the type of bright, colorful, and simple crochet projects which are all over Pinterest. The book was originally published in German in 2011 and Trafalgar Square Books released this translation to the American market in 2012.
The book opens with a short preface by Stephanie, Melanie, and Barbara. The first section, Focus on Granny Squares, contains 21 square motif patterns. (Actually, 23, but two are simple variations in colors.) Each pattern includes a pattern written with US crochet abbreviations and a chart in international stitch symbols. The square samples are mostly in vibrant colors, or in on-trend pastels like pink and grey. The layout seems to focus primarily on limiting the number of pages in this section. There is very little white space and as soon as a pattern finishes, the next one starts right up, often in the same column. I was comfortable with this but a reader with poor eyesight might have difficultly following some of the patterns. I would recommend that a newbie pattern reader use highlighter tape or cover up parts of the page that aren’t in use to avoid confusion.
The next chapter is Timeless Projects from Granny Squares, which includes instructions for making 26 projects from the motif patterns in the previous chapter. There are 17 home decor projects, 4 bags/cases, and 5 women’s accessories. Many of the project pages share tips on sizing. Unlike the previous section, each project has its own page or pages, as necesary. Besides a beautiful and bright picture of the finished project, the instructions for each project include a detailed materials list. As you might expect, the yarns used are German, but the description provides information about fiber content and put up so you can find a sutiable substitute.
The final section, Technical Information, includes a list of abbreviations (along with translation from US to UK abbreviations). This section also shares written instructions (and sometimes progress photos) of various techniques and stitches used in the book, such as beginning with a chain ring or magic ring, basic stitches (dc, hdc, tr, and relief double crochet), decreasing, and techniques for joining squares.
Overall, Granny Squares is an attractive book that would appeal to a granny newbie or advanced beginner crocheter that likes working with modular projects and color work. A granny square pro will probably want more patterns (or increasing complexity in designs) and a larger selection of tips and tricks. The inclusion of the stitch symbols makes this a great book if you are a visual learner or are learning to read stitch symbols. Although this would probably be considered a booklet (at only 80 pages), the hardcover binding makes it feel more substantial and durable. The book fits easily in my project bag, so I think it would be an ideal book for a crocheter who does a lot of work on the go. Overall, I would give this book 4 stars if you’ve been wanting to dive into granny squares. If you already have a sizeable collection of granny patterns, I would give the book 3 stars.
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.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m hosting a giveaway for my review copy of Granny Squares: Over 25 Creative Ways to Crochet the Classic Pattern by Stephanie Gohr, Melanie Sturm, and Barbara Wilder, courtesy of Trafalgar Square Books. This giveaway is open to all readers. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, March 24, 2013.