I’m excited to share a crochet book review with a giveaway, so read on for details!
This post contains affiliate links. A free review copy of A Garden of Shawls was provided to me by Occhi Blu Press. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.
A Garden of Shawls is a pattern collection of crochet lace shawls by author, teacher, Craftsy instructor, and designer, Karen Whooley. The book opens will thumbnails of the twelve shawls which serve as a table of contents.
In Karen’s introduction, she shares her lifelong interest in Italian lace. (Like me, Karen learned to crochet from her grandmother as a child.) Karen’s conversational tone in the introduction and elsewhere spreads her enthusiasm to the reader.
The first section, Before You Get Started, includes chatty and understandable information about gauge, substituting thicker yarns, reading charts and pattern abbreviations, and blocking.
The book continues on to the twelve patterns in the collection (three of which are rated as “easy” and nine of which are rated as “intermediate”). Each pattern includes at least one full page photo of the design on the model and several, large photographs of details like edgings or pattern stitches. Most patterns include multiple full page photos. You can see each shawl from several angles and the photographs are beautifully shot in an outdoor setting that is appropriate to the book’s theme.
Each pattern includes a conversational introduction where Karen shares her inspiration or special features of the design. The patterns also include Skill Level, Finished Size, Materials, Gauge, and Pattern Notes. Special stitches are described within the pattern, rather than at the end, which means you don’t need to flip back and forth while crocheting. The patterns are written in U.S. pattern abbreviations in clearly organized sections (such as Increase Section) when appropriate. Each pattern also includes a large schematic of the shawl shape with measurements. At the end of the written pattern, there is an international stitch symbol key and the pattern is also presented as an international stitch symbol chart. Some patterns also include links to relevant tutorials.
You can see all of the patterns in the book on the Ravelry source page here. The designs are made in lace and fingering weight yarns from indie dyers, but the Before You Get Started section explains substitution if you don’t have access to these yarns. The book ends with a Resources section that includes more information about the yarns used in the patterns, blocking supplies, hooks, and notions. A brief bio of Karen is included on the last page.
Although most patterns are described as intermediate, if you have patience and a knowledge of basic crochet stitches, you should be able to complete these projects. The book is beautifully presented and provides plenty of crochet information. The organization, with special stitch patterns and international stitch symbols keys within the pattern, makes it more “user friendly” than some pattern collections, too.
A Garden of Shawls is currently accepting pre-orders through March here. You can purchase the PDF ebook or a print + ebook edition (for the same price!). Everyone who pre-orders a copy will be entered into some great kit giveaways and the first 50 print orders within the U.S. also get a goody bag.
So now that you’ve read the review and checked out the pattern pictures on Ravelry, I’m sure you’d like to get your hands on a copy of A Garden of Shawls! Karen has set aside a PDF ebook copy for one lucky reader!
This giveaway is open to all readers worldwide, except where prohibited by law. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. One winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted via the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will receive one PDF ebook copy of A Garden of Shawls, courtesy of Occhi Blu Press. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway