I’m sharing a review of two crochet motif pattern collections from St. Martin’s Press, along with a giveaway for one of the books. Read on for details!
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. Free review copies of 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet: The Ultimate Mix-and-Match Patterns in Eye-Popping Colors and 150 All-Time Favorite Crochet Blocks were provided to me by St. Martin’s 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.
It’s no secret that I love to crochet motifs, so I was excited to get my hands on two large pattern collections from St. Martin’s Press.
75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet: The Ultimate Mix-and-Match Patterns in Eye-Popping Colors is another vibrant and inspiring pattern collection by Leonie Morgan. Previously I’ve reviewed her 100 Colorful Granny Squares to Crochet (here) and 100 Colorful Ripple Stitches to Crochet (here).
The book opens with a Foreward by Leonie, which is very welcoming. The About This Book section describes the features of the book’s layout and its organization. The book continues on to a visual Hexagon Selector which is organized by size (7″/18 cm, 6″/15 cm, and 5″/13 cm) and includes a thumbnail of each hexagon. (These sizes are based on using a U.S. Size H-8/5 mm crochet hook with light weight yarn.) This is a great way to look for projects that catch your eye as well as to find hexagons of the same size that you can mix and match into the same project. The book then moves into the patterns. Each pattern includes Skill Level, Size, a visual color key (along with keys for color variations) and both written instructions using U.S. pattern abbreviations and charted instructions using international stitch symbols. The patterns are actually arranged in order of difficulty, which is why the Hexagon Selector is so helpful in finding hexagons of the same size. There are 24 Beginner hexagon patterns, 24 Intermediate hexagon patterns, and 22 Advanced hexagon patterns. All of the hexagon patterns feature a large photo of the hexagon, but many also feature full-page photos of the hexagons in different color palettes shown together. In addition to the hexagon patterns, there are five projects.
After the patterns, there are several reference sections that would be helpful to newer crocheters. The Materials and Notions section provides a solid background on selecting yarn, hooks, and other notions. The Basic Stitches and Techniques section includes written and illustrated instructions for holding the yarn and hook, making a slip knot, starting a foundation chain, turning and starting chains, and seven basic crochet stitches (slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, double treble crochet, and triple treble crochet), two methods for crocheting in the round, finishing off, joining new colors, and decreasing. The Stitch Variations section includes written and illustrated instructions for twelve special stitches and techniques. The Reading Patterns and Charts section provide a glossary of stitch abbreviations, a key to international stitch symbols, and tips for reading charts and patterns. The Gauge section provides helpful hints on getting gauge and preparing gauge swatches. The Blocking and Joining section includes great tips for finishing your projects along with written and illustrated instructions for five seaming methods. Next, there are three half hexagon patterns in two sizes and tips for adapting hexagons into half hexagons for straight edges. The Design Your Own Project section provides great tips for planning a design and choosing colors. The book ends with an index and list of Cascade yarns used in the patterns.
As with Leonie’s other books, the colors in 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet are vibrant and inspiring. The designs include classics and variations you probably haven’t seen elsewhere. About half of the patterns can be seen on the book’s Ravelry source page, so you can get a sense of the types of patterns included. Some of the things I enjoyed about the book are that patterns are arranged in difficulty order, so you can grow your skills while working through the hexagons; that the visual Hexagon Selector is arranged by hexagon size, so you can easily combine hexagons into one project; that patterns include both written and charted instructions; and that photos are large and plentiful. I do wish that the font size on the patterns was larger and that the book used spiral binding so it could lay flat while you crochet (though that would undoubtedly add to the cost). If you enjoy working with motifs, 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet is a great book to add to your collection. Don’t forget to read on to enter the giveaway for this book!
150 All-Time Favorite Crochet Blocks is a pattern collection of (mostly) square crochet motifs by Sarah Hazell. The book opens with Sarah’s World, a brief introduction by Sarah. The About This Book section describes the features of the book’s layout and its organization. The book continues on to 30-page preview of the blocks. Each page includes five blocks on a complementary background with the name and page number of the block. The book then moves into the patterns. Each pattern includes a list of colors, written instructions using U.S. pattern abbreviations and charted instructions using international stitch symbols, and a small thumbnail of the square. There is also a pattern difficulty level indicated by one, two, or three stars. There are 25 one-star patterns, 118 two-star patterns, and 6 three-star patterns. (There are also 42 squares work in rows rather than rounds.) After the patterns, there are five projects using motif patterns from the book. These include stylized photos of the project along with a materials list, description of the project, directions for piecing together the blocks, and finishing instructions.
Crochet Refresher Course is the next section and it includes written and illustrated instructions for holding the yarn and hook, making a slip knot, starting a foundation chain, six basic crochet stitches (slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, and long trebles), and four special stitches and techniques. This section also includes tips for changing colors, blocking, working in rounds, and understanding written pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols. The book ends with an index.
As the title suggests, 150 All-Time Favorite Crochet Blocks includes many classic square motifs that you may have seen elsewhere but don’t have all in one collection. The muted colors lead the book to have a somewhat understated and classic look. I do wish the pictures of the motifs were larger on each pattern page, that the patterns used a larger font size (often, two patterns are on the same page so the fonts are on the smaller side), and that book used spiral binding so it could lay flat while you crochet. All of these suggestions would make the book pricier and out of reach for some crocheters, though. If you don’t already have many granny square books in your collection, 150 All-Time Favorite Crochet Blocks includes lots of options so it’s a great one to start with.
I hope my reviews have you excited about getting your hands on 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet: The Ultimate Mix-and-Match Patterns in Eye-Popping Colors and 150 All-Time Favorite Crochet Blocks. The folks at St. Martin’s Press were nice enough to put aside a copy go 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet for one lucky winner!
This giveaway is open to readers with mailing addresses in the United States, except where prohibited by law. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. One winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted via the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will receive 1 copy of 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press. Good luck!