Christmas in July Make Along

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - text on a white background with pine cones

I’ve teamed up with 28 other bloggers for the 2019 Christmas in July Make Along! We’re bringing you a month full of free patterns to kick start the handmade holiday season — including crochet, knitting, and sewing projects. There’s something new to make every day in July, and you can also enter to win great prizes from some of our favorite companies!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

This is the main post for 2019 Christmas in July Make Along. Read on for more details including:

  • How the 2019 Christmas in July Make Along Works,
  • How To Join the 2019 Christmas in July Make along,
  • 2019 Christmas in July Make Along Schedule,
  • 2019 Christmas in July Make Along Giveaway Prizes, and
  • Enter the 2019 Christmas in July Make Along Giveaway.

How the 2019 Christmas in July Make Along Works

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - text on a white background with pine cones

Every day in July, a participating blogger will release a new free crochet, knitting, or sewing pattern. Each week will have a theme.

  • Week 1 (July 1-7): Babies, Kids, and Teens                   
  • Week 2 (July 8-14): Women               
  • Week 3 (July 15-21): Men                    
  • Week 4 (July 22-28): Home                   
  • Week 5 (July 29-31): Pets

At the end of each week, I’ll share a roundup of the week’s projects with even more handmade gift ideas.

We’ve also partnered with some of our favorite companies, including Baby Lock, Clover USA, DryeGoods, Eucalan, Hummingbird Lane Fabrics and Notions, Kraemer Yarns, Kristin Omdahl, Red Heart, Search Press North America, and ThermOWeb, to get 18 great prizes for you! Find out more information about participating bloggers, the schedule, and how to enter to win the prizes by scrolling down in this blog post. The deadline for entering the giveaway is Sunday, August 4, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

How To Join the 2019 Christmas in July Make Along

  • You can join in by crocheting, knitting, or sewing the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #CIJMakeAlong2019 on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other crocheters, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
  • By the end of the Make Along, you’ll have up to 31 awesome projects. Get ready for the handmade holiday season while having fun with us!
  • If you’d like regular email reminders during the Make Along, sign up for the Underground Crafter newsletter.
  • Use this button below on your Ravelry project pages or elsewhere on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.
2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - text on a white background with pine cones

2019 Christmas in July Make Along Schedule

This list will be updated during the Make Along to include links to each pattern and roundup as it is released.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along Giveaway Prizes

We’ve partnered with some of our favorite companies to get 17 great prizes for participants in this Make Along. Read on for more details about the prizes and how to enter for your chance to win one of these prizes!

Baby Lock will provide one winner with a Genuine Collection Tumbler and Vinyl Project Bag. Show your support by following Baby Lock on Website | Facebook | Instagram.

Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter 2019 - Baby Lock prize

Clover USA will provide three lucky winners each with one prize package. The crochet package includes the Swatch Ruler and Needle Gauge, 2 Clover Amour Hooks in the winner’s choice of sizes, and a Pom Pom Maker Set.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - Clover USA crochet prize

The knitting package includes the Swatch Ruler and Needle Gauge, a Pom Pom Maker Set, an Extra Small Pom Pom Maker, and the Knitting Accessory Set for Beginners.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - Clover USA knitting prize

The sewing package includes I Sew for Fun Wonder Clips, I Sew for Fun Roll & Press, a Seam Ripper, a set of Heart-Shaped Pins, and Flexible Thimble Set. Show your support by following Clover USA on Website | Facebook | Instagram.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - Clover USA sewing prize

DryeGoods is providing one winner with a set of ceramic buttons containing one large botanically themed focal button, four medium geometric buttons along with four mini buttons in shades of green. Show your support by following DryeGoods on Etsy | Facebook | Instagram.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - set of 9 ceramic green buttons on wooden background

Eucalan is providing each of five winners with a large and a small bottle of Delicate Wash in the winner’s choice of scents: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Grapefruit, Natural, or Jasmine. Show your support by following Eucalan on Website | Facebook | Instagram.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - Eucalan Delicate Wash bottle

Hummingbird Lane Fabric and Notions is providing on winner with a fat quarter bundle of Shiny Objects Holiday Twinkle by Flaurie and Finch including 17 fat quarters (18″ x 21″ each) in prints with glitter and metallic that really sparkle. Show your support by following Hummingbird Lane on Website | Facebook | Instagram.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - Hummingbird Lane Fabric and Notions prize

Kraemer Yarns is providing two winners with three skeins of Perfection, a worsted weight blend of U.S. merino and acrylic yarn, in holiday colors: Crimson, Holly, and Snowflake. Show your support by following Kraemer Yarns on Website | Facebook | Instagram.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - Kraemer Yarns Perfection - skein of red yarn on its side

Kristin Omdahl is providing two lucky winners each with a copy of one of her newest books: Layers: 18 Crochet Projects to Fit, Flatter, and Drape and Layers: 19 Knit Projects to Fit, Flatter, and Drape. Show your support by following Kristin on Website | Facebook | Instagram.

2019 Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter - Kraemer Yarns Perfection - collage of book covers of Layers by Kristin Omdahl

Red Heart is providing one winner with a prize package including a Pom Pom and Tassel Maker in the winner’s choice of colors; the winner’s choice of Silvalume Single Point Knitting Needle Set or Silvalume Aluminum Crochet Hook Set; 3 skeins of Hygge yarn in the winner’s choice of colors; 2 skeins of Super Saver Ombre yarn in the winner’s choice of colors; and 4 skeins of Croquette yarn in the winner’s choice of colors. Show your support by following Red Heart on Website | Facebook | Instagram.

2019 Hygge Home Crochet Along with CAL Central and Red Heart Yarns - Red Heart prize pack

Search Press North America is providing one lucky winner with the winner’s choice of prize package. The crochet package includes Colorful Wayuu Bags to Crochet and Crocheted Cactuses; the knitting package includes Pocket Pets and Mini Knitted Cosmos; and the sewing package includes Sew Your Own Felt Advent Calendar and Jelly Roll Scraps. Show your support by following Search Press North America on Website | Facebook | Instagram.

Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter 2019 -Search Press North America prize

ThermOWeb is providing one lucky winner a prize package including a Deco Foil Transfer Sheets Value Pack in RainbowDeco Foil Hot Melt Adhesive, and PeelnStick Ruler Tape. These are great for customizing any fabric or sewing project! Show your support by following ThermOWeb on Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube.

Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter 2019 - ThermOWeb prize

Continue on to learn how to enter the giveaway for your chance to win one of these fabulous prizes!

Enter the 2019 Christmas in July Make Along Giveaway

  • This is the giveaway for the 2019 Christmas in July Make Along hosted and organized by Underground Crafter.
  • Enter the giveaway using any of the options on the Rafflecopter widget below by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, August 4, 2019.
  • Eighteen winners will be chosen from the entries at random to win a prize from Baby Lock, Clover USA, DryeGoods, Eucalan, Hummingbird Lane Fabrics and Notions Kraemer Yarns, Kristin Omdahl, Red Heart, Search Press North America, and ThermOWeb. Each will win one of the prizes listed above.
  • Winners will be contacted approximately one week after the entries close. Winners will have two weeks to claim their prizes. If winners do not respond within two weeks, prizes will be awarded to alternates.
  • By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to share your contact information with Rafflecopter and/or Underground Crafter. You can read the Rafflecopter Privacy Policy here and the Underground Crafter Privacy Policy here to understand how this information is used.
  • The names of winners will be made available in list form by request from Underground Crafter.
  • This giveaway is open worldwide, except where prohibited by law.
  • Don’t forget to join the fun in our Facebook and Ravelry groups, too!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Crochet Red

This post contains affiliate links.

Today is National Wear Red Day, the American Heart Association‘s annual event to bring attention to women’s heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.  This year, Jimmy Beans Wool founder Laura Zander is bringing her Stitch Red campaign to crochet, with Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women’s Heart Health, a collection of 31 patterns. Since I don’t have much red in my wardrobe, I thought I’d spread awareness by reviewing Crochet Red, instead.  (A portion of the proceeds from this book are donated to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to support The Heart Truth campaign.)

crochet red

The book opens with a stunning image of a stack of red crocheted items, and then shares a thumbnail of each of the designs in the table of contents.  Not surprisingly, the book then launches into a series of notes, forewords, and prefaces (by the director of the Heart Truth, Deborah Norville, Vanna White, and Laura Zander), each of which discusses women’s heart health.

The next section of the book, Projects and Profiles, includes 30 patterns.  Each pattern includes a designer profile.  In many of these, the designer shares their own story related to heart health.  Most patterns also include a health tip from the designer, such as their favorite heart healthy foods or exercise.  Most patterns, especially the wearables, include multiple views of the project.  The exceptions are the two wraps, neither of which is shown on a model, and the smaller projects, like the mitts, which just include one picture.  The garment patterns also include schematics (in red, naturally).  All patterns are written in U.S. crochet abbreviations, and five patterns also include international stitch symbols.

The next section, Heart-Healthy Living, includes a variety of information about heart health, such as self test, exercise recommendations, tips for staying motivated about healthy lifestyle changes, and nine recipes.

The Crochet Know-How section shares the standard “back of book” information like a glossary of abbreviations, hook sizes, yarn weights, and a US to UK abbreviation conversion chart.  It also includes short photo tutorials of the basic crochet stitches (chain, single, slip stitch, half double, and double crochet) and the adjustable ring for crocheting in the round.  The book ends with a bonus pattern, a list of yarn suppliers, and an index.

Throughout the book, images of mountains of red yarn, piles of red crocheted fabric, and models in red garments are presented against mostly white backgrounds.  The contrast creates a really beautiful effect and you just want to keep flipping through the book.  The layout is particularly helpful in the Heart-Healthy Living section because it contains a lot of text.  The contrasting colors and the images break up the wall of text and keep the book visually interesting.

Overall, the book includes 31 patterns.

Pattern Type

  • Women’s top (cardigans, tunics, shrugs, pullover, etc.): 9
  • Women’s coat or jacket: 4
  • 3 each: cowls, scarves, bags
  • 2 each: hats, blankets, wraps
  • 1 each: pillow, mitts, sachet

 

Difficulty Rating

  • 13 easy,
  • 13 intermediate, and
  • 4 experienced.

 

Three of the designs – the Tunisian Chevron Scarf by Sharon Silverman, the Tunisian Shrug by Kristin Omdahl, and the Vintage Tunisian Shell by Rohn Strong – are Tunisian crochet patterns.

My favorite designs are the Flower Garland Cowl by Robyn Chachula, the Gingham Afghan by Tanis Galik, the Heart Shaped Coat by Nicky Epstein, the Petal Cabled Hat by Linda Permann, the Slouchy Cowl by Edie Eckman, and the Sweater with Cowl by Marly Bird. Ravelry members can see the 30 main patterns on the book’s source page here.  (The bonus pattern, Kristin Nicholas‘ Heart Sachet, is visible on the book’s front cover.)

Although this book has a stunning layout and a great collection of patterns by many of today’s most popular designers, there are a few things I wish were done differently.  I would have liked to see the wraps on models, particularly since they can be challenging to style.  I think many crocheters would want to see more patterns with international stitch symbols.  Most of the garment patterns are in 3-4 sizes and some crocheters will be looking for more.  The Heart-Healthy Living chapter is a bit lost at the end – putting it up front would have made everyone look through it and would probably have a greater impact on awareness.  I wish there was more information about how much of the proceeds were going to The Heart Truth.  (Is it a percentage?  A fixed amount per book?  Is there a maximum donation? etc.)

This is a surprisingly affordable collection of patterns, particularly since there are so many garments.  I would give it 4 out of 5 stars for a crocheter who likes pattern collections and who enjoys crocheting projects for women.

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.

Interview with Sharon Silverman, author of Crochet Scarves, with book review and giveaway

This post contains affiliate links.

Today, I’m really excited to interview Sharon Silverman.  Sharon is a crochet designer, author, teacher, and now, TV crochet expert.  I was first introduced to her work through her book, Tunisian Crochet: The Look of Knitting with the Ease of Crocheting, and I’ve had the pleasure of taking a Tunisian crochet class with her at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.  I’ll also be reviewing Sharon’s new book, Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions – Various Techniques, and hosting a giveaway of the book, courtesy of Stackpole Books, so read on for more details!

Sharon can be found online at her website, blog, and Facebook page.  She is also on Ravelry (as CrochetSharon and on her designer page).

 

The Interview

Sharon Silverman.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting?
Sharon: I always liked arts and crafts. When I was little, I used to make mosaics from kits, do paint-by-number, and make what we used to call “horse rein”–I think the device is called a “Knitting Nancy” or something like that. My mother taught me to knit, which I didn’t do very well, then she taught me to crochet when I was 7 or 8. I loved it from the beginning.

Cascading Beads Shawl, one of Sharon’s self-published patterns.

(Available for download here.)

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Sharon: I often made up my own patterns for home decor and accessories, but never considered myself a designer. For my first crochet title, Basic Crocheting, I needed a sweater pattern. I hired a designer to provide one, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I thought to myself, “Well, you’ve made so many sweaters over the years from other people’s patterns, how hard can it be to come up with one yourself?” I developed a chevron sweater pattern that was easy to scale up to various sizes. It had some simple shaping so it fit well. It was at that point that I started to think of myself as a designer.

Springtime Miters Pillow, from Crochet Pillows with Tunisian and Traditional Techniques.

UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?
Sharon: Inspiration is everywhere! I get ideas from nature, architecture, artwork, furniture, fashion…and sometimes from what’s missing in my closet. You know the scene in The Sound of Music where Maria looks at the draperies and thinks, “Play clothes!”? Sometimes it’s like that for me. I see the colors in a flower or the shape of a cabinet pull, and I can picture a crocheted item based on that. I often feel like a crochet engineer.

My esthetic at home leans toward the Japanese style, with clean lines, a few carefully chosen embellishments, and a minimum of clutter. I appreciate subtlety in design, which I suppose is why in variegated yarns I prefer ones that change slowly around a strong central color rather than the more rainbow-y colorways.

Red Hot Heart Pillow, from Crochet Pillows with Tunisian and Traditional Techniques.

UC: Your newest book, Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions – Various Techniques includes scarf patterns using crochet, Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace, and filet crochet. You also work with some unusual yarns (such as a woven yarn). What was the design process like for this book?
Sharon: My overall goal was for crocheters to have an excellent experience with the book, and to find interesting patterns they could successfully complete and would be proud to wear or to give as gifts. I wanted to make sure that newer crocheters would find friendly patterns and would be comfortable enough to extend their skills, and that experienced crocheters would find fun and intriguing designs to hold their attention.

Within that framework, I had several design goals for the book. The scarves had to be variety of shapes, textures, colors, and techniques. There are skinny scarves, chunky scarves, a shaped collar, a turtleneck cowl, solid colors, variegated colors, stripes…some are for warmth while others are purely for fashion.

I wanted to introduce crocheters to some wonderful hand-dyed yarns, like those from Space Cadet Creations and from Kangaroo Dyer. I also use some high-quality mass-produced yarns. Price can be a consideration, even for something like a scarf that does not use a tremendous amount of yarn, and I kept that in mind when I was sourcing the yarns.

Woven yarn is one of those products that seems impossible to figure out at first glance. I kept looking at the knitted sample in the yarn store, and realized that if you can knit with it, you can crochet with it, too. The funny thing about that yarn is when non-yarn folks see your creations, they gasp, “You MADE that?” They think you made the yarn itself! It’s actually quite easy to work with, so I included a scarf that uses woven yarn to create a beautiful ruffle.

Marabou from Crochet Scarves, using woven yarn.

As for the variety of techniques, my Tunisian Crochet book got a lot of interest so there is definitely a need for more Tunisian patterns. Seven of the twenty-one scarves in the new book are Tunisian crochet. I’ve been intrigued with broomstick lace for a while, so I included one broomstick lace design. Filet crochet is another technique that I think everyone should try. The right filet crochet design makes a gorgeous garment–it’s not just for tablecloths and doilies.

Accordian Arrows, from Crochet Scarves.

UC: You have a lot of step-by-step photos and picture tutorials in the book. Tell use about your decision to include those.
Sharon: Ideally, I would be able to look over your shoulder while you crochet so I could answer questions and offer guidance. “Put the hook here, not there.” “Remember, in Tunisian crochet you don’t turn the work.” “Pull the fringe through from the right side.” Since I can’t be there in person, I want the written instructions, technique photos, and charts to be my surrogate. I try to anticipate where a crocheter might get tripped up, and insert a photo to clarify things.

It takes a lot of time and planning to think all of that through and to get the step-outs ready. Alan Wycheck, the book’s photographer, is terrific at capturing motion in still photos.

This is the first book in which I’ve included symbol charts. A lot of people are visual learners who appreciate charts to supplement written instructions. I responded to this need by developing the charts.

Classic Plaid, a Tunisian crochet pattern from Crochet Scarves.

UC: You’ve had a variety of roles in the crochet industry, including writer, designer, writer, teacher, and TV star. What advice do you have for aspiring professionals?
Sharon: Ha ha, TV star! I don’t think that three appearances on HGTV‘s Uncommon Threads qualifies me for that title, but maybe I’ll make your compliment come true one day!

My advice for aspiring professionals:

  1. Get organized. Find a way to keep track of your work, your proposals, your finances.
  2. Hone your crocheting and your pattern-writing skills. Take classes. Attend conferences. Study magazines and books to learn the proper format. It is ESSENTIAL to write your patterns as you go along, not to try to figure out what you did when the item is all finished. Believe me, I know how tempting it is to crochet something to completion and not take the time to write down the row-by-row instructions, but that is the path to pattern doom.
  3. Have your patterns edited and tested. You can start by asking friends do this for you. Remember that making something and writing the instructions for someone else to make it are two very different skill sets. Don’t assume that everyone using your pattern will know what you do–make the instructions complete.
  4. Take advantage of the resources available to you, including the Crochet Guild of America, Ravelry, books, and websites.  (UC comment: I have to second Sharon on this one.  I had a wonderful mentor, Mary Nolfi, through CGOA’s mentoring program.)
  5. Assess your skills and potential realistically. If you are fantastic at making things but hate writing patterns, maybe you are better off selling your finished items than doing design. Just because you love crocheting, doesn’t mean you can make a living at it. But that’s okay, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing: many designers have family responsibilities and/or other work to supplement their crochet business. There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby that earns you a few extra dollars now and then.
  6. Be professional and respectful. When approaching people in industry, be it designers, editors, or yarn company representatives, keep in mind that their time is their most precious resource. Don’t ask them to create your business plan. Don’t ask them how to get started–it’s your job to figure that out. Book and magazine publishers have guidelines that potential contributors must follow. Research those before you approach an editor with a submission, and make sure you follow their procedures. That said, most people in the industry are happy to help. Ask a specific question rather than an open-ended one, and you will most likely get a useful answer. Follow up with a thank-you when you get a response.
  7. ALWAYS respond calmly and constructively to a question or criticism, even if the person asking is completely off-base. Keep any indignation and sarcastic thoughts to yourself! I’ve had someone complain about a book because she was disappointed that it didn’t contain a design for a purse…when in fact there is a pattern for a clutch! (Maybe she didn’t realize that a “clutch” is a kind of purse…?) You can’t get too worked up about stuff like that. Be gracious if someone finds a mistake in your work, and correct the error immediately. Keep things professional, not personal.
  8. Keep track of your expenses as well as your income. It may feel exciting to be offered $300 for a pattern, but that has to be examined in the context of what you spent–including your time. If you paid $40 for yarn, $10 on shipping, 30 hours crocheting and writing up the pattern, and $25 to a friend to test it, $300 of income might not seem so great.

(UC comment: Wow, thanks, Sharon, for being so generous with your advice.  Many newbies have to find out these things the hard way!)

Diamond Loop, a pattern from Crochet Scarves.

UC: What are your favorite crochet books in your collection (besides your own, of course)?

Sharon: I have several stitch dictionaries I turn to often, including The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden, and some Japanese stitch guides. Shirley Paden‘s Knitwear Design Workshop is fabulous. I have two of Tine Solheim‘s books, which are in Norwegian but have such interesting designs that the language hardly matters. Tunisian crochet books and patterns by Kim Guzman are some of my favorites. I admire the work of my designer colleagues Doris Chan, Ellen Gormley, Kristin Omdahl, Annie Modesitt, Robyn Chachula, Dora Ohrenstein, Mary Beth Temple, Lily Chin, and Marlaina (Marly) Bird. I try to keep up with new books and magazines regularly.

Premium Cable pattern, from Crochet Scarves.

UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites to share?
Sharon: StitchDiva has excellent patterns and online tutorials in several techniques including Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace, and hairpin lace. NexStitch also has very helpful videos. Everyone should check out Craftsy. And your blog and others like it are wonderful resources for crocheters! (UC comment: Aww, thanks, Sharon!)

Honeycomb Skirt pattern, from Tunisian Crochet.

UC: What are you up to next?
Sharon: During the next few months I’ll be doing the blog book tour for Crochet Scarves. I’ll be at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC–in person!–on October 4 for a talk and book-signing. Anyone who is interested in the event should sign up on the Studio’s mailing list.

I’m currently evaluating my short- and long-term business plans. With so many free patterns available, it’s important to consider whether selling patterns is a viable long-term proposition. In the meantime, I have several book and leaflet ideas that I’m working on. Some of my patterns have been chosen by a yarn shop owner who is packaging them into kits–I hope that venture is successful. I’ll share more about that when her business is up and running.

I’m also in discussions with interior designers who are interested in high-end custom crochet pieces for their clients.

I love to teach (especially Tunisian crochet) and am open to invitations from any group or shop that wants to host!

Most of all, I want to express my appreciation to people who use my patterns. I enjoy hearing from them and hope they will share pictures of their work.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by for an interview, Sharon, and for sharing your advice with us!

The Book Review

Although I generally prefer “technique books” to “pattern books,” I was eager to check out my review copy of Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions – Various Techniques from Stackpole Books.  On the surface, this seems like it would be a straightforward book of scarf patterns.  Instead, it is chock full of step-by-step tutorials and lessons for different crochet techniques.

The book includes 21 scarf patterns.  The patterns use Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace, filet crochet, and “standard” crochet techniques like increasing and decreasing, bobbles, and post stitches.  The patterns includes a range of skill levels (4 easy, 11 intermediate, and 6 experienced). Each pattern is introduced briefly, shown in a photograph (usually on a mannequin), and then presented as a pattern.  Even the simpler patterns include several photographs of the stitches being worked, and the more complicated patterns include several pages of step-by-step photos.  The progress pictures are presented before the pattern instructions, which are shown using both U.S. crochet terminology and international stitch symbols.

Although all of the patterns are for scarves, Sharon manages to keep the styles diverse enough to hold your attention.  My favorite patterns are Accordian Arrows, Changing Tides, Diamond Loop, Grecian Ladders, Premium Cable (which includes a great tutorial on Tunisian cables), Monet’s Village, and Sea Splash.  This is a book that you can definitely grow with, as there are plenty of techniques and stitches to learn.  There is even a Techniques section in the back which includes step-by-step photos of all the basic crochet and Tunisian crochet stitches, as well as tips on pattern reading.  At the end of the book, there is a small photo of each pattern with the corresponding page number, so it is easy to find your favorites.

There are a few things that could be improved.  The book is a paperback, and, like most paperbacks, doesn’t lay flat when open.  This makes it challenging to read along or look at the step-by-step photos while crocheting.  The projects are shown on mannequins and against neutral backgrounds, but it would be helpful (and more attractive) to see the scarves on people.  Finally, I don’t agree that the Cactus Lace broomstick lace pattern is at the experienced skill level.  I think that designation may scare off a relative newbie to crochet, when broomstick lace is actually quite simple (especially with Sharon’s step-by-step photos).

Overall, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  I recommend it for beginner and intermediate crocheters who want to make relatively simple projects while also learning new skills.  An adventurous newbie who learns well from photographs could use this book to learn to crochet.  And, of course, if you like making scarves, this is definitely the book for you.

Full disclosure: Two free review/giveaway copies of this book were 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.

The Giveaway

The nice folks at Stackpole Books have been generous enough to donate a second copy of Crochet Scarves for this giveaway, so I get to keep my review copy :).  This giveaway is open to all readers.  Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, July 19, 2012.