CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 12 . . . . February 2, 2007
Get Hooked: Simple Steps to Crochet Cool Stuff.
Kim Werker. Photography by Angela Fama & Pamela Bethel. Illustrations by Cynthia Frenette.
New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications (Distributed in Canada by Georgetown Publications), 2006.
96 pp., pbk., $14.95.
Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.
Review by Lizanne Eastwood.
“When you think of crochet, do you think of pot holders and tacky tissue-box holders? Well, guess what—crochet has changed! Just open a fashion magazine and you’ll see crocheted shawls, bikinis, capelets, shrugs, purses—yup, crochet is officially cool. And did you know that lots of people find crocheting easier than knitting? All you need is a hook and some yarn and you’re on your way!”
This book will hook you from the moment you see the cover with its vibrant colours, fresh faced models and really cool crocheted items.
Crocheting and knitting are definitely in the news and magazines these days. Everyone from celebrities to young men and women are picking up needles, hooks, yarn and thread to craft beautiful, funky and practical items. Crocheted bikinis, jewelry, shrugs and even ball gowns fill the pages of fashion magazines. Crocheting is definitely trendy. Get Hooked will appeal to novice crocheters as well as those more experienced.
The book begins with an Introduction: Why Crochet? In language that will appeal to tweens and teens, the author says why crocheting is an addictive pastime but also warns that it is important to take frequent breaks to stretch your fingers and rotate your wrists. Excellent advice I did not expect to find in this book. Informative hints and tidbits appear throughout this extremely user-friendly manual. Interesting asides such as crocheting for charity, using hoop earrings as stitch markers, how to start a crochet club or host a crocheting party and how to felt yarn all help keep this craft book inspirational.
Get Hooked is very well laid out. The first chapter deals with the tools of the trades: hooks, yarn and notions. A really handy chart can help you figure out the difference between the American and metric sized needles, well worth copying and carrying with you when you shop for hooks. Another chart shows how yarn is put into categories by weight, to help you switch yarns in a pattern. This chapter concludes with a section on reading patterns and a list of all the abbreviations you are sure to come across when you start crocheting.
Ready to start? There are three projects in the book that use only the basic stitches and techniques. Chapter 2 deals with these stitches step by step. “Getting started” shows you how to hold your hook and start with a slipknot. Next the basic crochet steps are described and well illustrated with close-up photos. Little tips and sidebars abound throughout this chapter, covering any questions or obstacles you might come across. The importance of checking your gauge and a description of gauge swatches is described. A final tip is provided on how to finish your project by fastening off your project and how to weave in your yarn ends. You are now ready to attempt the Chunky Scarf.
Chapter 3 describes how to increase and crocheting in the round. A simple pattern for making round face cloths is included.
Chapter 4 describes decreasing and how to work stitches together and how to leave stitches unworked. A really cool hipster headscarf is the simple project in this chapter.
Chapter 5 consists of 12 different patterns full of texture and colour, laid out in order of increasing difficulty: A Beauty Bin and Ring Cave to keep makeup and jewelry in, a Bracelet Baglet for carrying your cell phone or change purse, a beaded bookmark, a Sushi Roll Pillow, a “Samantha” Scarf, Key Chain Baubles, a Blossom belt, Friendship Cuffs, Punk Gloves, a Star Power Purse, a Je T’aime Beret and a Pleated Miniskirt!
My 13-year-old daughter, an experienced knitter and crocheter, thought the projects in this book were extremely “awesome.” She quickly crocheted the friendship cuffs for her three urban cousins, ages 10-16, who all said they were decidedly cool. She is now working on the sushi pillow and wants to make the miniskirt as well. She liked that the author wrote in a language that kids could relate to. I feel that the slang might date the book, but the tools and techniques will never go out of style.
The book concludes with a list of other crochet books and magazines as well as websites and on-line yarn companies. A comprehensive index lists everything covered in the book. I would recommend this book for novice and experienced crocheters ages 12-18.
Lizanne Eastwood is a Family Literacy Coordinator with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, a casual library employee and a home schooling parent of two active teenagers in Grand Forks, BC.
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