Reviews

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Posts 818
on Dec 23, 2005 1:45 PM

Welcome to the newest feature of Crochet me. We're all for the voicing of opinions, and we're not going to hold back. We've developed a rating system for your viewing pleasure; you'll be able to figure it out on your own, knowing that four's the highest. Let's dive right in.


YarntainerYarntainer™
This handy yarn container (clever name Yarntainer™ is, no?) is simply the coolest, most useful crochet-related accessory I've come across to date. Available in three sizes, the clear plastic vessel holds yarn, hooks, notions, etc. The flip-top lid has a rubber-rimmed hole in the middle through which you feed your yarn. Presto! No more yarn balls rolling all over the floor. No more pets and kids tangling up your projects. It's especially useful if you're working with more than one strand of yarn at a time. I've worked with four strands, including novelty, and my enduring sanity thanks me for it. The Yarntainer™ has a handy handle, which means you can just grab your project and go. It'll sit quietly at your feet in the car (when you're a passenger, not a driver, of course), rest patiently beside you on the couch, and pretty soon you'll forget you ever got a headache from trying to keep your yarn tame. It's a yarn tamer, this Yarntainer™. And it's just fun to say "Yarntainer." Try it.
4 balls4 balls4 balls4 balls
http://yarntainer.com/
$7-$12US



Cozy CrochetCozy Crochet
by Melissa Leapman
Chronicle Books


How fitting, since we've been talking about using crochet as a calming influence. I feel relaxed just flipping through Melissa Leapman's latest. This book is intended to give a "fresh approach" to crochet, and I'd say it's more a very simple approach. The projects are given one of three rankings and even the more advanced patterns seem hardly intimidating, making the book excellent for beginners. Leapman gives a brief tutorial at the beginning of the book, covering basic through more advanced techniques. Then she has you dive right into that ubiquitous first dish cloth project. Overall, I recommend this book for a beginner crocheter, but not for someone who's looking for really hip, edgy designs.
2.5 balls2.5 balls2.5 balls-- half because the projects are a little boring, but the book itself is gorgeous
Paperback
120 pages
$19.95US
Available at Powells.com



200 Crochet Blocks200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans
by Jan Eaton
Interweave Press


I have made one granny square in my life. It was fun, but it's not really my style. I rarely like the look of things made with granny squares, and have been known to rant about things I don't like the look of (just like some people like to rant about sentences ending with prepositions). When I saw a book entirely dedicated to squares (not all of which are grannies, I must note), I saw an opportunity for a good, rant-ful review. Alas, I was disappointed. I may not be a granny square cheerleader, but I'm a huge fan of this book. It's simply brilliant, and appeals to my geeky side. It includes symbols, cross-referencing, and heavy use of margin space. It also kinda makes me want to crochet squares. There are tips for mixing colours and blocks, and the "basics" tutorial isn't till the end of the book. Crocheters, behold! This is a proper reference book that should appeal to crochet geeks everywhere. And admit it, we're all crochet geeks. Get this book and put it on your shelf, and you'll end up a better, more talented, and happier person because of it.
3.5 balls3.5 balls3.5 balls3.5 balls -- half only because I'm not a fan of granny squares
Paperback
128 pages
$24.95US
Available at Powells.com



Hooked on CrochetHooked on Crochet
by Candi Jensen
Storey Publishing


Candi Jensen has a keen eye for style and a talent for inspiring enthusiasm. With this book she succeeds not only in sharing some of her simple, elegant designs, but also in exposing herself as a passionate instructor. Beyond the excellent beginner's tutorial, she peppers the book with explanations of more advanced techniques, and even includes a section on "Crochet Basics for Lefties" at the end of the book. She encourages creative use of colour, and even the most basic patterns in the book are visually interesting. A beginner will feel more and more like an expert as she works her way through the book, and more advanced crocheters will enjoy the gorgeous projects and will likely learn something new as well. I enthusiastically recommend this book to absolutely everybody.
4 balls4 balls4 balls4 balls
Paperback
144 pages
$18.95US
Available at Powells.com



Bead CrochetBead Crochet
by Bethany Barry
Interweave Press


I may not be big on granny squares, but I usually love beads. Guess how surprised I was to love the granny square book and dislike the bead book. I'll elaborate. Bead Crochet contains a fantastic introduction, complete with a history of bead crochet (which appeals to those geeky tendencies I mentioned above) and a good explanation of the basics of both beading and crochet. Then you get to the projects. And, well, the projects. What can I say? I liked two of them. I believe this book is written more for the beading audience than for the crocheting audience (it's a Beadwork How-To Book, after all), and I'm not very familiar with the beading world. But I am familiar with the concepts that first, Less is More, and that second, Just Because You Can Do It Doesn't Mean You Should. For example, I can think of no good reason that eyelash yarn should be beaded. It makes me dizzy. Also, I'm a big fan of utilizing a colour scheme. There are few, if any, instances I can think of that make it okay to use every colour you can get your hands on. Same with theme; why are there projects containing both a playing card bead and a ladybug bead? I don't get it. This book misses the boat, as far as I'm concerned. If you're looking for some elegant, stylish beaded crochet patterns, check out the next review.
1/2 ball-- half for the technical details and the history
Paperback
128 pages
$21.95US
Available at Powells.com



Knit and Crochet with BeadsKnit and Crochet with Beads
by Lily M. Chin
Interweave Press


Lily Chin does it again. This book is filled with stylish, elegant designs, all utilising beads. It's an excellent technical reference, and should serve as an inspiration for a lifetime of projects. Pick this up when you feel like learning something new, and when you have a few hours to spend experimenting. And make something for yourself too, okay?. You deserve it. And that's all I'm gonna say about it.
4 balls4 balls4 balls4 balls
Paperback
128 pages
$21.95US
Available at Powells.com


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