I was given a wonderful book 100 Flowers to Crochet and the Crochet Bible by my mum... then my son bought me two books... Compendium of Crochet Techniques which is brilliant with loads of tips and also Easy Crocheted Accessories with lovely ideas. I just love crochet patterns and read them all like novels.
I have some wonderful books, too! It's so fun to hear that you read the charts like novels....I LOVE the charts and don't know why. But I sit and read them thinking, I can do this! I'm new to crochet....again, actually. Years ago all I did was one blanket and one special stitch, but now I'm into clothes and have made three hats so far. I love knitting too!
I have a question for you, it you know this: I just bought some hooks (Boye) to replace a Crystalite I'm working with, but the sizes are not seeming to match: the Red Hearts say the sizes are G-6 4.0 and the Boyes say they are G-6 4.25. The MMs are different! Will that alter my project if I switch hooks now? Do you know where I can find that out?
I dont really know Meg... I use mm.. I have to look up the USA sizes and match them, you might have to do a swatch again to make sure the tension is right... I was in the middle of a baby afghan using a 5.00mm with a popcorn stich.. forgot which number I was using and used a 4.50 mm for quite a few rows before I realised... it did make a very slight difference but only I could see.. then switched back again to finish it off... I was a bit annoyed with myself but didnt have the heart to undo it all again.
I have a metal stitch gauge that also includes crochet or knitting needle gauges. You just put the handle of the hook in the hole that fits best and it tells you the millimeter and US hook size. (Of course, it wouldn't work with the new comfort handles.) It comes in handy for checking the difference between brands. I always rely on the millimeter size because that won't change between brands or even if you are using UK or European versus US. I live in Korea, so sometimes I am not even sure what the system for numbering sizes is.
And, yes, do another swatch. Even changing between one hook and another of the same size might change you gauge.
I really doubt that downloading an online power wastes that much energy. If you want to save energy, you could print it out. It's always good to have a copy of your pattern in your work bag anyway. As far as online patterns being hard to comprehend, I'm not sure why that is the case. I have noticed that online patterns have more errors than the ones in magazines and books. But that's just part of the deal, if you are getting a pattern for free online, it hasn't been tested and proof read as many times as the ones in a magazine or book.
There are lots of websites where you can order crochet magazines online. Right here at Interweave press is the best one. They usually offer one free issue to get acquainted. Bear in mind, that it is expensive to produce print magazines and books; so you won't likely find more than the occasional get acquainted offer like this one. Interweave also has a crochet news letter that you can sign up for. It is free, has lots of crochet news and sometimes includes free patterns. I am not sure if you meant you want free magazines and books.
You could also check on Ravelry and see of anyone has mags and books they want to swap. I hope that helps.
I absolutely love Crochet Squared by Marsha A. Polk. This taught me to "go outside of the box" for crochet and Get Your Crochet On! Hip Hats and Cool Caps by Afya Ibomu.
I would like to learn to crochet and am considering taking a class at the Y (it's $150 for 6 classes).
I started a crochet ministry at my church and I teach anyone who is interested how to crochet for free. Also, we have weekly meetings which are great fun and we share ideas, learn new techniques, and support each other's projects. You may try looking for a group like that in your area.
My favorite book is "Basic Crochet Stitches" by Interweave's The Harmony Guides. I like making scarves and having them on hand for gift giving and every year I make a ton of newborn to children size hats for our community's annual Christmas gift giving. This book has 250 crochet stitchs so even though I'm making the same basic pattern with a scarf or hat, each project is unique because I can choose a different stitch pattern from this book. I am an average crocheter but this book makes me look like a pro!
I'm a librarian and I'm dismayed that no one has suggested your local library! We have hundreds of books on crochet, all skill levels and tastes, and you can find the most obscure, priceless things... like a book on lace edgings published in 1911. If you have a specific book in mind, and it's not in your library's collection, ask at the front desk if they can borrow it from another library for you. 9 times out of 10 they are more than happy to do that, as it helps them with their "numbers"... to show the local powers-that-be how indespensible they are to the community (always a constant concern!)
Of course, you can't keep these books, so I just keep a 3-ring binder full of copies of the patterns I want to do one day (yes, your local library will have a copier, too!)
And another thing: I give a monthly class in crochet and knitting at the library. If you library doesn't currently offer one, suggest it! We're always on the lookout for adult programs, and if you tell them that you (and some of your friends) will attend a crochet class, they'll find a teacher, I promise (those "numbers" again!)
And all of this is free, free, free.
I'd like to mention Debbie Stollers Stitch N *** Nation: Happy Hooker for any beginners out there. I spent my teenage years frustrating both of my grandmothers trying to learn crochet and unable to "get" it. I purchased that book last year, and read it, and learned why swatches are important, how to do the infamous "magic circle" and was even able to make my friend a stroller blanket and matching hat for her impending arrival, first time(and a half, I did have to start over once lol) through the gate. Some older, more traditional ladies might take offense to the name, or her frankness, but it was quite enlightening for me :D
Yorela - Here's a link for several kid's animal hats: http://amray1976.blogspot.com/
you can order the book direct from leisure arts.com click crochet, then afghans, sort by title. price $9.95.Healthe Trim
Leisure Arts Dog Sweaters
Love the book. been doing the knitting for my dogs.