A friend of mine crochets a bit, but has a hard time understanding some of the abbreviations, especially when she gets patterns that don’t explain them, or when there is no consistency in the use of abbreviations (a common problem when using a pattern found online). So I made it one of my goals for the week to find some beginner books so that I could make a good recommendation to her.
The first book on my list is one of the classic “Idiot’s Guide” books. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crochet Projects. By Marcy Smith starts with talking about what tools are needed to crochet, what type of yarns there are available, and of course, those all important crochet abbreviations. The book calls the second section a “refresher course”, which to me can be confusing for a beginning crocheter – they are not refreshing, they are learning it all for the first time!
The refresher course section does, however, go through all the basics – when, where and how to place your hook, the basic stitches, increases, decreases, working in circles, squares, making corners, changing colors, and finishing off your yarn. This section also goes into the basic how tos of different types of seaming, blocking, felting, and getting gauge.
The book has small, quick projects that get progressively more difficult as new skills are learned and mastered. New and additional techniques are introduced in each chapter; the final goal is to make any crocheter ready to tackle any easy to intermediate pattern out there. The last chapter talks about crochet for knitters, and how having a crochet hook handy can save many a knitting project. It also talks about using crochet to embellish the front of any knitted project.
Some of the projects – not what I would consider the prettiest things you could make, or even the best examples for that stage in the crocheter’s learning. However, all are adequate, can be adapted with use of different colors and yarns, and overall, the book contains a lot of good examples and samples, with large pictures showing you the basics and the steps of the projects.
I would say this is a good starter book, not the worst, not the best, but a good book. Look for it in any of your local libraries.