GRANDMOTHER'S FAVORITE CROCHET --
Reviewed by Janice Soderberg
House of White Birches, c. 1996
Edited by Laura Scott
Hardback $19.95 You can order it through it by calling 1-800-347-9887 and order item number 104004. P/H costs $4.95
NOTE: There's a table of contents after the review.
*A Recommended Buy
*Patterns are nostalgic & original, not merely recycled old ideas.
*Experience level is indicated at the beginning of each pattern.
I would recommend this book for anyone who likes old-fashioned looking crochet---lots of lace, ruffles and flowers.
This book was well organized and well photographed. The color photos are artistic, yet not so artistic that they get in the way. They give the crocheter a good idea of what the patterns will actually look like.
The patterns have a nostalgic air, but are original enough so they don't just seem like recycled old ideas: Like the"climbing rose afghan" by CP's very own, Carol Alexander, and a great slipper pattern that I plan to try soon. The directions are clear and easy to follow and charts and diagrams are well drawn.
The experience level is indicated at the beginning of each pattern. (I always appreciate it when publishers do this!) And there are enough patterns at each level to keep a crocheter busy for a while!
Table of Contents:
10 afghan patterns, including a "climbing rose afghan" by CP's very own, Carol Alexander
Bedroom comforts: includes bedspreads, pillows, valances, sachets and a great slipper pattern that I plan to try soon.
Dining elegance: tablecloths, place mats and table runners
Nursery delights: layettes, booties, baby blankets and one of the nicest stuffed bear that I've seen in a long time.
Christmas Traditions: Angels, ornaments, a wall hanging, a tree skirt and a holiday table set with place mats and napkin rings
Doily accents: eight different doilies to crochet
#### Reviewed for Crochet Partners 11/96 by Janice Soderberg (email@example.com)
*A Recommended Buy
This was a book I was pleasantly surprised to see. It's a good reference book to always treasure.
This would be suitable book for a charm sampler afghan where each square is a different color and a different stitch. There are color pictures of each of the squares, most are either done in pinks and blue or are multicolored.
I would recommend this to another friend but I would also like to know what they are calling the pattern design, rather than just a number.
The pattern book doesn't state whether each stitch would be
suitable for a beginner or an intermediate crocheter. I would have
appreciated that extra information.
Reviewed for Crochet Partners by J. Barrett ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
designs by Carolyn Pfeifer
This is an enjoyable ornament booklet for crocheters of any skill level. The patterns are for 9, approx. 2 1/2", round Christmas face (whole head) ornaments which use styrofoam balls as filling.
There is a wide variety of personalities for use as ornaments, package toppers, or stocking stuffers (For experienced crocheters, it would be fun to experiment with stuffing the heads with filling and attaching the head to a crocheted simple body with long arms and legs.).
These patterns work up quickly, and many different accessories can be used for eyes, noses, and adornments. You just have to go through your bead, pom pom, ribbon, felt, and button boxes.
All of the patterns start out with a basic head design. Then crocheted and/or bought accessories are added on as features and such to create unique personalities such as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Elf, Reindeer (looks like Rudolph), Bear, Snowman, Girl (which looks more like a boy, but if you add 2 braids onto the pattern it would be more like a girl), Angel, Soldier (which could be adapted to make a Wise Man or shepherd).
I had a problem with my gauge turning out too big on my first ornament, the Angel. But instead of ripping it out, I used a 3" stryofoam ball instead of the recommended 2 1/2" ball. All else worked just fine on the Angel since my gauge stayed the same for the rest of the pieces. On another, the girl (with braids sewn on the sides of the head before hat was sewn on), I used smaller hook and the 2 1/2" ball worked just fine.#### Reviewed for Crochet Partners by Deb Arrowood (email@example.com)
Favorite Granny Square Afghans
--Reviewed by Denise Dennett
House of White Birches
*Pass on this one, unless you don't have any granny square patterns.
If you don't already have a couple of dozen patterns for granny square afghans, you'll want to purchase the "Favorite Granny Square Afghans" published by the House of White Birches. On the other hand, if you do have a couple of dozen patterns, you won't find anything new or spectacular in this leaflet. If I were grading this leaflet, I would give it a B-. Would I buy this leaflet? No, but I already have over 200 afghan patterns. Because of the variety of patterns in this leaflet, it would make a great addition to someone just starting to build a pattern library.
This leaflet includes 7 afghan patterns in a variety of styles, ranging from beginner to intermediate, including a popcorn square, a raised-flower square, and a couple of squares that start in circles and end up as squares. I'd be truly embarrassed to have my name associated with one of the patterns: it's the traditional granny pattern with a final round of solid double crochets. The only thing "different" is the arrangement of the black and white squares.
The leaflet includes a stitch guide and full-color photos. There were several times, though, that an enlarged photo (or even a line drawing) of the square would have been helpful. I could also have used information such as how many stitches on a side in a round. Another issue I had is gauge: my gauge is usually fairly close to the specified gauge. For these patterns, though, one square was supposed to end up 7 1/2"; mine (using the same hook) was 6 1/2". Another one was supposed to be 7", but ended up 5 3/4". The rest were similarly off, although I started using much larger hooks than specified as I worked through the different patterns.
I made one square in each of the patterns, but I didn't make any of the borders. There were no pattern errors, although the "Flowers & Lace" pattern was more complex and confusing than it had to be, and I would have written some of the patterns differently. For example, one pattern indicates to start a round 5 stitches to the right of a corner. Well, I got it "right" on the second try, and after finishing the square I could see no reason for not starting the round in the corner where I couldn't screw it up.
If you have any questions,
you can email
Reviewed for Crochet Partners by Denise Dennettt. ( Dennett@prepress.pps.com)
I made one of the very tiny one purses (not pictured on the front
cover). It took me less time than it took to watch a video with my
husband. I couldn't be more pleased. The instructions were a snap to
follow---no errors at all.
There are several more patterns that I want to make from this set. What I particularly like about this set of patterns is the variety---there are several very dressy purses (my favorites) but also practical purses and book bags. I know that this is a pattern set I'll use again and again.
NOTE: Except for the special care one needs to take when working with Chenille yarn, these patterns are very easy. I would have had a hard time using the Chenille yarn if someone on the CP list hadn't mentioned their problem and how they solved it. Following their suggestion, I took the time to roll the skein into a ball, even though it was a pull skein. When I started crocheting the purse, I only rolled out a little bit of the yarn at a time. If I rolled out too much, I found I tangled it very easily.
Reviewed for Crochet Partners by S. Guess (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Order through ASN inc.Consumer Division/1455 Linda Vista Drive/San
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Our CP reviewer says that this book is a
*A Recommended Buy
*It's a beneficial addition to any crocheter's reference and pattern library
Note: This book does assume some previous thread crochet experience. However, it compensates by including a special section, with photos, that illustrates how using different thread sizes affect the gauge and appearance of a motif---that bit of extra info is a big plus to less experienced crocheters.
What a wonderful book! I would recommend 101 Motifs for Thread Crochet as a beneficial addition to any crocheter's pattern and reference library.
Whether the crocheter wishes to make bedspreads, doilies, coasters, ornaments, clothing--the list seems nearly endless--one is sure to find a motif which, either standing on its own or pieced together with other motifs, will work for any of those projects.
In crocheting a few of the motifs, I found the instructions to be clear and accurate. One can just jump right into the fun of crocheting these motifs without spending a huge amount of time puzzling over the intent of the instructions. Moreover, there is photo of each completed motif at the beginning of each set of instructions that provides an even greater amount of clarity . It's a welcome addition for those who want to see what the motif look like in detail before crocheting it.
At the beginning of the book, there is a small section of general directions for those who might need a refresher on how to do one of the basic stitches or a reminder of how to interpret a particular instruction abbreviation. Crocheters who are not familiar with United States crochet terminology will be happy to find a chart showing their English equivalents.
One part of the general instructions that I really like is a photo that shows the same motif worked up in three different thread sizes and explains how using different thread and hook sizes can affect the final look of the motif. While more experienced crocheters might no longer need such information, I find that beginners often get confused by all the hook sizes, thread sizes, and declarations of gauge and will probably find this section of the instructions a big plus. So while this book does assume some previous experience with crocheting, crocheters of all levels can enjoy making the motifs.
I expect that I will spend a good deal more of my future crochet time with this book in hand!
11/96 Reviewed for Crocheter Partners by Bekki Lyn email@example.com