Monday, February 8, 2010

Crochet Workshop Library: My All-Purpose All-Occasion Crochet Library - Of Two

For some people, finding new obsessions means assembling an entire library of books, manuals, and other material related to the subject. I believe the relevant idiom is "the six-foot shelf": like a series of essential books to a given field of study.

As for me, it's crochet: I have a massive stash of yarn - most of which is already allocated to one project or another - and I am also now scouring second-hand book shops and the bargain shelves to grow my collection of crochet reference books.

Here's what I have now.

You've seen this one before: Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. The nice thing about this book is the extensive illustration of basic concepts and stitches in all of the needlework crafts that it mentions: it is really a crash course for every single one of the crafts contained within.

Having participated in a recent discussion about left-handed knitting, I might rest easy with this book if I ever took up the pointed needles. It's so helpful to have full-page, step-by-step how-to illustrations for knitting and purling left-handed, for reference.

And here is my newest acquisition: Beyond the Square: Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman. I picked this up last weekend and while I haven't yet had the chance to make up any of the motifs pictured in the book, I use it a awful lot now for recreational reading.

What makes this book so nice? Well, it's got 144 motifs in all sorts of cute shapes: circles, hexagons, triangles, and even unusual shapes such as hearts and ovals and stars. Every motif is presented as both a set of written instructions and a graphical chart, using the standard set of symbols used for representing crochet stitches.

What I really love about this book is that it's hardcover + has stiff pages + spiral bound. That's a killer combination for books like this because you can lay it out flat no problem to stitch a motif or two.

I think I will use a few of the motifs in the book for making brooches. And if I had the patience to work with mercerized cotton and other fine yarns, earrings and other crocheted jewelry.... :D

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