Saturday, March 22, 2014

Crochet: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide by DK Publishing

Crochet: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide features more than 80 crocheting projects for both beginners and more advanced crocheters. It starts off with some basic techniques and mini projects to get beginners off to a good start before launching into some more complicated patterns.

I love this book!!! I think I learned some crochet stitches many years ago, but I didn't learn enough to make anything. Because this book has both techniques and patterns, it's perfect for me.

Many years ago (30+), I really wasn't that interested in pursuing crocheting further because at the time it seemed like a "granny" craft to me. That image was further enhanced by all of the "granny square" projects, which I'm not fond of. This book changed all of that! These patterns are modern as well as fashionable. Even the "granny square" ones looks like they've been updated, to a point.

The book is divided into two sections: tools and techniques; and project patterns. The first section features information on yarn types, choosing colours, caring for your work, hooks and other equipment, and basic stitches, as well as more complex stitches and techniques. It also shows the reader how to read patterns as well as charts. I'm particularly interested in learning how to read the charts because they are very new to me. It looks hard, but I'm willing to go it a go.

I like how the book shows the reader a few basics then launches into a mini-project so that they can use what they just learned. I also like that the stitches are shown in a logical this case, by height. So, the single crochet comes before the half-double crochet, which is followed by the double crochet. It's a little thing, but to me it makes sense and builds upon previous lessons.

The project patterns section is broken down into categories: blankets and pillows; home and gifts; hats and scarves; gloves, socks and slippers; what to wear; toys; and bags.

I really like the variety of patterns, even though I most likely won't use a number of them, especially the garlands, toys and kids/baby wear. There's enough of the others one, though, to keep me interested and crocheting for quite a while.

Each of the projects in the book specifies which yarn (by brand name) was used for the project. It also specifies which type of yarn to use in general. However, even though I knit quite a bit, I still don't know enough about yarns to pick them out for a specific project. I'll probably just end up taking the book with me to the yarn store and getting help there.

Notes at the beginning of some of the projects point to similar projects or projects using the same stitch. I really like this idea as it encourages me to look at patterns other than the first ones that caught my eye. There's also additional advice, labelled "Top Tip", scattered throughout the book.

I love the patterns in this book. Several of them immediately caught my eye. I've already made the striped washcloth (page 34-35).
The pattern was very easy to follow and I appreciated the photographs of the edging technique as well as the large one featuring the finished project. I had a problem changing colours (I somehow lost a stitch), but I'll figure it out eventually. I hope to make a few other patterns once I learn some more stitches and get better at the craft. These include: filigree bookmark (page 178), shell mesh scarf (page 116), men's beanie hat (page 194), men's chunky scarf (page 206), cropped sweater (page 250), straw beach bag (page 290), everyday bag (page 295), and the change purse (page 306).

Highly recommended. I'll definitely be using this book a lot.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit DK's website.

I'd like to thank Chris at DK Canada for this review copy.

Crochet: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide by DK Publishing, Dorling Kindersley (DK), ©2014. ISBN 9781465415912(Hardcover), 320p.


  1. I've been attempting to learn crochet off and on for 30 years. Maybe this book could actually get me going. Thanks for the great review. I'll look for it at the book store.

  2. this sounds like a helpful book. Even though I have done quite a bit of crochet, I still have trouble knowing which stitch to start the row and which to end. I have to count every row so I don't loose stitches. Using charts is great. That\s how I do my doilies. Even then, I still have to guess which stitch to work in so it will look right. thanks for sharing this book. I'll be looking into it.


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