People seek out all sorts of strange advice when they find out I’m a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher (aka Home Economics if you graduated before 1990 or live out of the United States). I can usually answer them from personal interest, but I certainly did not learn how to crochet (or make the perfect meringue… Or replace a zipper… Or can vegetables) in college. Unfortunately, needlework is widely viewed as a hobby instead of a skill worthy of class time.
I always recommend YouTube as the best place to learn the basics. My favorite channel for beginners is VeryPinkKnits. Once you learn the basics and are ready to read patterns, I recommend a good “Bible” sort of book. My favorite always has been Reader’s Digest Guide to Needlework. It is the one I learned all of my needlework hobbies from. I am always picking up extra copies from thrift shops and yard sales so I never have to be without when I lend one out.
In the future, however, if I find out someone I love wants to learn to crochet, I am ordering Complete Crochet Course from Amazon and having it sent to them.
Having crocheted for 20+ years, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book to purchase because I assume I know it all. While it does have a substantial how-to-crochet section (a very well done one at that), I was pleased to find plenty for me as a long-time crocheter to enjoy too. I love the stitch dictionary section. I got right to work on an afghan to use up my less-than-worsted weight pastel yarn with one of the bobble crochet patterns.
I also tried a new approach to joining granny squares together. It is perfect for the ABC afghan I am working on.
Throughout the book are patterns for projects that I would actually make. It also has good tutorials for trends like corner-to-corner crochet, crocheting cables, and various motifs.
The cover boasts that the book features “more than 190 stitches, 125 tutorials, [and] 98 techniques.” I didn’t feel like any of this was filler, as is the case with many pattern books.
Overall I think this book is a great gift for novice and experienced crocheters both. It has a comprehensive how-to-crochet reference but is chock full of new stitches, patterns, and projects for me to enjoy. It has already inspired two projects in the little time I have had it.
My Reader’s Digest Book of Needlework will always have a place in my heart, but this volume has taken its place on my shelf.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.