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Crocheting for Dummies
By Karen Manthey and Susan Brittain

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Crocheting for Dummies

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Crocheting for Dummies
By Karen Manthey and Susan Brittain
Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2008)
ISBN 10: 1-4104-0501-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-4104-0501-2
Genre: How-To, Crafting, Self-Help

Reviewed by Angela Evans - November 21, 2008

Crocheting for Dummies is an amply illustrated, expansive, and practical guide book that introduces you to the world of crocheting by teaching you the ins and outs of the craft and preparing you to embark upon your own projects. Learning any craft from a book can be a daunting task, but Karen Manthey and Susan Brittain, both editors with Crochet Fantasy magazine, make it easy.

Beginning at the beginning, Manthey and Brittain introduce you to the tools of crochet, namely hooks, yarn, and how to read all the arcane crochet symbols and abbreviations. From there they move on to teaching you some basic stitches and then onto more complicate matters such as increasing and decreasing stitches, working in circles, using multiple colors, and then moving on to even more complex stitches and techniques.

In Crocheting for Dummies, the authors have chosen to teach you how to crochet by having you work through projects - initially short easy projects such as making placemats and scarfs and then moving onto more difficult projects such as sweaters, afghans, and a cardigan. Finishing techniques, as well as embellishments and trims are also covered.

There is a lot more to crocheting than granny squares and plain stitches and even experienced crocheters will find that this book has a lot to offer. For those looking to expand their crochet repertoire, the authors tackle more advanced techniques such making button holes and pockets, as well as filet crochet and fancy stitches such as shell, picot, cluster, puff, popcorn and bobble stitches. Without a doubt, this book will not only introduce you to the craft of crochet, but it will help you on your way to becoming a talented and skill crocheter.

As someone who learned to crochet from a book, I really appreciated the authors' thoroughness and clear explanations used throughout this text. If I had a book like to this from which to learn to crochet, it would have saved me a lot of trial and error and would have been a real pleasure to work from. The only thing that I don't like about this book is that the authors teach you to crochet by working on projects. Personally, I prefer to learn new stitches and techniques by working on swatches. However, other than this personal quirk in regard to teaching methodology, I loved this book! I especially like that it is available in large print as it makes it so much easier to read and even those that don't need a large print edition will find that the enlarged illustrations make it so much easier to see how the stitches are made and what the end products should look like.

Throughout, the authors have included handy tips and suggestions that will prove invaluable to both skilled and novice crocheters alike. As important, once you learn how to crochet, or if you already know the basics, you will find that the projects included in this text are not only fun to complete, but the authors' instructions are so easy to follow that you will become spoiled when working with other less complete patterns or instructions that you are likely to come across as you seek out new projects to complete.

Be forewarned. Crocheting is addictive and highly versatile. Once you learn how to crochet you will find that not only can you make items of clothing and afghans, but you can also make doilies, crochet lace, bags, cozies, wall hangings, and so much more. Crocheting for Dummies is an ideal book if you want to learn to crochet on your own. It is also a wonderful reference guide for experienced crocheters. In short, I highly recommend Crocheting for Dummies to novice and skilled crocheters alike!

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