Book Review: “Designer Crochet”

For those folks who do not know, I was taught to crochet by my maternal Lola (grandmother in Tagalog) Gertrude and mother when I was very young, supposedly around first grade. I remember that I enjoyed the craft, but grew bored with it as I came into my tweens. At the time I never progressed past making rectangular items, and circular items were out of the question. I restarted crocheting shortly after I began working in 2001 for Fidelity Investments at Boston, MA. Actually, I started because my crocheting seat-mate on the commuter rail went on a month-long vacation and I needed a baby blanket as a gift. My (now ex-husband) boyfriend suggested I re-learn how to crochet, I walked into a couple of yarn shops and big box stores, and my history into the fiber world began. After three years of brain wrangling, I later took up knitting because I was intrigued by the use of knits and purls. Since I am fairly comfortable in both crafts, I consider myself “bistitchual” similar to being bilingual.

A couple of months ago, I was asked if I would be able to review Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby‘s “Designer Crochet” the latest book from Shibaguyz Designz. Downright flattered by the honor of being asked, I replied an emphatic “YES.” When I received the book from Sterling Publishing, it did not fail to delight my eyes. I admit many squeals, with other sounds like “Oooooh” and “Ahhhh-HA” plus an occasionally exclaimed “BRILLIANT!” were made as I read through the 32 patterns and techniques. This book is full of precise explanations to help with these fashionably timeless designs. The designs themselves are not the ill-fitting chunky styles many experienced in past decades. Instead the use of lighter weight yarn allows drape, shaping, and precision.

My original goal for this review was to crochet a few swatches, but due to time, and indecision on picking my favorites, I decided to write a series of posts about them. My first priority was crocheting the Foundation Single Crochet and Foundation Half Double Crochet to ensure the instructions were clear. I did both without issue. And now for my next teaser: While hooking one of the sample swatches for the Motif Maxi Skirt, I became smitten with the resulting look. I still have some bits of The Buffalo Wool Company‘s Sexy laceweight yarn that I had divided into yarn tasting bites. This skirt gave me a great opportunity to try them out. The result is pleasantly clear.

The only change I am making is to lengthen the top section to cover more of my upper thighs. But now that I decided to make this Motif Maxi Skirt for myself, I cannot wait to show you my progress as I get further into the project. I hope you will buy Designer Crochet (because it is an awesome STEAL at $14.95) and join me in this adventure! =:8

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