Creative Crochet Projects is a fast, fun book of delightful patterns which are accessible to beginning crocheters (and a treat for more advanced hookers). It’s by Stephanie Pokorny of the ever-popular Crochetverse, so you know the projects are going to be cute, colourful and bang on-trend.
Creative Crochet Projects is split into two sections – Fun Accessories to Make and Wear, and Playtime Projects. I appreciated how the book is arranged in difficulty level. It starts with speedy and simple finger crocheted scarves in bulky yarn and gets more complex from there!
As well as all the patterns, this book contains helpful sections for absolute beginners. It covers things like hook size, yarn weights, and of course, gauge. The book contains crochet stitch instructions, and thorough how-tos for tricker techniques, such the chainless foundation stitch and magic ring. However, this is not a ‘learn to crochet’ book. It will stretch a beginner’s skills and provide a stepping stone to more complex or larger projects, but you will also want a helpful friend or a couple of hours on YouTube to get to grips with the basics.
Creative Crochet Projects has one of the cleverest ways of dealing with gauge I think I’ve ever seen (no joke). Instead of telling you to create a separate swatch (yawn), gauge checked after part of the pattern has been worked.
Here’s an example from the Bubble Hue Shift Hat pattern. “Gauge check: Lay that foundation ch out and smooth it flat without stretching. At this point your piece should measure 18” (20) from end to end. Once gauge is met, sl st to first st made to form a ring…”
See? How much better is that than working a flat square? I am extremely into this technique, and vote we all abandon swatches in preference of this.
This technique reminds me of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s hat-swatch – except it takes a lot less time. And you don’t end up with a dozen hats before hitting on the right gauge.
I’ve looked that up to see if she gives it a pithy name – she doesn’t. In case you haven’t heard of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s hat-swatch, I’ll share it here:
Elizabeth Zimmerman’s hat-swatch
“It is a good idea to cast on half the stitches for the total body-width, and embark on an Aran cap instead of a swatch. Use all the patterns called for, and if the cap turns out to be exactly half the width of the intended sweater, you can start on this without a qualm, and be one cap to the good. Make it 6—8” high, and bring it to some kind of a finish at the top. It is sure to fit somebody. … Isn’t it convenient that a cap measures just about half a sweater?”
That’s from The Knitters Almanac, and Creative Crochet Projects also has kind of an Almanac vibe. Twelve projects, with varying difficulty levels, a you-can-do-it approach and an abundance of tips sprinkled throughout.
The Bubble Hue Shift Hat pattern is my favourite project in the book. It’s wearable while being cute, unusual without straying too far into wacky. I also liked the Squiggles McGee Hat, the Happy Heart Bunting (so cute, and you know I love a granny square), and the Foldable Burger. However, the Asymmetric Owl Wrap didn’t do anything for me.
And in my opinion, the It’s a Cinch One-Hour Cowl would have been a lot cuter in different yarns. (Black and white with a bright red “belt”? Hmmm.)
Would I recommend this book?
Yes, Creative Crochet Projects would be perfect for a newer crocheter looking to expand their skill set. If a more experienced hooker picked it up for one pattern, they’ll almost certainly get more out of it than a single creative crochet project.
I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own.
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