Book Review: Totally Simple Crochet

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Thursday 29 September 2011 at 9:55 am


I recently rejoined Crafter’s Choice, which meant picking a few books for $1 or so plus shipping. Among one of my selections was a book by Tove Fevang, Totally Simple Crochet: Over 30 Easy Projects for the Home and to Wear. Before I decided on this book, I went over to amazon.com and took a look inside of it and determined that the projects were, for the most part, items I may want to make such as scarves, wash clothes, shawls, and afghans.

Now that I have the book in my hands, I have mixed ideas about it. I still really like the projects. The 6 wash cloth patterns, I’m kind of so-so about because they are not overly involved, but hey, the title does say “simple.” Plus for newbies, these would be perfect for learning stitches without taking on huge projects. The scarf patterns are really pretty, both the one on the cover and another inside called the “Flower Scarf.” It is light and lacy looking and the colors are amazing. Because of it being so light-weight, it is something I could actually wear down here in Florida during the few cool months we have. Other than one blanket project that has some, I think, extra large flowers around the border, I think all of the projects are beautiful, and they are items I want to make for myself and also as gifts.

Now for the flip side of this review, I don’t think this book is really geared toward someone who is very new to crochet, even though the projects look fairly simple. Some of the material was actually kind of confusing to me. For example, on one page in general information section, it says “Chain stitch (ch)” at the top of the page. Under it are photographs, but they don’t actually show how to make just a chain stitch. First of all, it jumps right into putting the hook into a slip knot and assumes the reader knows how to make a slip knot. Then the next photo does show chain stitch and provides a caption with an explanation on how to do it, but after that, there are 4 more photos that have next to nothing to do with a chain stitch.

There are a number of odd things like this. Another example is a gorgeous granny square lap afghan that does not include finished measurement, or at least, I could not find them. I looked on the inside cover and noticed that it says this was originally published in Norway, so I’m wondering if something got lost in the translation.

My only other issue is that the yarn used is all pretty high end, lost of 100% alpaca. Of course, pretty yarn is probably one reason why the finished projects are so beautiful, but when I think of “simple,” I think of a relatively inexperienced crocheter who may not be ready to plop down the cash needed for specialty yarn like alpaca.

Ultimately, I still love this book and hope to make something for me (yes, me, for a change!) using one of the patterns. However, I don’t think I would recommend it to a beginner, even though the projects are described at “simple.” There is just too much in here that is not broken down enough for someone at that level. In fact, I am still really on the “learning” side of reading and following patterns, so I’m not 100% sure I will be successful, but I sure want to be! Minus the 6 wash cloths, the designs in this book call to me to pick up my hook and some yummy yarn!

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