Mills is a Finnish designer and has a very unique approach in this book, and in the introduction she explains that one goal of hers was to create projects that would appeal to men. This means not just making projects men might want to use but also want to make, and she points out that in her country it is a common hobby pursued by boys.
The projects are broken up into categories: home, clothes, travels, and equipment. There are basic instructions in the back, in chapter 5, that provide clear photographs for mastering stitches.
One small brain teaser for using these instructions and the patterns is that both American and English versions of stitches are presented, which is good and bad. It’s good, obviously, because no matter which you’ve learned, you can still complete the instructions without having to make any of your own alterations to the patterns. Of course, the bad is that you have to pay attention and remember that differences, such as a US single crochet is a UK double crochet stitch. US terms are included after the English term in parenthesis. For example, a pattern will say something like this: “crochet 10 dc (sc).” If you use English terms, then you ignore the information in parenthesis. If you use American terms, then you need to remember to use the parenthetical information and not the other.
One big plus for this book is that the projects are so different than any I have seen in a book for a long time. And, yes, they tend to be a little more masculine, no doilies for sure! There’s even a how-to in the back of the book for carving your own crochet hook out of wood. As far as crochet projects go, the “Yarn Chain” is a chunky crocheted chain that looks like a thick metal chain, only made with yarn. A similar idea is used in making a “Utility Strap,” which is shown connected to a skateboard. There’s a “Bow Tie” project and various rug projects. The author also has some projects that use other materials like using old t-shirts cut and sewn together (no crochet needed) to make a hip looking scarf.
So, my final thoughts are this is for the adventurous crocheter who wants modern and unique unisex accessories and decor items. Be prepared to learn new skills and work with other materials besides yarn such as leather and canvas. Put your need for immediate gratification on hold, but the finished projects look well worth it.