"The Happy Hooker" by Debbie Stoller
US crochet terms
This book has quickly become a classic and is possibly one of the most popular crochet titles out there at the moment. The very well known author of "Stitch 'n' Bitch handbook" & "Stitch 'n' Bitch nation" has taken her popular format and used to it show off crochet as stylish, fun and versatile.
The instructions are one of the best things in this book, you get over 90 pages of detailed and illustrated instructions which give you clear and precise directions for first starting out and then goes on to working in rounds, different stitch types, reading patterns and finishing off your work. For years I only worked in the back loop of stitches giving my flat pieces a lovely corrugated appearance that, while nice for somethings, was not quite right... Then I read all the way through the instructions in this book (which set me straight on a number of simple mistakes that I had unknowingly been making) and I would recommend to any crocheter of any level of experience to do the same.
With 40 projects ranging from tops, hats, bags, toys and for some reason a bikini (why do some many crochet books think that a crochet bikini is a good idea?!) there are plenty of things that will get you desperate to grab your hook and have a go. For myself I would love to make at least 30 of the projects in this book and one day I will (it will be a beautiful time just me with some chocolate buttons and a pile of lovely soft yarn...), but until then I'll just get out this book every now and again and gaze at the photos, wishing.
So far the only project I've worked from this book is the Sweet pea shawl (if you are a Ravelry user then you can find details and finished projects here) which I made up to match my wedding dress. I used a lovely soft bamboo yarn which was silky and light and the end result is just beautiful. If you do sensibly go out and buy this book then be sure to also download a copy of the errata before you start on any of the patterns.