Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday book review

Sorry for the delay in posting loyal readers - the technical issues experienced have now been fixed (after much tinkering with the old broken PC we now have a shiny new one) so soon I shall be posting about all my latest crafty work. Until then I have another book review for you all to enjoy!

"Complete guide to Knitting & Crochet" by Nicki Trench
ISBN: 978-1405486101
UK crochet terms

This unusual book came as a late surprise Christmas present (I love late presents!) a couple of days ago and I've quite enjoyed having a good read through it.

It's unusual because it reads more like a magazine than a book, the pages are very thin and the printing isn't of the best quality. The book is also more of a basic beginner guide to knitting and crochet and is in no way the complete reference that you might assume from the title.

The layout of the book is also unusual - it is divided into two separate books really with the first half being all about knitting and the second being all about crochet. Because of this it repeats some of the content about different wool types and different embellishments. There are also no projects that use both knitting and crochet which is a real shame and would have been a nice way to perhaps bring the book together a little better.

There is a nice 'history of' type section for both knitting and crochet which makes interesting reading though in both of these the author claims that the current popularity of both knitting and crochet is down to the new "super chunky yarns" that are available - not too sure where she heard that from... The 'how to' sections seem pretty basic when you see other better written guides, the illustrative photos are quite small and the accompanying written instructions are not very clear. The stitches covered are only the very basics with some reference to more advanced techniques.

There are some fun looking projects in here, all of which are aimed at the beginner but still manage to be interesting. While I would never knit at dog coat or my own bikini (yes - another pattern for a yarn bikini - why do so many books bother with them?) I may well have a go at the pretty crochet bolero or the sweet little ballet style slippers. The simple knitting patterns also look tempting to me - I may have to dust off my knitting needles and see if I can still knit to try a few of them out.

This isn't a book that I would recommend anyone to buy, though it is worth a look through if you can borrow a copy. It is not a great guide to either knitting or crochet and the book could have done with a really good editor to improve the writing, cut out a lot of the strange quizzes and illustrations as well as change the order around so that it doesn't read as if it is two separate books. That said I do like this book and even though it comes across as slightly amateurish that is part of it's charm.

After a quick look at Ravelry & Amazon it seems as if this book used to be two separate books "The Cool Girl's guide to Crochet" ISBN: 978-1405473194, and "The Cool Girl's guide to Knitting" 978-1405452328, at least all the patterns are the same, so be careful not to buy it twice!

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