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4.7 out of 5 stars438
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 18 January 2011
I saw so many five-star reviews for this book I thought I must be missing something wonderful.

I was very surprised to find that in the crochet section Ms Stanfield does not keep to one kind of abbreviation for her written instructions. American crochet terms differ from those used in UK and unless there is a national flag at the top of each design to show which terms are employed, following the patterns can get tricky. Page seventy-eight's patterns use American terms, so 'dc' means what a UK reader calls a treble crochet stitch ; page seventy-nine uses UK terms so that 'dc' means a 'double crochet' - a different stitch altogether. I've been crocheting for more years than I care to count but I had to look very carefully to get any sense out of this jumble.

The flowers are nicely photographed in colour and the layout of the pages looks neat. Altogether there are forty designs for knitted flowers, leaves, butterflies and vegetables and sixty designs for similar things in crochet. All of the items are shown first in colour, with a number that identifies each one in the instruction section of the book.The book closes with a chapter of ten projects but these are really just ten suggestions for where the flowers, etc, might be used. The first project, for example, is for a peg bag made from a linen tea-towel and a coat-hanger, embellished with a crochet daisy, but there are not any instructions for the making of the peg bag. There is a suggestion for how to fix the flower to the bag.

If you are a beginner you might have difficulty following both the written instructions and the diagrams for the crochet designs; the knitted ones only have written instructions. The flowers on the whole are rather heavy and lack grace. I hoped there would be a mixture of chunky flowers suitable for, say, winter hats or brooches and some lacy, delicate flowers as well. Even the designs for which fine cotton is recommended look thick and heavy-handed.

So, beginners beware. This is not a book I shall be using much, if at all.
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on 4 September 2009
This is a fab book! Amazing! All the flowers and leaves etc are so realistic. I am more of a crochet person myself which is great as there are more crochet patterns than knitting ones in this book, but it will certainly encourage me to pick up some knitting needles and give knitting a go. AND, another GREAT bonus is that this book uses ENGLISH terminology, not American, for a change! The book is colourful, beautifully laid out and is easy to follow. Clear photos and clear instructions. If you like using any sort of yarn or thread, then you MUST own this book!!!
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on 28 December 2010
Lovely illustrations, which made me want to make every flower (and leaf, fruit, vegetable and insect!) in the book. Although I'd say this isn't a book for beginners, there are some introductory instructions and tips, and the patterns are graded into basic, intermediate and advanced knitting and crochet designs. I started straight away on some advanced and intermediate patterns, and found them fairly easy to follow, so I should think the basic ones are even easier. My only quibble is with the indexing. The designs are shown and listed by pattern number rather than page, which is rather confusing: For example, design no.94 is on page 103. If you go to page 94 out of habit, as I did, you'll end up at design 83! Similar number clashes occur throughout the book. This frustration aside, I got some good results from following the instructions, and the patterns can easily be worked in various types and weights of yarns.
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on 11 May 2009
The previous reviews say most of what there is to say but after trying several of the patterns (7 knitted and 6 crochet) I have found some mistakes in the instructions. It is possible to work through these with the help of the photos but is a little disappointing. I also felt that more detail would be helpful on the making up instructions of some of the designs, perhaps with a diagram or photo. I can see that this wasn't done to keep the instructions for each design to one page and the layout clear and concise. Overall this is a lovely book with good photos and is really inspirational.
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on 17 September 2009
A great book with more than just flowers, there are veggies and insects too. Very colourful and easy to understand, a must have if you want to embellish clothing, bags, etc or maybe make flower jewellery. Countless things you could use them for only limited by your imagination. Well worth the pennies!
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on 31 August 2009
I bought this book from a Marketplace seller - it got here fast and in beautiful condition. The book is a lovely blinding - softcover with full page colour photos. The thought put into this is dizzying! There are so many different patterns that the biggest problem becomes where to start! We're talking several types of leaves and roses, multiple kinds of violas, marigolds, sunflowers, daisies, there are butterflies and other critters, flowers that are very complex and some that are simple, it just keeps going. I'm kind of entertained to see if I ever can do all of these but I'm not sure!

I actually bought this book to practice my knitting, but seeing as I'm much better at crocheting (I'm still fairly new to knitting), this book turns out to be useful to me. The patterns are fairly simple, even many of the ones marked as 'advanced'. As other reviewers have mentioned, this book is quite heavy on the crochet, but some of the cutest ones are knitted (the carrots, in particular!), so take it as an inspiration to learn something new if you're "just" a knitter or a crocheter.

Finally, a word on how the book is organised. First there is an info/details/resources/etc section, then a directory of flowers - beautiful full page colour photos organising the patterns by colour, type, and so on. Then there are two sections: knitted flowers, and crocheted flowers. Within each one the patterns are divided by basic, intermediate, and advanced designs, which is a clever way to do it.

Overall it's one of the most attractive and best-organised knitting/crochet books I've seen. It's so cheap that it's worth it even just as a book to leave on the coffee table and flip through.
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on 20 June 2010
For some time the wife had been making crocheted handbags, and wanted something to give them a bit of a lift,

then when I saw this book advertised on Amazon I figured this was just the thing...and as it happened the wife agreed with me !!!!
When the book arrived I was hoping it was to be OK...and was releived to find that the wife was delighted with I was with the very prompt service...good packaging also.
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on 14 October 2010
This book is very nice to look at but the patterns are not for a beginner. The crochet instructions, even the basic patterns, are difficult to follow. I hope I can finish a flower, but having to look at Youtube crochet instruction videos to learn some of the stitches. I feel that people who write this type of book are very skilled but don't realise some of us need clearer instructions.
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on 16 September 2010
Clear concise instructions which result in lifelike flowers, butterflies and vegetables. The best book I have used on the subject for years.My daughter was so impressed that, rather than borrowing mine, she immediately bought one of her own from Amazon. I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone interested in the craft.
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on 1 November 2010
I bought this book because a lady at my crochet class had it and we were all so impressed. The designs are beautifully presented and in English knitting and crochet language. I have made several flowers already and it will be useful for many years to come.
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