Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buying 'on impulse' is sometimes a mistake!, 13 July 2007
This review is from: Hookorama: 25 Fabulous Things to Crochet (Hardcover)
Yes this book was an impulse buy and now I regret it. I dislike it intensely and wish to warn people away from it.
First, some background. I'm 48, female, and can do/have done knitting, crochet, macrame, sewing, embroidery, quilting, tatting, rug-making etc etc. I do these things intermittently and often need to refresh/update my skills. Currently recovering from surgery I thought I'd take up crochet again. You can crochet anywhere in any position (even lying prone!), it works up quickly and you don't lose stitches, but I knew I needed a reintroduction to the stitches and techniques and how to follow patterns. I have a low boredom threshold so was looking for patterns that were out of the ordinary but not too difficult. My sister recently produced some marvellous, practical yet out-of-the-ordinary items from a modern crochet book so I was looking for something similar. Hookorama seemed to fit the bill, so I bought it.
Initially, my disappointment was purely personal. I soon realised that the items to crochet were far too whimsical for my taste. I have no use for a parasol-cover, crocheted glasses, or baguette warmers (a stripey tube. That's all, a stripey tube.) However, I thought I'd keep it: the section on basic stitches is clear and helped to remind me of what you do when you crochet. So I thought that I would try out some of the patterns in order to get back into the way of things. That is when my problems started. Specifically:
1. Page 88, creamy coasters and placemats. chart circular diagram with no explanation on how to follow a chart. Struggled through, completed, proud of self. Felting comes into it. I thought you felted the mat you'd just crocheted (having been done in arran-weight wool as per instructions it was a bit cumbersome and I thought felting would actually improve it). No, rereading and rereading the instructions again, I finally realised that I was supposed to purchase 'Tops' to make into felt which went underneath the coaster. Dear editors and authors, please make directions clear. That's what patterns are about. Bullet-pointing materials lists helps, because it shows when one item ends and another starts.
2. Page 109. Tunisian crochet banana. I was keen to try Tunisian crochet, and why not a banana for practice. I go to page 109. I find a picture of a Tunisian crochet banana, but no pattern for a Tunisian crochet banana. I look at the index, check the page number, no pattern. Look through book. Instructions on Tunision crochet pp26-27 (but no indication of length of hook needed) but no pattern.
3. Page 46. The Garden of Eden (grape clusters). Instructions start:Rnd 1: 4dc in 2nd ch from hook. No problem there, but there is no indication of how many chains to make in the first place.
This is just a small sample of misdirections and inaccuracies in this book. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.
This is almost a 'coffee table' crochet book - looks good but on closer inspection is unworkable. A good enough read, in a patronising sort of way, nice (but not informative) pictures, but no substance. As we say in this part of the world, 'Fur coat and nae knickers'.
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