Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet Paperback – 7 Dec 2011
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Fist of all, it covers the basics--the history of crochet, how to crochet, stitches, yarns, threads, and needles. It also covers different techniques--filet crochet, Tunisian crochet, changing colors, wire crochet, bead crochet...etc.
The instructions are clear. I like that there are international symbols too. Also, the instructions of basic stitches and techniques are shown for left and right-handed crocheters.
There are lots of neat projects from baby blankets, to a challenging "Philosopher's Coat". Also, there is a pattern directory. I love the pineapple and strawberry patterns!
Also, it is a gorgeous book. It has a clean design and is a nice size and length--makes a nice coffee table book. The projects are modern and beautiful, and the photography is lovely.
I plan to make a pineapple afghan and try my hand at some bead crochet. Maybe one day, I'll try my hand at that "Philosopher's Coat".
There is so much information and instruction for just about anyone to improve their skills as a crocheter or to get started. It is a guide that I know I'll refer to often.
The section on different patterns is what I use most...again, thoroughly illustrated and photographed. Thanks to this book, I am making my own designs now instead of buying patterns from the store. There is also a great selection of trim/edging patterns, so you can add something special to an existing item, or add on to a current project.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I only wish there were more Donna Kooler projects for crochet available in stores (they all seem to focus on her needlepoint projects). I can't wait for her Knitting Encyclopedia to come out -- it's already on my wish list!