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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 29 March 2017
Excellent and informative good for beginners and intermediate chrochet skills
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on 26 April 2017
I have been crocheting for many years, but you can always learn something new.
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on 9 March 2017
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on 24 March 2011
Being a crochet fanatic and always searching for the next stitch and project, having bought several Jan Eaton books before I was all excited. But sadly it didn't last long. The tips and hints promised are miss meshed in with a lot of other writing as are the trade secrets. Not clear to read them, and easily missed as some 'tips' are on different pages to the stitches your trying to improve. Beautifully laid out though, with wonderful pictures, but again, it is just that, pictures. When it comes to making that wonderfully original edging or that lovely different shape, your having to look at a picture, no explanations as to how you create them. There is a lot of writing about the shapes,and styles, and granted if you can read a pattern and re-create by looking at a picture of it as I can, then wonderful. But a learner wouldn't find much substance in this book. Only a few stitches are explained, although VERY clearly explained I noted, how to incorporate them into a pattern was not there. Nor any suggestions of wool or yarn usages to create these trade secrets. Overall a nice book to have, providing your not just starting out, and have practice of most crochet stitches already. Not as good as her other books, purely because there are virtually no diagram instructions or written ones for the fancier stitches and I felt that a beginner would struggle to incorporate a lot of the tips when found,as they are so loosely pulled through the book.
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on 2 January 2011
I am a beginner and after my friend taught me a basic double crochet this book could teach me everything else. I think it is easier to learn one stitch from a friend or you tube as even brilliant diagrams cannot replicate being shown. However, once you can do one type, you can learn the others from the book. There are so many other things in this book which I think could take you through form beginner to quite an advanced level. Everything is well explained with brilliant diagrams and useful tips. However, I did find the order of the book a little bizarre but as it is easy to find information in it and to dip in and out of sections, that was not a problem. I also think the pictures of the different types of stitches should be larger but altogether I am really very pleased with this book. It is excellent.
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on 21 July 2009
My mother taught me to crochet many years ago, but I never progressed much beyond making a "granny square" or a simple scarf. I recently decided to pick up the craft again, but wanted a reference book to help me with different stitches and techniques.

I'm absolutely delighted with this book. It starts at the very beginning describing various types of crochet hook (metal, wooden, plastic, etc) and then continues with information on yarns and their suitability for different items.

The following chapters include:
help on reading patterns, including symbol charts;
step-by-step guide to a variety of stitches, including filet crochet;
joining on new yarn, and finishing off pieces, plus how to sew in a zip;
how to make pockets and buttonholes, and trim your garment;
and finally, assembling the finished piece.
And there's much, much more.

Throughout there are bright clear pictures, and on many pages "try it" boxes: mini projects that will help improve your skills in different areas.

I've now got the confidence I needed and have started a lace shawl, which looks lovely! I would never have tried something so ambitious (for me!) if I hadn't had this book.

Highly recommend this book for those like me, who can do basic crochet, but want to improve their skills. I also think that some-one learning to crochet will find it invaluable.
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on 24 March 2017
I bought this book as a reference book to dip in and out of to remind myself what to do.
I've with found it incredibly useful or so frustrating I could happily chuck it out the window.
Page 114 for example tells you how to do a flower, but starts "make the centre as in your pattern instructions". Err... what pattern instructions?!? You're supposed to give me the pattern!! 😡
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on 14 February 2008
I suspect that this is the same as the Encyclopaedia of Crochet Techniques, so looking at the reviews for that book may also be helpful. The instructions are very good, I have more enthusiasm than experience when it comes to crochet and find this book very useful.
I thought it might contain actual patterns so if that's what you want then look elsewhere, it certainly has plenty of hints and tips on how to do things, and it does have information on stitches, and how to combine them, turn corners, or work in rounds - so you don't have to be a genius to make good use of the instructions to make something useful. I was tempted to give this 4 stars because there are pictures showing completed items I would like to make - but no instructions, but to be fair the book does say its a compendium of techniques - not a pattern book - so 5 stars it is.
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on 18 October 2008
Like all Jan Eaton's books from Search Press, this one is beautifully produced, with nice clear pictures. But oh dear, as with her Encyclopedia of Crochet Techniques (note: this is *not* the same book, as another reviewer thought), the marketing department's enthusiasm seems to have run away with them. The subtitle "300 tips, techniques and trade secrets" appears to promise something that for me it just doesn't deliver.

From this description I was expecting a book for the intermediate to advanced crocheter, with discussion on alternative methods, dealing with common problems and so on. But it's another beginner book, giving a quick overview of a broad range of crochet stitches and types of project.

Many (most?) of the tips are simply basic instructions, e.g. in the Techniques section, how to make a slipknot, how to work into a foundation chain, how to work various kinds of stitches. There are "Fix It" and "Try It" sidebars at various points, but again most of the fixes are basic common sense rather than expert tips; for example, if unsure where to place patch pockets you are advised to pin them on and try on the garment in front of a mirror. If you're finding it hard following a pattern with multiple sizes, use a highlighter pen or circle the numbers for your size.

There's a tip on working extra starting chains to avoid counting mistakes. Yet, although extended (Elmore) stitches have their own section, there's no mention that the very same technique can be used to work a foundation row and starting chain in one, thereby eliminating any miscounting *and* the dreaded tight-chain problem.

I was delighted to see a section on socks and was so disappointed to find no useful information there at all. Tip 233 tells us that heel flap-and-gusset shaping is better than short-row shaping for large feet and high insteps, and that's it; there is no information on what these methods are or how to work them. Another tip tells us stitch markers are handy when working socks, and a sidebar explains how to knit (yes, I did mean *knit*) the cuff.

To avoid sounding totally negative, the section on colour is interesting and the book is, as I said at the beginning, very nice to look at. Beginners will love it. However, in my opinion, it's sadly another triumph of style over substance. If you're not a beginner, get The Crochet Answer Book instead.
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on 15 June 2009
Wish I bought this book sooner.
Plenty of hints, tips and guides. Very useful to keep in your crochet bag
whatever your level of experience.
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