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on 30 June 2013
I originally had this book out on loan from the library, I renewed it four times and thought I better buy it and give some other lucky library user a chance to borrow it!
This book is a joy to read, looks beautiful on your shelf and has really useful patterns.
I have made the 'apple cosys' for my children's teachers and the pattern was well written and most importantly it worked!
I find a lot of other crochet books old-fashioned, but this book has gorgeous patterns which I can't wait to hook up, and modern takes on vintage crochet, such as intricate shelf edging and table placements.
Love it!
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on 27 December 2014
Great wee book Peggy colville county down
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on 10 January 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Crochet doesn't seem to be having as much of a renaissance as knitting, which surprises me a little in some ways, as it is both easier to learn, and more portable. I guess it still suffers from the slightly old fashioned image of granny square blankets and crochet doilies. There is a fine line between retro chic and retro ugly...

So, does this book manage to make crochet retro chic? I really don't think that it does. And I'm not entirely sure it entirely works as a good beginner's guide to the craft, either.

First, the good points:

1. The photos - lots of them, clear, detailed and colourful. Helpful in the techniques section, and very stylish in the projects section.
2. The author's voice - friendly, chatty and encouraging
3. The how-to section - clear, covers most of the basics well
4. The suppliers page - not just the usual suspects, but some nice independents as well, who are available online
5. The pattern instructions - clear and easy to follow

And now, the bits I think could have been better:

1. The finishing of the projects - FAR too many of them rely on crochet being used as trim on sewn items, or require lining in some way. There's very little instruction on the techniques needed for this, and it could be off putting. It's off putting to me, and I've been sewing for the best part of forty years (did I really say that?). If I want to sew a handbag and attach motifs to it, I'll buy a book on making handbags...
2. The types of project - whilst it's nice to have items for every area of the home, who these days uses a jug cover? Or steering wheel cover? Or crochet doilies, even in an ironic manner?
3. The patterns - I know it's called "Simple Crochet" but the motifs (especially, and there are a lot of them) are dull and unimaginative. There are better - free - patterns out there
4. The information on yarn - yarn is incredibly important. If you can't get the specified yarn, you aren't really given the knowledge about yarn weights, types and composition to make good decisions (as a beginner) to make effective substitutions. A number of the projects were made by the author in unavailable yarn (unless you have access to Italian sources) and yet the finished projects are photographed only in the author's original yarns and not the specified substitutions, so you can't tell exactly what your finished project will look like

After reading this book, I was inspired to pick up my crochet hook again, but not to do any of the projects in this book I'm afraid. A nice try, but ultimately it falls short for me.
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on 17 January 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an absolutely beautiful book...I could happily look through it again and again. The paper is thick and luxurious and the photography stunning, if you enjoy a vintage whimsy, as I do.

I'm very new to crochet myself, having just started to learn a few weeks ago. I find the instructions in here quite good however they lack a little illustration, so abeginner may need to hop onto youtube just to check they're getting it right.

The patterns vary. I really like the apple cosy's. yes, they're pretty pointless...but cute and this will be good practice for crocheting rounded shapes. There's a lot of stuff I would never bother with...like a leather steering wheel cover!

Overall a truley beautiful book, but practically speaking probably not the greatest out there.
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on 6 April 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was initially taught to crochet by my mother, when I was about six years of age, and in the intervening years I have made crocheted items ranging from pram covers, baby and adult bed blankets to jumpers, cardigans, tops, dresses and shawls; and never once have I wasted wool on an apple cosy!

Wool and crochet thread are expensive items and you have to be sure of what you want to make before laying out all that moolah. Even when I have had a partial ball left over I have used it to make blanket (oops sorry that should be "quilt") squares - at least when put together they will keep you warm during a cold snowy winter.

This book does nothing to forward the cause of crocheting - if anything it does the reverse and puts it firmly back in the stereotypical doillie and granny knickers frills (I kid you not). There are "face cloths" which I can remember my Nan making from the short scraps of wool that couldn't be used for anything else. She, however, used them as floor cloths.

Though I will say that one of the worst items is on page 120 - a "Leather Steering Wheel Cover".

This loose fitting cover with large loops would be a significant danger to use while driving all it would take is for it to slip on the steering wheel as you were trying to negotiate a bend or traverse a traffic island and you could end up in a serious accident. Aside from which, if I was going to expend the sort of money that would be required to purchase leather cord I would certainly not be using it on something so shoddy and so incredibly dangerous.

The instructions are poorly done. Please believe me that crocheting is one of the easiest crafts to use and to see the mess that the "author" has made of the easiest stitch makes me cringe.

The way Ms Singuglia holds the hook and yarn is completely opposed to the way I was taught. She holds it like a knitting needle hook upward where as I hold it like a pen (hook downward) that way I can control the turn of the hook better with just the slightest manipulation of finger and thumb.

It may also explain why her images look so awkward and her descriptions are so cack-handed.

Never have I seen a more inept way of producing a starting slipknot, nor a more problematic way of performing a slipstitch (which she admits is one of "the most basic stitches, apart from the chain" - well I suppose I should be grateful that she acknowledges that the chain is basic.

After spending several weeks trying to find something that might be positive for beginners or the more experienced crochet makers, I am afraid that other than the scarf on page 134 there is nothing I would bother with in this book, not even the instructions.

I have been left wondering if Sara Singuglia has ever crocheted in her life, or if she just sat there on her laptop looking up patterns on Google (other search engines, as they say, are available).

Never has a company been so aptly named - "Hatchette" - because, in my opinion, they have done a complete hatchet job on crocheting.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 April 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been on the lookout for ideas for new crafty projects to complete on long summer evenings while camping and which can be completely handmade without having to rely on access to a sewing machine. This seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

It's a very attractive hardback book and a pleasure to browse through with its very attractive matt photography. Directions were clear throughout and easy to follow - even for someone like me who has little crocheting experience and hasn't crocheted for years. That said, it's probably not a book for a complete beginner

The book started with a useful refresher course for the lapsed crocheter and reminded me of long-forgotten stitches via easy-to-follow sketches, useful tips and a tutorial showing how to crochet onto fabric which I'd never done before, or even thought of doing, so this was an unexpected inspiration. The projects are graded from very simple, 'Starting out' to 'Moving on' and 'Confident' for the more experienced crocheter

The range of projects were vast including a cuddly bunny toy (which I made), a useful phone case, drink coasters, pot holders, the usual scarves, bookmarks, bag decorations and an inevitable blanket, but also some rather strange inclusions such as button-fastening apple cosies, bells with buttons on and a somewhat bizarre frilly trim for a pair of home-made knickers...???!!!! (Surely nobody would make this?) I think the author included this for her own amusement though rather than as a serious project! Some projects were useful, others were imaginative but I found some rather 'twee' for my taste and as for the frilly knicker trim - err no, I didn't make this!

An attractive book offering a good crochet tutorial and a broad range of crochet project ideas for varying ability levels, although they might not suit every taste.

4* for presentation
3* for content (based on my tastes)
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VINE VOICEon 5 January 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was most interested to get this book.But on opening it I found it somewhat dull,and not that helpful.The instructions to learn to crochet are not enthusiastic enough to make the whole worth learning.Having done this sort of handy craft all my life,I did not see how someone new to the art would want to follow it through to actually make anything worth while.To crochet squares and then make a blanket say with left over wools might be quite fun,but who on earth would want to make an apple cover.At first when I read about it I thought maybe it is me who finds this odd,but on asking friends what they made of it,everyone said no,not for me,we would rather have a clean small plastic bag with our apples,and we do not bang our bags arround so that our apples become bruised.The little toy which a small child might love, I found the only suggestion that was worth having a go at,but there again it is not the easiest thing to make for a beginner,but I am sure that would find favour in making, as when giving it as a gift, it would certainly be popular.Covers for various pots etc.well maybe on the dressing table,but otherwise within the home I do think dust would collect,hence not my thing either,
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 April 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My wife and 18 year old daughter like art & crafts, knitting and sewing, plus they are both very active in the Brownies/Girl Guides and the Duke of Edinburgh award that can include craft handywork skills. So they are always looking out for new craft ideas, and were pleased to get this 'Simple Crochet' book. My wife has always enjoyed elegant lace making, but that's so painfully slow. Crochet is a far simpler and faster method for making usable little round doilies, and this book has quite a few suggestions on knitting these, with 35 projects in total. The doilies can be used as mini table mats & coasters, napkins, or jar/bowl covers, and there's projects to use them as decoration on table runners, bags, phone cases, and suchlike.

Other crochet patterns include making scarfs, wrist warmers, little animals/dolls and their clothes, pencil/storage pots, seat covers, or the classic mini-squares blanket. There's even suggestions for making flannels and towels. Some others are decidedly oddball, like making a string vest for your car steering wheel or little jackets for fresh apples (the 'Apple Cosies' shown on the book cover). The books ideas are themed around: the kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, children's rooms and out and about.

To get going you will also need a crochet hook or two, some fibre (e.g. yarn or crochet thread), fine scissors, and a tapestry needle can be useful to weave in the ends when you've finished. We also use a 6" and 12" metal ruler to check the gauge.

In the front of the book there's 29 pages of advice on the basics of crochet knitting. The books filled with pretty photos and there's 143 pages in total. The hard back book size is 25 x 20 x 2 cm, and the book is very well bound and presented. The pretty pastel colours emphasise the book is very much for the ladies, with the only boy in the book being too young to realise how girly it all is (there's certainly no boy friendly knit your own centipede patterns). The book's quite conservative and aimed more at simple projects, as suggested in the title, and the women in the house rate it highly for those interested in basic crochet knit ideas and advice, so 4*.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 13 March 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My first complaint with Simple Chrochet; it's a heavy, hard back book that impossible to keep open and position comfortably while you work.

My second complaint; there's nothing 'simple' about the patterns. If you doubt that then try the Vintage Linen Centrepiece or the Granny square blanket if you're new to crochet.

As a crochet novice I bought:- Crocheting For Dummies (For Dummies (Lifestyles Paperback)). Within a couple of days I had the necessary skills to knit my first scarf. I wore that until it fell apart I was so proud! Perfect book for complete beginners which takes you step-by-step into complex patterns and stitches. They also had the common sense to produce it with soft covers, large print and simple black and white illustrations to guide you through the different stitches. It's an easy book to position on your knee, arm of a chair, table, etc., and still be able to see what you're doing.

However; crochet is all about mastering the basic stitches. You're not going to get very far unless you can turn a circle or make a motif. This book offers a series of patterns and ideas that allow you to practice those techniques. Once you're confident you can go on and make larger items such as a throw or a bed cover. I just don't understand why their suggestions are so obscure. Here's a selection of the 'wonderful' items you can make for yourself:-

Smartphone Case
Pencil Pot
Framed Motif
Granny square pot holder
Summer lawn handbag
IPad case
Face cloths
Leather steering wheel cover
Bud vase collar
Bathroom storage vessel
Linen hand towels
Jug cover
Scalloped shelf edging

Much of the book is concerned with sewing, not crochet, and many of the items you buy and then add a crochet border, circles, square motif etc. The format's a mess and the book's not one thing or another. Where does 'vintage' even fit in?

I'd offer a couple of pieces of friendly advice before you purchase Simple Crochet:

* Look for basic instructions on the internet - there's so much to download for free.

* Cost your project before you start. Yarn is incredibly expensive. For my first few attempts I used wool I'd unpicked from cardigans and jumpers, good quality and clean, from a charity shop.

I'm not a fan of this book, not at all, but I can't rate it less than 3*. Presentation and photography are lovely and they certainly haven't skipped on content.
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VINE VOICEon 25 December 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In many ways this is a very attractive well produced book. The photography is excellent providing clear guides to beginners instructions and lovely images of the finished designs.

The book gives out a vibe of "home-making" that is comforting to a point, but to be honest too many of the projects are just too frilly and unnecessary for me.
I am not going to want to crochet lacy coasters or put a frilly edging on my knickers :-) Ever!

A lot of the projects are decorative like adding bits of crochet onto fabric as an ipad cover, or smartphone cover. Not my style.
Too fussy.
What I did like were the apple cosies, (practical and attractive) and a very sweet crocheted bunny that I am definitely going to make for a grandchild. There is also a well designed Granny Square Blanket.

This is a hardback book that will give you some ideas but you may not like many of the items and I think there are better books for beginners.
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