A Healthy Dose of Inspiration
As a designer, I do a lot of swatching. Whether just for fun or with a specific idea in mind, making swatches gets me in the groove of crocheting, and in an almost meditative way, lets my mind wander to think of new ideas.
Sometimes I look at the swatches I have already made, and am uninspired. This is when I turn to stitch dictionaries. Of all of the books on my shelf, the stitch dictionaries are the ones I love the most. The first crochet book I ever bought was a stitch dictionary–Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet, to be exact, and it is still a favorite. No matter how many times I look at my collection, I can always pull out some new little detail in a stitch pattern that I hadn’t thought about before.
So, I’m excited to have a big, fantastic addition to my stitch dictionary library in the form of Robyn Chachula’s new book, Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia. When Robyn offered to send me a review copy of her book I didn’t hesitate, I knew it would be good. And ladies and gents, it is 300 stitch patterns good!
The thing I really love about Robyn’s compilation is that, in true Chachula fashion, all of the stitch patterns are diagrammed. AND better yet, written as well. Having both sets of instructions available on each page will make any crocheter happy. The diagrams are easy to read and the photos are clear. I sometimes wish they were bigger, but I know how hard it must have been to fit 300 stitches in this tome so no complaints from me! One of the really excellent things about the diagrams is that they are shaded to show the stitch repeat–I love that! Robyn also shares tips throughout the book, and gives suggestions on what each stitch pattern would be good for. If you want to sneak a preview of some of the stitches, there are some pretty excellent photos up on the Amazon page.
Robyn has pulled from a wide variety of places (most notably, her brain!) to compile these stitches, and she included tons of new patterns that I have not seen in other stitch dictionaries. There’s a special section on Tunisian, which is great–and sections on edgings, motifs, partial motif laces, bruges lace, color work, mosaic crochet and much, much more. How she keeps churning out books, I’m not sure, but I am excited to dive in and investigate these patterns.
Freddie approves, too. He already tried to eat one of the tasty, fresh-from-the-printer corners. Once he learns how to hold the crochet hook, he’ll be on his way. Unfortunately, I don’t think the “mouth hold” qualifies as an acceptable way to grip the hook, so I guess I’ll have to keep hooking my own samples for now…
Still reading? There’s a giveaway!: Want to snag your own copy of this book? Wiley has donated one copy for a lucky Lindamade reader. To enter to win, answer the following questions in the comments by Monday, Ocotber 31 at 12 midnight. I will select and email the winner, and they must claim the book within three days or forfeit the prize.
How many crochet stitch dictionaries do you own? (You can give me a rough estimate, if you’re scared to count them all). How do they inspire your projects?
And, check out the rest of Robyn’s book tour here.
*Full Disclosure: Wiley sent me a free copy of the book to review, all book links in this post are Amazon affiliate links.