It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a new book, so I thought I’d review a new book for you. This one is special to me because I did a lot of the work in it (and my name is on the cover, too). The name of this book is “Complete Guide to Symbol Crochet” and it’s published by Leisure Arts. I worked on this book, on and off, with Rita Weiss over the course of 5 months during the last year. It was another one of those “labors of love”, just like another book I worked on with Rita Weiss and Jean Leinhauser 5-10 years ago called “Crochet Lace”. I love working on crochet books, whether I’m designing projects, tech editing patterns, writing patterns, making filet crochet charts or symbol crochet charts for them.
This book is special because it teaches how to read crochet symbol charts, which I absolutely LOVE!!! I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t know how to read symbol crochet charts. They are a visual representation of the crochet project and if you’re a visual person, like me, I’m sure you’ll love them, too. I learned to draw crochet symbol charts a few years ago with Adobe Illustrator. It’s really quite fun (and challenging sometimes) to draw them. But since I love a good challenge, it’s right up my alley!
Our symbol crochet book includes symbols for 47 crochet stitches (or combinations of stitches, such as clusters, popcorns, etc) as well as instructions and diagrams for how to work each of these stitches. It also includes photos, symbol charts and written instructions for 9 projects: 8 of the projects are “easy” and 1 is “intermediate”. Here are photos of the 9 projects in this book:
This book is a digest size book (8.5” x 5.5”), so it’s perfect to take along anywhere and it will fit in just about any size of crochet bag, too!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this new symbol crochet book and you’ll give symbol crochet a try. Some of the current crochet magazines include symbol crochet charts in them, such as Crochet Today. And some good “older” magazines with lots of symbol crochet patterns in them are Magic Crochet and Decorative Crochet. They are/were both published in France and have lots of thread crochet patterns in them. Each pattern starts out with some written instructions, but then says to “follow chart”. And if you’re really adventurous, you can purchase some Japanese crochet books or Russian crochet magazines. Both of these have symbol crochet charts in them. I have many of each, but I can’t read a word of Japanese or Russian to save my life! However, I can follow the symbol crochet charts in both of them. In fact, I crocheted a cardigan several years ago (the one I’m wearing in my Annie’s videos) from a Japanese crochet pattern. The symbol charts were fantastic and the cardigan turned out really nice. I used 2 strands of size 10 DMC Cebelia thread to make my cardigan. Here are photos of the project in the book and me wearing it:
Isn’t it beautiful? I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Because I have gauge issues (I crochet too tightly quite often), I had to block the heck out of it so it would fit me! I added some waist shaping to my cardigan, too, which wasn’t in the original pattern. My cardigan came from this book:
It’s a great book and was well worth the $20 or so that I paid for it (directly from Japan).
To celebrate the publication of the Complete Guide to Symbol Crochet book, Rita and I would like to give away a free, autographed copy to a lucky winner. To enter this contest, you’ll need to leave a comment on this blog post (like if you know how to read symbol crochet charts, if you’d like to learn how to read them or something like that). You’ll also need to be subscribed to my blog. Both of these are quick and painless! To leave a comment, you’ll need to be registered on my website (this cuts down on “spam” comments, so registering is necessary these days). There’s a tab at the top of each page of my website that says “Login”, then a drop down tab that says “register”. Just fill in the blanks and click on the button at the bottom. After you’re registered, you can leave your comment on this blog post (and you can comment on any other blog posts here, too). To subscribe to my blog, simply scroll down a few inches and type in your e-mail address in the field that says “Subscribe to blog via email” on the right-hand side of the page. Now wasn’t that easy? Oh, this contest will end on August 28th (my youngest son’s 21st birthday). So enter today for your chance to win!
I wish everyone the best of luck in winning a free copy of this new book (although, realistically, only 1 lucky person will win). And if you don’t win, I hope you’ll consider adding this new symbol crochet book to your crochet library.