Reviewed by Sabine Schneider.
Most crafters like their “crafty” books and often have a small library of useful guides. My stash of craft books is fairly small because styles and colours usually change faster than I can buy the often expensive books on knitting jerseys or crocheting blankets. There are, however, a few books that every crafter should consider keeping in their reference library – how-to guides for starters.
Finishing Techniques for Crochet by Pauline Turner is such a guide. It’s a smallish paperback packed with useful information on taking your crochet project to the next level. Seven chapters guide readers from basic know-how to perfect garment.
Chapter one is all about equipment, yarns, tension, measuring for garments, changing patterns and calculating yarn requirements.
Chapter two provides technical instructions for different foundation chains, edges, increasing and decreasing, avoiding unsightly gaps, raglan shaping, darts and the different techniques required for different yarn weights.
The third chapter deals with the actual finishing techniques, such as pressing, lining and different ways of joining pieces.
Cuffs, bands, edgings and pockets show a crocheter’s skill and often lift a garment from nicely homemade to show-stopper. Chapter four shows how to work and where to use them.
Good design usually requires an eye for colour. Chapter five gives instructions on how to use colour in crochet, lists tips on how to avoid mistakes and shows ways of camouflaging stripes of colour that don’t find your approval after the piece is completed.
Chapter six guides crafters through the process of creating shapes and motifs for embellishment. It gives instructions on how to join shapes to make a fabric, how to make buttons, trims, plaits, flowers, cords and tassels and also briefly mentions surface and three-dimensional crochet.
Finally, chapter seven offers five garments so readers can practice all their newly-acquired skills. The clothes are timeless classics: An easy wrap tunic, a figure-hugging vest, a cozy jumper, an Aran-style cardigan and a lacy, feminine dress.
All chapters are illustrated with clear step-by-step photos and tips and key points in coloured boxes. Anyone who enjoys crocheting garments – beginners and more advanced crocheters alike – will gain useful information from this book. It truly deserves a place beside the crochet stitch library.
Sabine started writing when she was about seven – and only minutes later she started to cook and crochet. Since then she’s been writing, cooking and crafting steadily, producing (more or less) attractive results. Born in Germany, Sabine has trained as a cook, kindergarten teacher and graphic artist and worked in Germany, England and France. For the last decade she has been here in New Zealand, working as a graphic artist, writer, baker and cook. As time allows she produces gorgeous hand painted yarns (sold on Felt), as well as bags, beanies and eclectic wrist cuffs that are sold at Nuddy in Palmerston North.