If you listen to the podcast then you will know that I will only give a book review if I have undertaken a pattern (or two) from that book. This allows me to give a more thorough review and give a good, honest opinion on how that book actually performed for a crafter.
The Crochet Project's Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin teamed up with Rachel Coopey of Coop Knits to create a 6 accessory pattern booklet called Crochet Yeah! using Socks Yeah! as the preferred yarn for each of the patterns.
The booklet (A5 which perfect size to fit in a project bag) has patterns for two hats, a pair of mittens, a cowl and a scarf, ranging from beginner to intermediary:
- Bromsgrove Hat - Rated easy and uses between 3 and 4 skeins depending on size
- Evesham Socks - Rated intermediary and uses between 2 and 3 skeins depending on size
- Tenbury Hat & Mittens - Rated easy and uses 2 skeins
- Malvern Cowl - Rated beginner and uses 3 skeins
- Worcester Scarf - Rated beginner and uses 2 skeins
I started by making the Evesham socks which I crocheted using the Socks Yeah! yarn in shade Iolite (109). After one sock I then moved onto the Worcester Scarf but made it into a cowl instead because that is a more usable item for me. For the cowl I wanted to test using a yarn substitute and also wanted to use up some stash yarn, so decided upon Artesano's 4 ply silk in shade Lily Pad.
The booklet is nicely laid out with an introduction to the joint project, moving into a basic stitch guide, information on choosing sizes, tension yarn substitution, finishing and garment after care. These paragraphs are succinct but useful.
The patterns are well written and three out of the six have charts as well as written instructions. I am a very visual person, so I find this immensely helpful. I am wondering whether I inadvertently chose the two patterns I did because they both have charts? It is very possible. If find it a quick way to visualise what the stitches are going to create and help commit the row repeats to memory. I really wish more crochet books also provided charts!
As you would expect from the crochet duo, the photography is nicely executed and shows the finished projects off really well, especially as the booklet is in full colour. The model is Joanne and the photographer is Kat, which for me, gives the booklet even more integrity.
For something like the Evesham sock pattern I would have benefited from a part-way photo at the point where you chain to create the heel flap space. I would have preferred that to seeing four photos of the finished socks. That may just be me, I have only been crocheting for a year and three quarters so it may be lack of experience on my part.
I also like the little diagrams that have been added to the projects so that you can see what direction you should be crocheting in - such as cuff down on the socks. It may seem simple but from running a knitting and crochet group, I know that some people really struggle to understand where the pattern starts, so the diagrams are a great addition.
There is a nice mix of stitches used across the six projects with some cross over. For instance if you were a beginner and started with the Worcester Scarf it wouldn't be a massive step up to try the Evesham Socks if you could already crochet in the round.
For that reason I think that the booklet provides a great range of different stitches, different projects, all of which are very wearable - something that isn't always the case with crochet books. This isn't a surprise give that Joanne and Kat are at the contemporary end of crochet; the end of the spectrum that I like to loiter around.
The booklet is available for £12 hard copy (plus P&P if you buy online like I did from Coop Knits) or can be downloaded for £10. I think that this represents good value for money. I have paid the same amount out for a couple of crochet patterns online (from other designers) and been bitterly disappointed with the instructions once downloaded. This is certainly not the case with Crochet Yeah! - it is clear, well formatted and a great little resource for the less advanced crocheter or the more advanced crocheter that wants a quick TV crochet project.
I also think that the proof is in the pudding. My copy of Crochet Yeah! is already battered; it definitely isn't pristine. There may even be the odd muddy cat paw on it, but that is mainly because my cat sees crochet as a rival for my affection and paws all over it and anything in between him and my hands.
I will also look out for any further books/pattern releases that The Crochet Project comes up with. If Tin Can Knits are my go-to provider for nice, sizable, contemporary knitting projects, Joanne and Kat under their 'The Crochet Project' umbrella and as individuals are fast becoming my go-to provider for crocheted accessories.