Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review (Yes, now I fancy myself a critic) LOL

When I was new to crochet, I bought myself a LOT of patterns. I bought patterns before I even knew how to work many of the stitches and techniques, knowing full well that they were beyond my skillset. Years after, I discovered Ebay and had an absolute field day purchasing vintage patterns for potholders, doilies and kitschy stuff that quite frankly I'll never have enough time to make--but I absolutely LOVE my (large) pattern collection. I think it might even be fair to say that I love my pattern collection more than I love the actual crocheting...did ya ever feel that way too? I can get lost in those patterns and they really hold a fascination for me.

Anyhow, when I was a new, young crocheter, I didn't know a lot...and 33 years later, I'm happy that I know a bit more...and I'm still eager to learn. What really thrills me tho, is teaching people to crochet (or knit)...and reaching that moment when they find themselves "getting it" that really inspires me to get out the information that, at least to me, seems important to the processes. To that end, I recently acquired the above-pictured book and added it to my small "how to" crochet collection.

Super Finishing Techniques for Crocheters, by Betty Barnden, first edition August, 2009 can be purchased roughly for $15.00 if you get a deal - while the list price is $22.99 USA and $29.50 Can. The book begins with a quick top ten suggestions to getting yourself "ready, set, go" on the way to finishing an item. Thereafter, it offers a solid bit of information on hooks, accessories, notions, etc. needed for the craft, and follows that with yarn stats. Thus far, great information for beginners. I didn't expect to find this information therein.

With those bits behind her, the author gets deeper into the real meat of the matter, covering construction, shaping, assembling, sizing, seaming, collars, buttonholes, edging, zippers, blocking and pressing, etc. -- pretty much everything you'd expect in a book of this title. Where Betty Barnden goes even further is in covering crochet techniques. She touches on filet crochet, crocheting in zigzags, combining yarns, color charts, weaving, adding beads and decorative fringes and flowers and the like. The illustrations are really good too, and the instructions are complete. This book also offers up a few fun patterns and illustrates basic crochet technique in the last few sections.

The information contained in this book goes way beyond what the title implies. In my opinion, this book is both fun to read and informative. I highly recommend it to any beginner since it contains both basic and advanced information. I cannot say that it is a "must have" for a seasoned crocheter, however, if you don't possess any "how to" books, this one is a good start, and if your "how to" collection is meager, this is a good addition. I'm glad I added it to my resources.

Out of a possible rating of 5 hooks, I give this book: 4 and one half hooks. Impressive!



  1. Hi Donna, You added a picture! I got a new crochet book the other day, "Crochet Borders" the new one by Edie Eckman and last night set out to try one of the patterns so it would help me make up my mind as to what border to put around my afghan (eventually). I still haven't figured it out! I have a way to contact her if I can't figure it out on my own. But I know whatcha mean about having all those patterns and not enough time to do hardly any of 'em. I also got a handful of book/patterns off of ebay. I too, love to look and get ideas and love my collection of crafty books, hee, hee. Your book above sounds like what I need! Love your blog and wish you lived next door. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Aww shucks...if we lived next door, we'd get off to Lucy and Ethel stuff LOL - We could share our latest house repair\renovation successes and near failures in real time. What kind of afghan are you wanting to border...depending on it you'd want to keep it simple or "go big." I posted a simple shell edging here: It basically puts a little "finishing touch" on anything...can even be used on a scarf because it does have a daintiness to it. U 2 have a great weekend. I'll be posting soon about my current WIP and some patterns and hopefully some pictures. D

  3. I have tons of crochet patterns and books too! I can't tell you how many times I've looked through them, but it's a lot. I never get tired of it.

    Thanks for the book review. I'm always looking for new ones. I bought a new one the other day. I was planning on posting about it today.