Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Crocheter's Companion

The Crocheter's Companion
Revised and Updated
By Nancy Brown

I love books. I collect books. I use books. I recommend books. When I hear about a new crochet book, either a pattern book or a technique book or a reference book, or any kind of crochet book, I can't wait to see it, to read it, to acquire it.
I look at a crochet book in various ways: Does it have good information in it? Can I recommend it to my crochet students (who range from beginners to experienced)? Can I use it to refer to when I want some information about a technique, or some ideas and inspiration? Do I want it in my library? So when I was contacted by F&W Media, to see if I would like to review The Crocheter's Companion, Revised and Updated, by Nancy Brown, I immediately said YES! For many reasons. I have worked with Interweave Press (a division of F&W Media) before, and know that they publish well-thought-out, well-written books, by talented and experienced authors and designers. In other words, I like the books they publish! And, even though I have the first edition of The Crocheter's Companion, it would be interesting to see what changes were made in the Revised and Updated Edition.
The first edition was published in 2002. This new edition was published in 2013.
That means that about a dozen years have elapsed between editions, and in those dozen years, many changes have occurred in the crochet world – different techniques became popular, different skill sets are needed, and different language is used.
Just looking at the table of contents in the new book, and comparing it to the table of contents in the old book, I saw some major differences that I am pleased with. The old edition had only one page on Tunisian Crochet. The new edition has an entire chapter devoted to Tunisian Crochet (an old technique that's become popular again in the past few years). The new edition has information on how to read a stitch diagram, how to work foundation sc, foundation hdc, and foundation dc (it calls these stitches "chainless" sc, "chainless" hdc, and "chainless" dc), and how to work extended stitches. All of these techniques and stitches have come into the forefront in the past dozen years, so it's good that this new edition is including them.
What I really like about this book is the way it's packaged. Like the older edition, it's spiral-bound (at the top) with a hard cover. It measures about 7.5" wide x 6" tall, and opens at the top. And when you open it up, it will stay open to the page you select. It's also small in size, so you can stash it in your crochet bag and have it handy whenever and where ever you need it. (At 126 pages, it's not small in information, though!) The older edition was one book that I always recommended to my students. Now I definitely will recommend the Revised and Updated edition – it's a "must-have" for every crocheter!
Oh, one more thing that I like about this book. The Bibliography is a list of 12 books published before 2001. So if you're interested in the history of crochet, and looking at older books, this is a great reference list.
All in all, I recommend this book for all crocheters – beginners through experienced. And I'm glad I have this new revised and updated edition in my library!

Here's where you can find out more about the book – and order it for your very own library!

Interweave/F+W Media, Inc; $19.95
Barnes & Noble:

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