Connect the shapes was delivered to me on Halloween for a review. Crochet has taken a bit of a back seat for me lately, but this book got me excite to use it more in a few future projects and I am DEFINITELY going to make the skirt pattern from the book! WOOT WOOT!
Before I begin though: My book got delivered on Halloween. It rained cats and dogs that day! Nobody was home to receive the book, so it had to sit outside on the front porch, where it got rained on. So it did sustain a bit of water damage.. you may see that in some of the pictures. Just in case you were wondering……Also: The pictures were taken by my daughter with her i-pod… so they may not be the best ones, but once my camera’s batteries are charged, I will make good ones for ya and exchange them. Until then… enjoy lol
Now on to the review:
I have been crocheting for a long, long time! I do love it occasionally in between the knitting projects I tackle. As a matter of fact, I am planning a bit of a big crochet project next for a friend *winks at Louise* So this book came at just the right time to get me in the right mood and give me food for thought about what to make!
The tips in the first part of the book are very good! I liked how nicely it was explained and I like “voice” of the book very much. It is rather a bit amusing and not as dry as some instructions books can be. The author has definitely a sense of humor about things, that is always a good thing, if you ask me.
The motives themselves range from tried and true Granny squares to off the cuff new and exciting. I have to say: I am a rather traditional girl to begin with and not a huge fan of motive work, but there were a few little motives in this book I might try out after all. And if you know me, then you know that is saying something.
The information given in the book is well written and easy to understand. The instructions are clear and easy to follow as well. It is wonderful that the book gives you written instructions as well as charts for the motives. This way everybody can use it. It is a great help for people who want to teach themselves how to read a chart, as they can compare the written instructions with the charts and figure out how it all works!
The emphasis of the book is on how to join crochet motives together. I love that! There are so many different ways and now they are all explained in one compilation! I don’t have to run to the internet, or grab twelve different books from the shelf (if I had them…) I can grab one book and compare right there in one sitting how best to connect what I have got. Not only does it tell you how to connect the motives given in the book, but it does encourage you to try it out on any given motive you may run across. It definitely is a confidence builder!
Now if you are a seasoned crocheter, you may have no problem figuring out where to best join two motives, but are you really utilizing all the methods you know? I doubt it. I have been crocheting for a long time and I do have my “standard go-to” methods. I am happy to be reminded of all the other ways. One can only keep so much information in one’s RAM after all! LOL the rest is delegated to the hard drive. It is accessible, but it will take a bit of probing and searching to find it! With this book you got it right there! So don’t write this book off, even if you are a seasoned crocheter!
Another really fun point this book is making for both seasoned and novice crocheter is about colour choice and placement.You get to see some of the motives in different colour combinations and it really brings home how different something can look with just a few changes in colours used, or where you place them!
The book itself is a bit big to easily tuck it into your crochet bag, so it is more something to read at home in your fiber-corner. I am also not a huge fan of the spine in combination with the spiral binding. I prefer the spine open when there is a spiral binding, that way you can flip to the page and open the book all the way round without worrying about a spine. Also it is easier to flip the pages, if there is only the spirals and not a spine in the back. (I’m always worried a page will tear out this way)
On a very personal note: some of the colours use for the sample motives were rather off putting for me and I think it will make the book date rather easily instead of being a timeless go-to-giude.
I love that the emphasis in this book was on tips and technique rather then on giving patterns for projects. It does have a few patterns in the back, but really the important part are the blocks and how to join them! Often guide books hide the instructions for new techniques, or tips in patterns and I find that rather tedious. This book gives you what you need and then some on top. Get help with techniques an if you like, try it out on a pattern or two!
I ADORE the lampshade pattern and the little skirt pattern from the book and have added them to my list of things to make!
Overall I would give this book three stars. I definitely liked the book over all. If you are new to motive and block crochet you will get a lot out of it and I would definitely recommend it to new crocheters. If you have been crocheting for a while, go check out the new motives in the book! You will have fun playing around with them and coming up with new ways to use them! Crochet is definitely moving forward and with people like Edie Eckman working tirelessly to spread the word and come up with new and exciting things crochet definitely is making it’s way towards center stage and away from the “Granny” image!