I recently became aware of the newest Harmony Guides for crochet. These are printed by Interweave Press, a name I have come to trust in the crochet world. So far, there are two books:
Basic Crochet Stitches, 250 Stitches To Crochet edited by Erika Knight
Crochet Stitch Motifs, 250 Stitches to Crochet edited by Erika Knight.
This post will focus on the Basic Crochet Stitch book. This book is a 2008 publication, 270 pages, with a list price of $22.95 USD. This book has a very practical ‘peanut butter and jelly’ cover, so called because it is sturdy and wipes clean if you (or your crochet helper) drips something on the cover. I like that feature. It’s listed as having 250 stitches ‘include a few new ones and some reinvented for a new generation.’ There are clear sketches of all the basic (beginner) stitches and techniques and a very helpful ‘jargon busting’ reference (especially helpful for beginners). Also included is a concise but thorough key to symbol/charted crochet. That is a page I will return to again and again.
The stitch gallery includes excellent quality color photos, written instructions, and a symbol chart for each stitch. Also, the now obligatory number of stitches and X for turning chain information is included for each stitch. Another good feature is the use of more than one color of yarn when doing so will show the show the stitch to its best advantage.
Surprises (or new to me):
shallow single crochet on page 35
fleur de lis on page 53
connected spiral stitch on page 67
wedge stitch on page 88
petal pattern on page 123
embossed roundels on page 189
interlocking shell stitch on page 217
multi-colored patchwork on page 247.
It is my usual practice to see a stitch that intrigues me, pick up yarn and hook, and make a scarf. If I still enjoy crocheting the stitch or motif, I’m likely to continue it into an afghan or sweater. This book really makes me itch to get out my hook and yarn and try every stitch that’s new to me and some that aren’t new to me but previously mystified me now that this book has made the stitch execution clearer.
This is a great reference book for a beginner and a very useful resource for crocheters at ever level.
By jd wolfe