Beyond The Square : Crochet Motifs
144 Circles, Hexagons, triangles, squares and other unexpected shapes.
I bought this book from Amazon for about £9. You can buy it here http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1603420398/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
What first drew me to the book were the range of shapes of motifs available. I love making crocheted blankets but usually stick to the standard square motifs and traditional ‘granny squares’ but I fancied trying something different. This book really helped me understand how to read patterns and I know I will use it frequently in the future.
First of all let’s talk about the book’s appearance. It is beautifully illustrated with clear photographs which show motifs made in bright coloured yarns. The motifs themselves seem to be colour co-ordinated depending on their shapes, the triangle motifs are crocheted in blues and greens, the hexagons in purples and pinks which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and also gives some lovely ideas for different colour combinations to try out.
The book is spiral bound which I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE! I know, I am going a bit over the top about the way a book is bound but I find nothing more irritating than holding crochet hook in one hand, yarn in another and trying to balance a book open so you can read the pattern, this type of binding means the book lays flat which means you have both hands free to work.
The book starts with the mandatory introduction, followed by some hints about gauge and crochet terms which to be honest I haven’t read in full but have referred to when I come across something I’m not sure about, the book is written in an informal and friendly way and it is easy to understand. Next it gives details of how to start off your motif, how to join the yarn neatly at the end of the motif and how to join motifs together. It has a problem solving section which is brief but useful and then a few pages of inspiration; ways you can use your motifs. These are very cute, they include photo frames, keyrings, present adornments and if you are not sure what to do with your motifs once you have finished them, you will definetely find ideas in this part of the book.
Then onto the main part of the book! The motifs. The motifs are split into the following categories:
– Unusual Shapes
The patterns themselves are easy to read, they include a photograph of the motif, a crochet diagram and the pattern itself. The book is American so keep this in mind when deciphering what they mean by a DC (Double Crochet) as this is different in English Crochet patterns but if you are unsure there are a list of Basic Crochet Stitches at the back of the book.
The patterns themselves are easy to follow, I didn’t have any trouble and any terms that I was unfamiliar with were just looked up in the Crochet Stitch section at the back of the book.
After the patterns there are a few useful sections
– Basic crochet stitches
As mentioned above these are just brief instructions for basic stitches from DC (double crochet) to the more complicated FPdc (Front post double crochet)
– Graphs to get you started
Includes Polar Circular graphs which can aid in drawing your own symbol charts (to be honest I don’t have a use for these but they are nice and big and clear and would be helpful to some people)
– Arranging and attaching motifs
Quite a short section showing ways in which the different shapes can be joined together to make, for example, a blanket. This is the only downfall of this book that I can find. I have other crochet motif books which show lots of ways to join up different shapes to make interesting projects and there are too few in this book in my opinion.
Overall I really like this book, I can see myself dipping into it again and again and I have already made a few of the motifs. What do you think??