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Book Review: Crochet Boutique by Rachael Oglesby

September 15, 2012

The full title of this book is Crochet Boutique: 30 Simple, Stylish Hats, Bags, and Accessories. And that is what struck me first as I flipped through the pages – how simple the patterns are. I had to step back and put myself in the mind-set of a beginner . . .

Crochet Boutique

Let me tell you two stories, or perhaps consider them asides.

First, it has been a long while since I was a beginner crocheter. After over a decade of crocheting and a couple years of writing my own patterns, it is extremely difficult to grade pattern level. I have discovered many times, what I consider to be beginner is in fact a bit too advanced for a crochet newbie. I’m constantly struggling to rate my pattern difficulty, and quite frankly, I feel out of touch with the needs of beginners more often than not. This book is entirely in-touch and spot-on.

Second, ever since this interview with Rachel Hunnicutt, I have been taking a long hard look at the materials I work with. Being the uh, frugal person that I am, I tend to gravitate toward the common and affordable (very affordable). Rachel is right: taking joy in your craft also requires a bit of pride-taking in the materials you choose. After that interview, I did go buy some nicer yarns, but they have just been hanging around waiting for me to get a bit of time to work them up.

This leads me to the two adjectives I would use to describe this book: simple and beautiful.

Crochet Boutique is a perfect beginner book . . . and also a great reminder that sometimes simple is better – more beautiful. I think anyone starting out in crochet will be well-served to pick up this book and work through it from start to finish. I wish I had had this when I was starting out – simple patterns that have a designer look, a lot of instant-gratifiction projects, and an excellent very-well-illustrated index of stitches and techniques.

In addition, many of the projects use yarns that are a step-up from the regular old run of the mill stuff. This lends a more luxe and polished feel to the end result. It’s been so long since I’ve used anything besides cheap worsted that it was a joy to work with something nicer – a breath of fresh air for me, and this book gave me the push!

Cuddle Cowl pg. 43

Although the Cuddle Cowl may be the easiest project in the book, I felt drawn to it, and I just so happened to have the exact bulky yarn it called for. Rather than joining the rounds, I worked it up seamlessly, and it came together very quickly. It was a joy to have something so simple and snuggly and pretty – and all mine – in about an hour.

If you’re interested in some quick, beautiful, stylish projects (hey, the holidays are fast approaching!), pick up a copy of Crochet  Boutique and get your stitch on. Or, head on over to Rachael’s shop, Softspoken, to pick out some cuddly lovelies!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. elisa ryan permalink
    September 15, 2012 7:50 pm

    HI SPECKLESS, looks like a interesting crochet book. Considering purchasing from Amazon. thanks. elisa

  2. September 16, 2012 2:36 am

    Oh that does indeed look like a lovely snuggly cowl. Impressed that you made it in an hour. :-)

    • September 16, 2012 10:27 am

      I’m impressed by YOU! You are a sewing genius (totally loving the western style shirt, BTW — Nicky would really dig that). I wish so hard that I could do what you do!

  3. September 24, 2012 7:05 pm

    definitely buying this book! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. December 4, 2012 8:32 pm

    Hi there! New fan..what an awesome place this is. :-) I just got lost here and will be back. I just went to Amazon to order this book and it is out of stock..I still ordered hoping they get it back in as it looks way cool. Just wanted to say hi and thanks for all you share here. So nice.

    • December 5, 2012 7:35 am

      Aw, thanks so much DeAnna! That means so much — I’ve been feeling bad about the slow stream of posts lately. And this is the first thing I’ve seen today — it’s my birthday — what a great way to start it!

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