cover image Complete Crochet Handbook: The Only Crochet Reference You’ll Ever Need

Complete Crochet Handbook: The Only Crochet Reference You’ll Ever Need

Eveline Hetty-Burkart, Beate Hilbig, and Béatrice Simon, trans. from the German by Katharina Sokiran. Stackpole, $36.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-8117-7201-3

Crocheter Hetty-Burkart (The New Crochet Stitch Dictionary) teams up with pattern designers Hilbig and Simon (Granny Squares—All Shapes and Sizes) to provide a valuable introduction to crocheting. Step-by-step instructions illustrate how to execute a variety of stitches, from the simple (single crochet and slip) to the more complex (popcorn stitches involve working a group of double crochets in the same stitch and pulling them together at the stitch’s upper edge). The authors also detail alternative crochet traditions, including Tunisian crochet, which involves using a long hook to hold multiple working loops; knooking, a “technique in which a knitted result is produced with a crochet hook” attached to a flexible cord; and Irish crochet, which “imitates the patterns of bobbin lace or embroidered needle lace.” Patterns for hats, mittens, and socks show how to put the many techniques into practice and are accompanied by helpful instructions for reading patterns and deciphering common abbreviations. The authors cover an impressive range of material, but the lack of guidance on how to make sense of symbol charts, several of which are included throughout, feels like an oversight. Still, it’s a generous primer on the craft. (Dec.)