book review – Easy Crochet Vintage & Retro

This is my first review so bear with me.

I borrowed this book from my local library simply because I liked one of the jumper patterns. Having got the book home I found that it’s full of amazing patterns (hence the review)

*please note I haven’t made anything out the book yet, so this review is based on how it looks and reads at this point.

Easy Crochet Vintage & Retro. Published by Hamlyn.

The book is well laid out, its easy to flip through the pages and they don’t ‘turn themselves’, a pet hate of mine when trying to follow a pattern in a book. The patterns are grouped as : one star (easy/beginner), two star (intermediate) and three star (experienced).  The book assumes some basic knowledge of crochet and the terminology used, so no instructions on ‘how to’ are included. In total there are thirty patterns in the book.

The patterns are written out in full, with ample instructions for sewing up. There’s no charts in this book, which is understandable as not everyone can read them, but there are a few patterns that could have been great introductions to chart reading for the average reader ( I’m thinking of the beaded drawstring bag pattern here)

The range of patterns is well thought out. From doilies to cardigans, gloves, socks and sweaters. There’s home furnishings too, in the shape of mesh curtains (think Irish crochet), table runners and pouffes.  Although the title of the book is Vintage &Retro, it could easily be Timeless & Classic. There’s a nod to the sixties with a shift dress and target pouffe, but the majority of the patterns fall into the ‘timeless’ description with the ‘retro’ label covering choice of colour or material (there’s viscose!). There’s a nice range of stitches too, so a more experienced crocheter won’t be bored. Patterns are easy to follow on a read through.

Each pattern has a full page colour photo of the finished item, with additional photos showing close ups and yarn colours used. The materials used range from thread all the way to chunky.  Hook size and gauge are given in mm, with the addition of UK imperial hook sizes given as well.

All in all, its a tempting book, with plenty to grab the attention of any crocheter.

Best bit – sock pattern, I’ll be trying this asap, them the sweater, then the pouffe 🙂

Not so best bit – no charts, only because it seems to be a missed opportunity. Not a negative as such, the aesthetic of the book is fantastic, charts may have distracted from that.

I definitely recommend this book, it seems to be one of the ones that you go back to time and time again. If you’re unsure, borrow it from your local library first, you won’t regret it.

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