Crochet Compendium book review

Posted by July 12, 2011

Over the last several years I have written a number of crochet how-to booklets for DRG. I always strived to explore each technique in depth by including numerous variations using the technique. The booklets are in print for a few years but then fade into oblivion, not that the booklet was poorly received but yarns used in projects are no longer made, fashion changes and models look dated, and new techniques pique crocheters’ interest.

When I saw that DRG was collecting a number of techniques in a new book called the Crochet Compendium under the House of White Birches imprint, I checked it out on the internet and found that one of my booklets was partially reprinted in the collection. Shortly thereafter I received a contributor copy of the book. Wow, was I surprised! The technique sections of five of my (out of print) how-to books were partially or completely reprinted: bead crochet, hairpin lace, slip-stitch, waffle-weave, and wiggly crochet. Several of my projects were also reprinted. They had been chosen to be simple, timeless examples of the techniques and yarn neutral – projects in which different yarns could easily be substituted.

The book includes many other techniques. Several are by well known designers that are known for that technique. Darla Fanton does double-ended crochet, Margret Willson does mosiac crochet, Sue Penrod does fleece, and Kim Kotary does crochet socks. Some basic skills such as reading symbols and crocheting with thread are also covered.

The Crochet Compendium is well worth acquiring. It’s unlikely that you already have the original booklets for all of the techniques covered and even if you do can you find all of them? Each technique has detailed yet concise instructions. Although there are only one or two projects for each technique, the project(s) is(are) enough for you to try the technique to see if you like it or to refresh your memory of a technique tried long ago.

Ellison, Connie, ed., 2011, Crochet Compendium, House of White Birches #871130, DRG, Berne, IN, 136 p., ISBN 978-1-59217-341-9, $19.95 US