Since I am momentarily in the middle of several different projects, I thought I might like to share with you a few books I’ve recently read.
In Crochet!, Marie-Noëlle Bayard has created one of the most effective and useful crochet books one can add to a home library. Crochet novices, as well as more seasoned crafters, will each find something useful in Bayard’s approach.
Straight from the Preface’s opening paragraph, it is clear that Bayard is ready to shake things up: “Crochet isn’t just a limp lace edging for tired-looking doilies or trimmings on granny dresses from generations ago.” Indeed. She then starts at the beginning in chapter 1 – “Techniques” leads off with a fairly comprehensive yarn section, then moves on to hooks, terminology (including a compendium of crochet symbols) and, finally, how to start a project. And Bayard means the beginning: she includes clear photographs on how to hold the yarn and hook (for both right- and left-handed crafters!), so even if you’ve never before held a crochet hook, she’s got you covered.
This book comes complete with stitch patterns, lace, and motifs (composites as Bayard refers to them) that are original and fresh. She then utilizes them in projects that are sophisticated, yet very accessible. The Bucket Bag (p. 56), Carry-all (p. 60), Square Pillow (p. 108), Carrier Bag (p. 111), Slippers (yes, really!) (p. 150), and Lampshade (p. 182) are several of the many great projects both beginners and seasoned crocheters will want to sink their respective hooks into.
Bayard’s many years in the textile and design industry shine through each and every page of this amazingly well-rounded book. I leave you will just one word: fantastique!
Finally, in Fiber Gathering, Joanne Seiff traveled the country and compiled the sights, fiber, and fun of her favorite fiber festivals. She wrapped them up in some original projects and serves them up for your year-round fiber fun.
While the projects might entice some, it’s the brief glimpse into regional fiber that drew me in and kept me engaged. Plan your next road trip around this great round-up of the best of fiber gatherings throughout the country.
I leave you with a few of my fondest pictoral memories from one of last year’s fiber gatherings I attended (which didn’t make the book’s cut) – the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. It will always have a special place in my heart, since it was my first fiber festival – and roving photographer gig. I know it won’t be my last.
Happy Fiber Arts Friday – and definitely check in with Andrea's blog to see what everyone else has up their respective fibery sleeves!