Monday, 5 September 2016

24-Hour Crochet Projects: A Book Review

Like 24-Hour Quilting Projects, this isn't a new book but a re-issue of a previously published book. Unlike the quilting book, however, I wasn't inspired enough by this one to buy my own copy. I received an Adobe Digital Editions copy from Net Galley, which, unfortunately had an expiry date. So I ended up borrowing a copy from the library in order to review it. 
As I've stated before, I actually like to create at least one project from a craft book that I review so that I can actually judge how well the instructions are written and whether the projects are worth making. However, I found the selection was limited in this book. In order to accommodate the time limitations in the title, a lot of the projects were hats and doilies. Who actually makes doilies nowadays? I originally decided on the Sunny Days Tank Top, intending to make it for my daughter. It called for "sport weight" yarn. One of my pet peeves is knitting/crocheting books that still use this terminology. It's rather ambiguous and I don't understand why these terms are still used when we have the numbers assigned to each category of yarn. It's much easier to substitute a yarn if I know it's a 3 weight, rather than a sport weight. The yarn the author used in this project was actually a 2 weight, Red Heart Luster Sheen, but Red Heart's Comfort Sport is a 3 weight. One would think that with "sport" actually in the name of the yarn, that would be the correct weight. And so I have always considered "sport weight" a 3. However using the number system would have eliminated the confusion. The "sport weight" yarn I purchased for this project did not work out at all. And as Luster Sheen is not a particularly economical yarn, nor readily available in my town, I turned to another project. Actually, 2 projects. 
I made Billed Beauty for my daughter and Heads Up for myself. 
I am writing this so long after I made the hats and returned the book to the library, that I can't remember which hat it was or even the exact details. It was either a double crochet increase or decrease, but the instructions were not complete. Fortunately, an experienced crocheter would have no trouble with this, but what about a beginning crocheter? And why didn't they catch this and correct it before they re-issued the book? I didn't check my guage - I never do - but Heads Up seemed kind of loose on my head and Billed Beauty a little tight. Billed Beauty called for a piece of plastic - it didn't say what weight of plastic or where you were supposed to find it, nor did it provide a template for cutting the plastic. I ended up buying a cheap binder in the back-to-school supplies and cut a piece off the front of it. When I first tried on Billed Beauty, I thought it looked like a chef's hat gone wrong. However, I think it looks relatively good on my beautiful daughter and hopefully the crocheting will relax a little after washing. A softer yarn might have worked better. This was Red Heart Super Saver.
This book included 2 or 3 afghan patterns, a few garments, multiple hats, but nothing that I found inspiring enough to recommend its purchase.