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Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet is the complete authoritative guide to the history techniue and variety of patterns every crochet enthusiast will treasure Materials and basic techniues are clearly illustrated step by step to make learning crochet simple Twenty one uniue and charming projects are stunningly photographed and meticulously charted with thoroughly explained instructions to guide even a novice For those whose skills go beyond the basics advance techniues and projects will challenge and inspire The pattern gallery provides complete instructions on how to read patterns and features 164 charts for traditional as well as brand new crochet patterns A source list cross referenced index and bibliography round out a volume you'll refer to again and again

10 thoughts on “Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet

  1. says:

    This is one of the first books I bought for my teaching library after becoming a CYC certified crochet teacher and instructor in 2008 The book was published in 2002 and is part of a series of books by Donna Kooler that cover various needlecrafts I recommend this book for many reasons but there are four elements of this book that really make it stand out as a classic1 It is organized in a beginner friendly manner2 It includes both left and right handed instructions with illustrations3 It provides a thorough overview of various techniues and materials4 It allows you to grow from a beginner to an advanced intermediate crocheter within the same bookThe book is organized into five sections Beginnings Crochet Basics Beyond the Basics Pattern Gallery and For Your InformationThe Beginnings section has a very interesting history of crochet in Europe and America Donna also includes a great photograph in this section with crochet hooks from different time periods This section is one that I read with fascination but it could easily be skipped by those who aren't history nerds ;The Crochet Basics section is designed to explain the hows and whys of everything from patterns to materials to basics stitches to a beginner crocheter One of the best structural aspects of the book is that this section starts with a key to crochet pattern abbreviations and symbols In contrast many crochet books put this information towards the back in an appendix If beginner crocheters aren't accustomed to this formatting they are immediately turned off to the entire craft And why not since if you don't know how to translate the abbreviations and symbols how can you move ahead through the patterns presented in the book?Donna also explains how to read patterns Many books even those designed for the beginners provide a list of abbreviations and assume that the reader will know what to do when they see instructions between parenthesis or inside of asterisks These are precisely the aspects of pattern reading which most people find confusing Donna discusses gauge in detail rather than just reminding you to check your gauge She provides a thorough review of different materials including yarn fibers caring for your crochet fabric and the purpose of various notions This section includes a lot of information that even some advanced crocheters may lack eg which fibers are most elastic and things to consider when substituting the yarn for a patternThe section continues with illustrated instructions for forming all of the basic stitches of crochet As noted above Kooler includes both right and left handed instructions with illustrations The end of this section includes several simple patterns by a variety of designers ok mostly by Melissa Leapman but you get the pointThe Beyond the Basics section provides an overview of colors and various colorwork techniues thread crochet including filet and motifs and what Donna calls specialty crochet but what I call the stuff that isn't usually in the big expensive crochet books so you have to buy another book to find out about it Here she provides an introduction to bead crochet wire crochet and Tunisian crochet and has a small section on finishing details like pockets This section also includes a number of patterns by various designers In general the patterns aren't really my style but each one emphasizes specific techniues or skills The patterns here are oriented towards building the skill set of the reader than towards being extremely fashionableThe Crochet Pattern Gallery section is my favorite This is basically a stitch guide The stitches are crocheted in attractive colors and photographed clearly The patterns include both abbreviations and symbols And as if those things weren't enough Donna includes alternate names for stitches when appropriate and variations of the stitches The stitches are organized as Simple Combinations; Fans Shells; Lace Patterns; Waves Ripples Chevrons; Angled Patterns; Spiked Crossed; Post Stitches; Bobbles Popcorns Puffs; Tapestry Jacuard Mosaic; Net Mesh Trellis; Motifs; Filet Crochet; Edges Edgings Insertions; and Tunisian CrochetThe final section called For Your Information includes a resource list which is obviously outdated footnotes an excellent bibliography a standard index and a pattern index The pattern index is uite detailed for example cluster stitches are listed by name and under cluster stitches as wellTo keep my review balanced I will mention a few things that make it less than perfect egads This is a classic not a trendy book The patterns are conservative and not all of them are current styles It doesn't provide much detail on designing your own projects particularly clothing which is something that many crocheters are looking for today It doesn't use a binding which allows you to lay it flat when reading While the illustrations are better than those in most crochet books most beginners would probably find it helpful if there were photographs in the Crochet Basics sectionThe book really is a stand out as an all around reference book for crochet It has excellent photographs and clear illustrations It is a softcover which allows you to carry it around without throwing out your back I highly recommend it for the library of any beginner through advanced intermediate crocheter

  2. says:

    Very useful in a home library Extensive information on many topics Also lovely and unusual intermediate project patterns Classy

  3. says:

    I’m in the market for a really good crochet stitch dictionary I’ve been crocheting forever but have never owned a dictionary and really haven’t known about than the basic stitches plus “popcorn” mmm popcorn While I can’t really speak to the projects I am impressed by the clear diagrams and the 164 included stitch patterns I think I want but Kooler has done a very nice job of describing the basics of crochet and included a very beautifully illustrated history of the craft I like that everything is both charted and written out Perhaps it’s my ignorance of crochet patterns but charts are new to me and I like them very much I’m not sure if this is the volume which will earn a coveted space on my bookshelf but I do knokw that I will highly recommend it to anyone looking to do something with crochet

  4. says:

    This is an excellant book for learning and being reminded of crochet basics and The written instructions are clear This is also a great book to learn to read pattern diagrams It helps to learn the written and diagrams together Once you learn how to read diagrams you'll be able to crochet patterns from around the world that are not in English but do have the diagrams Along with basic stitches there is a section on Tunisian crochet There are some great patterns There is also a section of stitch and motif patterns I recommend this to anyone starting to crochet or getting back to crocheting

  5. says:

    This book seemed really complete in its coverage of all things crochet Lots of photos of old crochet samples and hooks and a lot of information on lacemaking The patterns were not too cute but there was a good section in the back that had stitch samples for afghans and trim I did not follow any of the directions so I can not say if they were complete or not

  6. says:

    In general like this as a beginner reference book Some history techniue big clear pictures of swatches stitch patterns which are written and charted However the specialty crochet only covers beads wire and Tunisian; the techniue section is sparse; and the small amount material doesn't fit my idea of an encyclopedia

  7. says:

    This is an older book that I purchased used but it has some nice crochet motifs trims fillet and stitch patterns It has both written and graphic pattern charts The front half explains types of crochet tools yarns and the basic core stitches There are picture frame corners trims and flowers leisure Arts produces great books for the library

  8. says:

    While I am not especially taken with any of the patterns in this book the stitch pattern guide at the back is EXCELLENT There are than a hundred stitch patterns motifs laces and edgings and they're all explained with written directions symbols and clear colorful close up pictures

  9. says:

    This was given to me for Christmas by a family member who knew I had just taken up crocheting I'm not really at the level yet to use the whole book since I only know one stitch but I look forward to using it The pictures in it are nice and there is a cute baby in one of the pictures

  10. says:

    Great info