I really like this new accessory book published by Interweave (Quick Crocheted Accessories: 3 Skeins or Less, by Sharon Zientara, $23.99), but it did take me a while to warm up to it. Let me explain…
My first glance at this book was purely that - a glance. This book is a compilation of several different crochet designers, giving it a pretty wide spectrum as far as style goes. Because of this, my heart didn’t naturally gravitate towards some of the designs at first. Let’s be honest, we all have different styles and preferences, especially when it comes to garments and accessories. However, because of this variety, I think this book is an excellent choice if you are looking for a special gift to bless your favorite crocheter! While you may not see yourself making all of the designs, (who would realistically make all the designs in any book anyway??) you are sure to find several to tickle your fancy. The variety of designs also provides many new opportunities to learn new crochet skills, which I truly enjoy.
Another plus is that these designs won’t cut too deeply into your budget since they require only one to three skeins. Even if you are using high end yarn, you won’t need much. I was able to make two of the designs using comparable yarn from my stash. Speaking of our budgets, I have heard some folks fuss about how buying a book is too expensive as opposed to buying a single pattern. As a former math teacher and a mom on a tight budget, I respectfully disagree! With the many on-line buying options these days offering deep discounts, I know that buying a book of crochet patterns is actually a much better deal! For example, if you bought this book today from Interweave’s store (only $12.00!!), that makes each pattern only 52 cents! If you adjust for shipping, that may bring the price per pattern to 60 or 70 cents at the most. That's about the cost of 2 1/2 hot drinks from your favorite coffee shop!
Let me show what I made…
The first design that caught my eye was Sharon Zientara’s Buttons & Lace Hat on page 7. I’m a fan of buttons and can be easily lured by them when shopping. I have been holding on to a set of beautiful buttons given to me by my friend Diane Irvine (http://www.diirvine.com) for something special. Combined with less than one hank of Cascade’s Heritage Silk, I loved the way this hat turned out! The directions were very straightforward and easy to follow. What do you think?
The second design I chose was the Flourish Cloche. It wasn’t until I was almost finished with this hat that I realized that this too was designed by Sharon Zientara! I used some Berocco’s Ultra Alpaca on this one. I think this could be a good seller at the upcoming holiday craft fairs this fall. It would be a good use of some of the worsted weight yarn in my stash.
Some of the other designs I have earmarked in this book include the Annulet Wrap by Cristina Mershon (cover photo), and the Oblique Cowl by Beth Nielsen. The Stellina Hat & Fingerless Mitts by Terri Keller are a blast from the past using the star stitch. I still have the Layette set using this stitch that I made for my babies more than 24 years ago! I'm so glad that this book is now a part of my personal crochet collection!
(Above) Oblique Cowl by Beth Nielsen
Stellina Hat & Fingerless Mitts by Terri Keller
You can find more of Sharon Zientra's designs here on her Ravelry page.