Learn How to Crochet With These Easy Instructions for Beginners
Looking for easy crochet patterns and instructions for beginners? If so, read on to discover one of the best crochet books currently available for teaching beginners to crochet and providing them with easy patterns to use for making fun, colorful projects.
This is a book review of Mollie Makes Crochet: 20+ Cute Projects for the Home Plus Handy Tips and Tricks
Author: Pattern contributors include Emma Lamb, Ilaria Chiaratti, Beata Basik, Cara Medus and Anita Mundt. Lara Watson, editor of Mollie Makes Magazine, wrote a brief introduction to the book. In the publisher’s acknowledgements section, Cheryl Brown is noted as being the one who “has done a great job of pulling everything together.” Other than that, no author is directly credited.
Publisher: Interweave Press
Copyright Date: 2013
ISBN 13: 978-1-62033-095-1
Book Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 144
Cover Price: $19.95 US dollars / $21.95 Canadian dollars
Skill Level: “This adorable new book from the team behind Mollie Makes is aimed at complete beginners, but it’s also perfect for those who have completed their first projects and are looking to move on.” (That’s a quote from the back cover of the book.)
The Focus of This Book:
The back cover of the book seems to sum it up in a few words: “Bliss for a happy home!”
And another blurb says, “Adorable crochet projects for the home!”
Additionally, the majority of these projects share a few common characteristics: they are colorful, have retro flair, and they are relatively easy to crochet.
Crochet Patterns Included in This Book
- Easy V stitch crochet placemats with pockets
- Ruffle corsage — a three-dimensional crochet flower
- Applique flower
- Folk daisy
- Flower with loopy petals
- Tropical bloom
- Double-layered flower corsage
- Pinwheel blossoms
- Shell edging for fabric baby blanket
- Lattice edging for fabric baby blanket
- Picot edging for fabric baby blanket
- Large Russian doll
- Medium Russian doll
- Small Russian doll
- Single motif doily
- Multi-motif doily and tweedy coasters
- Spike stitch iPad cozy
- Wave stitch chair runner
- Sunburst motif cushion
- Granny square blanket with edging
- Round potholder
- Square potholder with popcorn stitch stripes
- Lacy stripes bolster cushion
- Hexagon motif blanket
- Monster iPad cover
- Monster iPod cover
- Monster Kindle cover
- Multicolored chevron throw
The Best Things About This Book
The projects included in this book are fun, colorful, cute and enticing. These patterns are all appealing and useful, and there are no duds. You’re likely to use and re-use these patterns — sometimes for yourself and sometimes when you need gifts for your inner circle.
I found the styling in this book to be fresh and inspiring. A few of the crochet projects are photographed alongside kitchy vintage dishes and other fun retro collectibles. These pictures made me want to drop everything else I’m doing, whip up a few crochet projects and then visit my local antique mall to pick up a few things. This book is a great reminder how much fun it is to go crazy decorating your space and making it look like home.
There are symbol crochet charts included for some (but not all!) of the projects in this book.
The variety of projects is outstanding, and you can mark just about every check box for popular home decor crochet projects right now: hexagons, check. Granny squares, check. Blankets, check. Edgings, check. Flowers, check, check, check.
The graphic design is well done. The pages are laid out logically. The fonts are appropriate, and they enhance the text. The graphics are clear and easy to understand.
Each project includes a section that explains the techniques used to make it, along with page numbers so you can easily flip to the spots in the back of the book where each technique is explained. I wish Mollie Makes Crochet had been available when I was first learning how to crochet. I think this is a really helpful feature.
For the most part, the technique explanations are clear and helpful. Some are more complete than others.
I found quite a few projects I’d like to make.
I started crocheting one of the blanket patterns using scrap yarn just for fun. I originally had no intention of making the blanket; I was mostly interested in testing the pattern instructions for clarity. However, my baby niece got so fascinated with the piece that I’m now considering making the blanket for her after all. She really seems to love it. Who can blame her? It’s a charming design.
If you have a big family, or you crochet baby projects for charity, I think you’d enjoy working from the “baby blankets” section of the book. In addition to the three edging patterns, you’ll also find instructions for how to crochet blanket stitch around fabric plus instructions for crocheting an edging onto woven fabrics.I can see making bunches of baby blankets with the pretty edgings featured in this book; they’d make fantastic baby shower gifts.
I think the monster Kindle cover is adorable, and I’d love to make one for my niece. These would be just as appropriate for those of you who have sons, grandsons, nephews or little brothers to craft for. If the little ones in your life don’t have Kindles, the iPad and iPod covers are equally cute, so you’re likely to find a fun gadget cover to make for whichever gadgets they do own.
I think my niece will also enjoy having a set of those pretty Russian dolls.
The placemats are really a fun design, and they’re perfect for the casual atmosphere at our place. If you have a kitchen table or less-than-formal dining room in your home, you’re likely to want a set of these too. They’re super cute, and they’re made with the V stitch. The V stitch is an eternal favorite with my readers, who are mostly new crocheters. We love the v stitch because it’s really attractive, it’s super easy to crochet, and it works up quickly.
The crocheted flowers are lovely, and they’ll be useful for embellishing zillions of different projects, not to mention store-bought items.
I never tire of variations on the granny square, and am planning to make a few of the granny-inspired round potholders. However, I’m going to re-color the design and put my own spin on the pattern by attaching a second, solid round layer to the back side. I’ve learned my lesson after having burnt my fingers when using granny squares as potholders before.
The Not-So-Great Things About This Book
From my point of view, this book doesn’t have any obvious deal-breakers as far as reasons that a beginning crocheter shouldn’t buy it. It’s an outstanding and valuable book overall, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. However, this is a book review, so I feel compelled to give you all the little nit-picky criticisms I found about the book in hopes that it will help you make the best possible decision about whether this is a book you’d be happy with.
I found the writing in this book is dull in places.
I get that this is a crochet instruction manual, not a thriller or book of poetry. (If poetry and crochet are what you want, check out the book Poetic Crochet. In that book, you literally do find poems along with the crochet patterns and instructions. The writer in me finds that book delightfully inspiring.)
Crochet instructions should be straightforward, and on the bright side, these are definitely that. Clear, yes. Concise, yes. However, there isn’t much sparkle in this writing.
Let me give you an example. On page 126 we have a section on mesh stitches that starts off with,
“A mesh fabric can be used as a background fabric for more textural stitches, and as it is a very open fabric, it works very well in lace patterns.”
See what I mean? Helpful and informative, yet a bit dry.
It’s worth noting that crochet books can be witty and funny; a fun one that made me laugh out loud is Beastly Crochet by Brenda K.B. Anderson — another book I recommend. However, in my experience most crochet books aren’t witty and humorous. This one certainly is not.
Another thing I found disappointing is that this book glosses over or omits a few things I think are important for a beginner’s crochet book to cover.
Here’s an example. The section explaining slip stitch is woefully incomplete. It fails to mention some of the most important uses for the stitch and some of the most interesting things about it.
There are also many crochet teachers who gloss over these things when teaching beginners how to crochet. Perhaps they aren’t aware of all the possibilities themselves.
One crochet book cannot possibly cover every last important or fascinating detail about the artform, and this one certainly doesn’t. Overall, this book is a fabulous introduction to crochet. Hopefully you’ll read it and get excited to learn more.
Other Things You Should Know About This Book Before You Buy It
If you think classic crochet is outdated, this may not be the best book for you. While there are quite a few contemporary and up-to-date projects included, a significant number of the projects are traditional things such as variations of the classic granny square.
This book is best suited to beginning crocheters. It is also likely to appeal to advanced beginners and to intermediate crocheters as well.
If you’re an advanced crocheter, this book might or might not be a good buy for you, depending on your objectives.
Personally, I’m an advanced crocheter, and I found this book to be a valuable addition to my crochet library. There are some lovely patterns included in the book. I enjoy the retro, kitchy vibe that’s present throughout these pages. For me, the greatest value lies in having an outstanding resource to recommend to my readers who are just learning how to crochet or returning to the hobby after a long hiatus.
If you’re truly an expert crocheter, and you’re looking for challenging projects, this book is not the best choice for you — unless you want to have it on hand for teaching basic crochet skills to others. You probably already know most of the techniques covered in this book. If you’ve already amassed an impressive pattern collection, you no doubt already have some similar patterns. You’ve probably also made your share of items like these already.
I put Mollie Makes Crochet on my list of best crochet books for beginners, and I’m delighted to recommend it to others. If you think traditional crochet is charming and you want to learn how to do it, this is the book for you.
Where to Buy Mollie Makes Crochet
Mollie Makes Crochet is usually available for sale at Amazon.com. Click here to check current availability.
Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a review copy of this book. However, I’ve expressed my honest and carefully-considered opinion of it, and I’ve done my best to give you a fair and balanced review, pointing out both the good things and bad things about it. This post includes affiliate links.
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Posted By: Amy Solovay
Page last updated on 6-13-2021. Thanks for visiting!