A Book Review
Want to crochet a romantic shawl that drapes beautifully and looks gorgeous? If so, Poetic Crochet is a book you’ll definitely want to consider owning. It offers you 20 different crochet shawl patterns in both dressy and casual styles.
Book Title: Poetic Crochet: 20 Shawls Inspired by Classic Poems.
Author: Sara Kay Hartmann
Publisher: Interweave, a division of F+W Media, Inc.
Copyright Date: 2015
ISBN 13: 978-1-63250-006-9
ISBN 10: 1-63250-006-X
- Large, Full-Color Softcover Book With Perfect Binding
- Digital Download: Kindle E-Book, available from Amazon
Number of Pages: 136
Cover Price: $22.99 US dollars; $25.50 Canadian Dollars
Skill Level: The author and publisher have not assigned skill level ratings to these patterns. However, a quote from the back of the book tells us that
“Crocheters with any experience level, beginner to advanced, will find something rewarding — and poetic — in this inspired collection of 20 projects.”
The Focus of This Book:
This book’s subtitle summarizes its purpose nicely:
“20 Shawls Inspired by Classic Poems.”
Crochet Projects Included in This Book:
There’s a fantastic variety of different shawl shapes included in this book:
- 6 triangle shawls
- 5 rectangle shawls; of these, 2 are totally rectangular. The others are modified rectangles with interesting details like flared edges.
- 2 semicircular shawls
- 2 V-shaped shawls
- 1 mobius wrap
- 4 other interesting shawl shapes
These shawls share a few wonderful characteristics:
- They all look like they drape beautifully.
- They’re all delightfully romantic and feminine.
- They all feature incredibly rich textured surfaces.
The Endymion crochet wrap (not pictured) is my favorite project in the book.The design of this symmetrical wrap is appealing for many reasons. The project sample pictured in the book is quite glamorous; it’s worked in a metallic yarn, and the finished shawl is suitable for wearing on special occasions. If you’d rather make it as a comfort shawl, prayer shawl, everyday shawl or warm winter shawl, you could use a smooth wool yarn instead.
This is an intriguing pattern design, but it looks relatively easy to crochet. It’s a mirror-image design that you work starting from the foundation chain in the center. I find it exceptionally satisfying to crochet this type of symmetrical design.
In the favorites department, the “Faerie Queene” shawl (not pictured) is a close second to Endymion. It’s a rectangular shawl crocheted in a lovely linen yarn that has a lot of character. I crocheted a few repeats of this design to test the pattern instructions. I found the pattern really enjoyable to work on, and in fact, I would like to finish an entire Faerie Queene shawl in the future. The instructions were clear and straightforward.
The Best Things About This Book
The book is pretty to look at. The dressy shawls are not only gorgeous, but the stylist paired them with pretty party dresses, feminine jewelry and elaborate hairstyles. The shawls that have a more casual feeling are paired with appropriate everyday clothing. Overall, I think the styling in the book is effective; the projects are paired with clothing and accessories that show them in a positive, yet honest light.
The photography is also beautiful.
The author is thorough in giving you detailed instructions in every possible configuration you could want them. You get flat schematics with measurements. You get symbol crochet charts. You get written instructions. You get multiple color photographs of each design.
I think you’ll really appreciate having the schematics available in this book.
I own other shawl pattern books that require an investment of brainpower when you’re choosing a project to get started on — because when you look at a photo of a shawl draped on a model, it can sometimes be challenging to “wrap your head around” what the actual shape of the shawl is. (pun intended! Haha.) You start to wonder: Is this shawl a square that’s folded in half diagonally? Is it a triangle? You can’t always tell from the photos, so then you have to start puzzling it out by reading the instructions.
Thanks to the clear schematics presented in this book, that is not an issue at all.
This book includes a section of helpful tips and finishing techniques that will be invaluable to you if you’ve never crocheted a shawl before — or even if you have. If you aren’t sure how to go about blocking a shawl, or if you’d like to learn more about blocking, this section includes information you’re likely to find useful. There are step-by-step instructions for wet blocking.
The author has included interesting tidbits about the poems and experiences that inspired many of these shawls. In some cases, you get brief quotes from the poems that the shawls are named after.
This book has black and white line art illustrations of all the basic crochet stitches. So if you are a total beginner at crochet, or if you haven’t crocheted in a long time, you could pick up this book and get started without having to invest in any other resources. However, you should be aware that not all the patterns in the book are suitable for beginners. If you’re a beginner, you’re likelier to succeed with the patterns in the book that require worsted weight or DK weight yarn rather than lace weight yarn. This is because it’s easier to get your crochet projects started and hold onto them if you use thicker yarns. If you aren’t sure where to start, Dover, Jessamine and Greenfuse all look like fairly easy crochet projects — although honestly, if you’re a total beginner to crochet, I recommend trying a few granny squares before you dive into a larger project like a shawl. Still, it’s crochet, not rocket science — and if you are determined to succeed with crocheting these shawls, you will.
I’m delighted to recommend this book to other crochet enthusiasts who want to crochet romantic shawls. I think it’s an outstanding book, and it includes a wonderful variety of shawl patterns to work from.
Where to Buy This Book:
- Check out our picks for more of the best crochet shawl pattern books — Poetic Crochet is at the top at the list, but there are some other truly lovely shawl pattern books available in addition to this one.
- Vogue Knitting Shawls and Wraps Book 2
- Click here to find our picks for the best crochet books.
- Click Here to Learn How to Crochet; This Link Takes You to a Total Beginner’s Guide to Crochet.
- Click here to find crochet stitch tutorials and instructions.
- Click here to learn more crochet techniques.
- Click HERE to Find Fabulous Yarn for Crochet and Knitting
- Click here to learn about crochet hooks.
- Click here to find my favorite crochet project bag.
- Click here to get updated on the latest craft supplies.
- Click here to learn about knitting.
- Click here to find our beginner’s guide to knitting needles.
- Click here to find outstanding craft project ideas.
Posted By: Amy Solovay
Page last updated on 6-20-2021. Thanks for visiting!