Hi there, how are you all? The blog has been a silent for a bit but I am back today with a book review for you. When I first started the blog I did quite a few reviews but it has been a while since I have shared one. When I purchased this book however, I knew I had to talk about it.
I hadn’t heard of Anna Wilkinson before since prior to this book her designs focused on knitting rather than crochet, though I had seen her beautiful Brill shawl which was featured in Pom Pom magazine (if you are knitter you must check it out). So when Jess from Ginger Twist Studio mentioned this book was coming out I was intrigued… a knitter publishing a crochet book is not something you see often, most knitters I know don’t like crochet at all and haven’t met many who enjoy both crafts. Since I believe knitting is definitely ahead in terms of fashion and style I was hoping this was a good thing, and I am happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. This book has many patterns that I would like to try, and more importantly, that I would love to wear.
I was very lucky to try on the samples from this book and Anna has given me permission to share some pictures of me and Jess with our favourite patterns. It makes such a difference to try on the samples, it made me realise which patterns I not only liked on the page but also looked good on me and if there were any modifications I would like to do.
The book begins with an introduction by Anna which I think really touches on what might be holding people back from crochet. As a knitter herself she admits that learning how to crochet felt a bit “alien” and “fiddly” at the beginning, but just with anything in life, this passes and you get to enjoy this craft and all the amazing things you can do with it. She explains how forgiving crochet is when it comes to mistakes (which I have always believed is the definite plus compared to knitting) and how each craft has its own place and purposes.
After a great intro there are detailed instructions for crochet beginners with everything you need to work your basic stitches, read patterns, measure gauge and even change colours. Sometimes this part of crochet books is not great, but I was quite impressed to see how clear the pictures and instructions are. She doesn’t leave anything to guesswork, showing you how to wrap yarn around your hook and identifying stitches, I am guessing her background as a knitter contributed to how comprehensive the instructions are. Since I have always crocheted I have never thought about how I wrap yarn around my hook but it makes total sense to mention this for complete beginners.
After this section you come to the “Learn to Crochet” patterns aimed at beginners, starting with a simple pair of fingerless mitts and moving on to more complicated things. What I love, love, love about these patterns is that in this book “beginner” does not mean that you can only do blankets, but also beautiful and wearable garments which use a simple construction that would be easy for a beginner to follow. She uses great colour combinations which are very attractive and the photography is stunning. I particularly like the Cropped Tee, the Zig Zag Shopper, the Granny Stripe Chunky Sweater and the Tweed Cardi.
Jess has already made an awesome version of the Cropped Tee using her hand dyed yarn and I may have already purchased some yarn for mine… 🙂
I was very surprised to see I liked some of the garments here which use thicker yarns. I don’t dare to crochet patterns which use anything thicker than DK, and even that I find too thick to work with crochet. But I must admit I was very attracted to those patterns, even the Tweed Cardi which uses super bulky yarn! It looks amazing on Jess and the weight of the yarn makes it more like a jacket than a cardi.
From the Love Crochet patterns section I really liked the Vintage Style Embroidered Top, the Fan Stitch Cardigan and the Patchwork Stitch Sweater.
I would say that the one thing I missed in this book was garments using lighter yarns. Even though I was surprised to like the garments that used heavier yarns, it is still not my preference in general. I think crochet can be so much more than heavy garments, it can also have beautiful drape and shape which also suits a larger range of body types compared to garments with thicker fabrics. Having said that I think some of these garments have a very simple construction and could therefore be adapted to use a different yarn weight if required.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it online at Ginger Twist Studio here. Big thanks to Anna for her permission to play with her samples and to Jess for being such a stylish model! I think my modelling career would be very short… I had to erase half of the pictures because I had my eyes closed 🙂
I will be back soon with some WIPs, FOs and some knitting… yes! you read that right!
Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own money and decided to review it simply because I liked it 🙂
9 thoughts on “Review: Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet by Anna Wilkinson”
What a beautiful selection of sweaters! And they look lovely on you 🙂 glad to hear that we will get an update on your knitting. I was wondering how you were managing. I am almost done my first knit baby sweater. It is to be a practice run for making a “me” sized sweater! Can’t wait to see what you did with your new needles!
That is awesome, looking forward to see your first knitted FO! I have only been playing so far but will cast on my first pattern this week, I may not have chosen the easiest of patterns but I do like a challenge 🙂
I rarely crochet clothes ( I have a thing about blankets) but now I really want to make the granny stripe jumper!
It’s really nice isn’t? It makes me think of cosy winter nights by a fire 🙂 I had thought about making it with a DK yarn rather than aran, but after trying it on I quite like that is so boxy so may just work it as it shows in the pattern. Let me know if you give it a try!
Wow all the sweaters are absolutely beautiful, I have to say the Fan Stitch cardigan is my favorite! Thanks for the great review and bringing this book to everyone’s attention 🙂
Can anyone help me with the Granny Square sweater? I just can’t get the “shape sleeve head” part of the sleeve pattern to work. I have tried several ways and I run out of stitches before I can complete the rows 3-4 a further 8 times. Is there possibly a misprint or is it my lack of understanding. Any help would be gratefully recieved as I would love to complete this lovely pattern.
Loved your review, love the pics of you in the garments – this is making me buy the book… very pret-a-porter!
So excited to give these a go. Thanks