Welcome to Ten on the 10th!
I’m thrilled to begin joining nine other bloggers on the tenth of each month for ten great ideas that you can use – each for under $10!
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To kick things off this month, I’ve got a super fun product recommendation for you: the Leisure Arts Crochet Pocket Guide.
I learned to crochet over 40 years ago and have picked up skills here and there ever since. I’ve learned most new stitches and techniques from patterns I’ve followed for specific projects, but would have loved to have found a handy guide like this when I was just getting started.
Last year when I began teaching crochet classes, I knew I wanted something useful for my students. I looked for a simple, easy-to-understand guide that would be helpful for them outside of class time. That’s when I found the Crochet Pocket Guide on Amazon.
The guide is laminated with an accordion-type fold that opens up to a 12-page booklet. The design allows easy viewing of a single or multiple pages, and the laminated coating makes it durable and portable.
I’ve got lots of paper patten books that look like they’ve been through a war zone simply from the war and tear of traveling around in a soft-sided project bag. This one is made to last!
The guide begins with a brief explanation of yarn and thread sizes, followed by a listing of the abbreviations for the most common crochet stitches and instructions.
The bulk of the guide teaches you how to crochet 19 different stitches with written instructions and color-coded drawings. I especially like the color coding which makes it easy to see where new stitch steps are located within your work.
There’s also 3 pages dedicated to stitching tips that include joining, changing colors, and correct placement of various stitches.
Finally, the back page has a section that explains gauge, and a handy ruler is built right onto the edge of the guide for measuring your work.
Why I Love It
This guide is handy, durable, portable, and adequately explains basic stitches. It’s perfect for a student who needs reminders between classes, or for someone who’s learning to crochet without an instructor.
Another great feature is its economy. The guide is jam-packed with clear instructions and illustrations from cover to cover.
Most of all, I love how easy it is to grab for a quick reference. I keep my guide tucked into my project bag and use it for reference when I need to use a stitch that I haven’t used in a while, or to measure the gauge of my project.
- handy, portable size (8.1 x 4.4 inches)
- durable construction
- easy to understand written instructions
- clear illustrations
- generous basic instructions for common stitches
My Least Favorite Parts
Around 90% of the world’s population is right-handed, and here’s a prime example of how what is “normal” for the majority of people creates varying degrees of challenge for the other 10% of us.
Since I’m in the minority, I’m pretty attuned to the trait and will almost always notice when someone else is left-handed too. The guide’s illustrations quickly caught my attention when I noticed that they’re designed for right-handers.
As a seasoned crocheter, it didn’t pose a problem for me. It may, however, for a new learner who’s left-handed. (Simple solution = view the book in a mirror. This “mirror” technique of teaching face-to-face is what I use with my right-handed students.)
There’s also no discussion on how to hold the yarn or hook, which is something you should understand even before making your first stitch. That’s no problem if you have an instructor or are learning through video or online tutorials. You can learn these skills in a matter of minutes.
Finally, the foundational chain stitch isn’t addressed in this booklet either. Again, it can be learned quickly with good instruction. Nearly all of my students learn these basics (hook/yarn holding and crocheting a chain) within the first half of their beginning lesson.
- Illustrations assume student is right-handed
- no discussion on how to hold yarn and hook
- no instruction for the basic chain stitch
Whether you’re just getting started, have been crocheting for a while, or are getting your interest piqued, the Leisure Arts Crochet Pocket Guide is a valuable addition to your project basket. It provides novice instruction as well as reference material for more experienced crocheters. After learning the skills in this guide, you’ll have no problem reading a wide range of pattern books for specific projects.
I LOVE to Crochet
Crocheting is my very favorite handcraft. It’s relaxing, rewarding, requires minimal materials, is inexpensive, and can be carried along most anywhere.
Working with yarn and hook forces me to sit down and rest, all while creating something beautiful. I’ve stitched away hundreds of hours on the couch, the road, in waiting rooms, and even on vacations.
I’ve made dozens of afghans and projects both for my own children and as gifts for family and friends, and have even been hired to crochet specific projects.
I love the minimal supply list. All you need is a hook, some yarn, a pattern (if you want one), and the desire to craft something beautiful.
Best of all, creating something with my own hands is simply rewarding. Having pieces that last for years – sometimes with lots of memories bound in the stitching – is a personal keepsake that becomes even more special with time.
What about You?
What are your thoughts on crocheting? Do you crochet? What are your favorite projects? Do you want to learn? Leave a comment below and let us know!
For more crocket inspiration, follow my Crochet board on Pinterest.
Now that you’ve got your crafty fix, be sure to visit these ladies who have more great ideas for you: