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Linda Schapper's artistic vision is expressed in a wide range of media, from patchwork quilts and crochet to painting and liturgical textiles, all of which are characterized by a folk-art style. She has traveled and taught extensively in more than 30 countries, had some 100 exhibits of her patchwork quilts, and written eight books--four of them on crochet. Linda lives in Orlando, Florida.
Even though I have several other books with many stitch designs, I picked this one up. I was delightfully surprized to find a beautifully done book. The description of each stitch is clear and easy to follow, and is presented in three different ways: a lovely color photograph using yarn I would love to go out and buy right away; written instructions for each stitch; and the symbol chart.
Often many stitch books-nice as they may be-do not use they symbols, and, to my mind, once you learn how to read the symbol chart, crocheting goes so much faster and so much easier. Having all three descriptions(photo, written, symbol) for each stitch really adds to the versitility of this book.
Also, the page you want stays open and lies flat so you can follow along without having to stop and put your work down to find your place, and it has 500 stiches, separated into categories from single crochet designs to more complex ones. What more could any crochet lover want?
I know this book will become one I use over and over and will keep for many years. I highly reccomend it.
This book features many stitch patterns and their variations. It doesn't delve too deeply into post stitches or textured stitches, although there are enough I think for most readers of this book. However, it does thoroughly cover everything else. It's a very large & thick book and has been proving itself a very good reference. I find it helpful to see the variations on a basic pattern, as I most often like those better and it's interesting to see how changing just one stitch in a pattern can alter the whole look.
I'm grateful the editors decided to use one color yarn for all the swatches & a similar color layout for all the pages. I find even the color of yarn can change the appearance of a swatch, so having all the swatches in the same yarn/color provides the brain an easy comparison with all the patterns. Recently there seems to be this push to make the stitch reference books colorful and happy, with this abject fear that if any two pages are uniform in appearance, we're all going to get soooo bored we'll fall asleep reading it. That's great for kids or if you need to be inspired by pretty things, but I'm choosing a pattern for a design and I want my stitch reference to be my workhorse in that endeavor & not a distraction. And I'm really happy there are written instructions AND charts.
My only problem (and reason for giving 4 stars, not 5) is the yarn used to stitch up the samples. It's a fuzzy kind of yarn. In the pictures you can make out the stitch textures a bit, but the fuzz factor obscures those details and almost makes the photo look out of focus. I can only assume that a person not familiar with photography decided on the yarn and thought it looked pretty or gave the swatches a softer appearance.Read more ›
I collect stitch pattern books and was delighted to stumble across this title and to add to my collection. I've been consulting it for a few months now and have some thoughts.
I love the fact that every stitch is accompanied by both written instructions and a good chart. The book presents the charts directly underneath the photo, a simple layout decision that shows real understanding of how crocheters use stitch instructions. This makes it easy to compare a chart to its crocheted sample and clarify what's going on. Other dictionaries present the chart elsewhere on the page, usually after the written instructions, which frustrates me because it makes comparison difficult.
The majority of the stitches are original -- I've not seen them elsewhere and found them quite pleasing. You should be aware that most are small scale stitches suitable that create textured fabrics rather than large lace panels. Think lacy cardigan not tablecloths or curtains. (Since I crochet garments, this is a delight for me!) I do agree with the other reviewers who felt that a portion of the stitches were made up just to fill out the number to 500. However, I feel the "good" stitches far outweigh the "bad" stitches, and I don't think it affects the book's overall quality.
The organization of the chapters was a bit puzzling. I wasn't quite sure why the author chose to clump certain stitches together. They don't follow "traditional" stitch categorizations (e.g. there's a chapter on "simple shells" followed by "shells filet", "shells symmetrical" and "shells overall patterns". I didn't really see the distinctions.) However, honestly, I am rarely satisfied with the organization of any stitch dictionary. I usually just browse photos until I find something promising.Read more ›
This book was the answer to my prayer when it comes to a visual resource of crochet stitches. I am working on designing a wedding shawl for myself and wanted a book that had I could get some inspiration from. The book not only has 500 designs, but each are clearly described with directions and a symbol diagram.
I have already created swatches of several patterns and the directions make sense and so far are mistake free! I am really happy that I found this book. I have looked at several others and they just don't seem to have the clear color pictures, symbol charts and unusual stitch designs that this one has.
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Linda Schapper's artistic vision is expressed in a wide range of media, from patchwork quilts and crochet, to painting and liturgical textiles, all of which are characterized by a folk-art style. She has traveled and taught extensively around the world in more than 30 countries, speaks four languages, and has had some 100 exhibits of her patchwork quilts. She has written eight books, four of them on crochet. She now divides her time between painting, and writing about her liturgical work.