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VINE VOICEon February 6, 2006
I am an experienced crocheter, but I don't do it often. When I find myself inspired to create with crochet, I often want a quick refresher on:

Placement of markers;

How and where to count stitches;

The way to create flat circles or squares or triangles and how and where to increase on rounds (so I can then make up my own pattern for a hat or placemat or dishcloth or whatever);

How many stitches back from the hook I need to work to start back on my foundation row (if doing anything other than single crochet).

Just those quick little reminder tips that get you off and running and back to your work...

After a recent frustrating search, I found that none of my other crochet books have any information on markers, none have any of the modular piece formulae, and the other tomes have the stitch details buried within pages and pages of opinionated text (I'm going to hold my hook how I darn well please, thankyouverymuch!)

None of my other books have clear, two-color diagrams indicating which part of a working stitch I'm supposed to be working through.

None of my other books even has a decent index.

They do, however, have stupid patterns for baby items I'm never going to make. Blech.

THIS BOOK HAS ALL OF THE ABOVE EXCEPT THE STUPID PATTERNS. Not only that, it's written in a concise, easily-referenced manner, and it's small enough to carry with you in your yarn tote. Trust me when I say that IF IT ISN'T IN THIS BOOK, YOU WON'T NEED IT... and you will be able, like I, to give your other crochet books away.

Included are:

Info on yarn and substitutions, hook sizes, English/American translations.

Info on stitches mentioned above plus increasing and decreasing and specialty stitches.

Gauge, working shapes as mentioned above, fabric creation (drape, etc.)

Working in circles vs. working in spirals and how to tell where you are on either.

Colorwork, borders, buttonholes, buttons, working/reading patterns.

Extensive info on body measurements including standard charts.

Blocking, joining, Tunisian and other types of crochet.

Adding beads and baubles to your work.

Garment care, abbreviations, terms.

And more!

The drawings are clear and in two colors of blue with black lines, so you can see *exactly* which is the working stitch, and where the working yarn is supposed to go.

It's written in a conversational "question and answer" way which encouraged me to keep reading, and I learned some quick tips that I'd never seen addressed in other sources.

Get it, toss the rest, and gain some space on your bookshelf. Better yet, get two copies and give one to a friend or new crocheter, and save them a thousand frustrations. It's perfect for a beginner who has a hook and a pattern and some yarn, but doesn't know where to start - as well as for the experienced crocheter exploring new or challenging territory.

This is going to save me so many headaches, I may just crochet more often!

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on December 1, 2005
Covers everything you'll ever need to know. From all of the different ways to begin, change colors, end off, and join pieces together to trickier things like how to make sleeves longer or shorter without messing up the pattern. Well illustrated, simple to this book.
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on February 12, 2006
Even if you are a crochet expert, you will find this book useful. Answers just about every question you can think of from hooks, where to insert your hook, Gauge how to fix it or change it, yarn substitutions, edgings, how to turn, pattern stitches, how to start and end, and other very important answers. For the price, this book is well worth every little penny.
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on March 29, 2007
I've been crocheting for many years and consider myself a solid intermediate crocheter. Still, I thought it would be good to have a resource book that is travel size for when I occasionally need to look something up and am not at home to consult my other books. (Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet is great, but is a bit big to carry around.)

The Crochet Answer Book is about the size of a paperback, but with a slightly sturdier cover. It would fit well in most crochet tote bags. It's 11 oz, so it has some heft to it for its size, but it's worth its weight!

The crochet questions cover a broad range of subjects and the answers provided are concise, but helpful. I've enjoyed thumbing through the book and while much is familiar to me, I did pick up a few useful tips (such as hand exercises and the Elmore/extended stitch).

I have only two small issues with the book. 1) It might have been nice to include a sample symbol crochet chart to go with the list of symbols to illustrate how to read such a chart. Perhaps the author could consider this in a future edition. 2) The only answer with which I disagreed concerned the author's discussion of "No Dye Lot" yarn. While in principle the author is right that these yarns should be of identical color from batch to batch, that has not always been my experience. I found subtle differences much to my dismay on one project. - Still this is just one answer with which I disagree...the rest of the answers are great.

I highly recommend this book, especially for the new crochet stitcher who wants to go beyond the very basics, but is a bit intimidated by typical crochet instructions and the lingo used. The book is also useful for the more experienced crocheter who wants a travel size reference book. This is a handy resource!

2/14/08 Update to my 3/29/07 Review.... Still love this book. It came in handy the other day when I was trying out a new technique. The book not only had my answer, but I was able to browse "neighboring" questions for additional help.
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on March 10, 2007
I picked this one up at Michael's a few weeks ago, intending to flip through it a bit. When I was still "just flipping through it" fifteen minutes later, I gave in and bought it. And I'm glad I did; I have yet to have a question that this book didn't address. It even answered some long-standing questions! It's comprehensive, well-organized, and full of clear, easy-to-understand diagrams.

The Crochet Answer Book covers all the standard stuff: the types of yarn, the basic stitches, all the getting-started stuff. However, it goes beyond that, including information on how to substitute yarns, how to create various shapes, and how to modify patterns. In fact, the section on modifying even complex patterns is so well written that I feel inspired to try it! Another useful bit of information is in the section on working in the round: handy charts give suggestions for the number of increases need for different types of stitches. If you need know how to fix a problem in a piece, that's in it, too.

With this book, I have the resources for troubleshooting projects from patterns and for coming up with patterns of my own, all in a compact volume I can carry with me. I wouldn't recommend this as a first crochet book, but it makes an excellent second or third book.
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on January 5, 2006
I waited for someone to review this book, but I gave up and bought the book. So here is my quick review...

This is very well illustrated, its simple to read and it Covers everything you'll ever need to know. If you would like to learn little new tricks, this might be the book for you.
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on January 28, 2006
I like this little book. Not only does it provide quick access to answers but it also gives you a little review of how to do a certain technique. Fits right into my small crochet bag just in case I need it and it's also a good read.
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on November 13, 2006
I've been crocheting for about 40 years and I still feel this book was a great purchase. I'm always eager to polish up my techniques and learn something new. This book seems to have the answer to anything you want to know about crochet. I keep it in my project bag at all times!
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on April 2, 2007
I love this book and keep it in my craft bag. I've referred to it again and again since I don't have a crochet guru or crafty grandmother nearby to call for help. I taught my mother-in-law to crochet and bought her a copy as well. Get it--you won't be sorry.
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on March 6, 2007
After a few frustrating weeks of trying to teach myself crochet, I realised that I understood the directions, but the actual mechanics of yarn and hook were causing me issues. (I believe largely due to my being a knitter.) I decided to order The Crochet Answer Book because of the absolutely glowing reviews and reasonable price. The reviewers were all correct! I started looking through it from the beginning, reading the answers to all the questions I was asking (and several I didn't know I should be asking). I have to say, my forehead hurts from all of the slapping it's been getting when I learn (in simple, easy to understand and friendly language) exactly why everything was so wonky!

I absolutely recommmend this as the crochet book everyone should own. Many angst ridden moments (and thrown half swatches) could have been avoided if I had this a month ago!
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