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Crochet Cowls: 15 Bold and Beautiful Designs Paperback – September 1, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"The discriminating crocheter looking for stylish cowls need look no further than this collection of 15 wide-ranging, beautifully photographed neck warmers. In Crochet Cowls, Sharon continues her tradition of delightful designs and crystal clear instructions."
Susan White Sullivan, Board President of the Crochet Guild of America (Susan White Sullivan, Board President of the Crochet Guild of America)
Crochet Cowls is all about giving you a variety of stylish, eye-catching cowl patterns you can crochet. You could make each of these trendy wardrobe pieces and not worry one bit about getting bored with your experience, considering the cowls are designed using bunches of different crochet techniques, stitch patterns, fibers and colors. Crochet techniques you’ll explore in this book include chevrons, Tunisian crochet, mosaic crochet, bead crochet, shell stitches and crochet lace.
Don’t worry if you’ve never tried the techniques mentioned above; the book includes photo tutorials and international symbol crochet charts that will help you visualize how to work these patterns—plus clear instructions that will give you the guidance you need to achieve success with each pattern. (Crochet-Books.com)
When I look at a book, and think about adding it to my Crochet Books library, I have certain criteria that I look for in the book, and it should meet most of these if I am going to add it. So when I was asked to review this book, Crochet Cowls by Sharon Silverman, I thought I would look to see if it met my criteria.
Here is what I look for:
1. Do I know the author? Or have I heard of the author?
In this case, yes, to both. I have heard of the author. And I know the author, Sharon Silverman. I have several of her books, some I have reviewed. I know how thorough she is with her instructions. I know how knowledgeable she is, also. Years ago, when she was just starting out, she took one of my classes at the Crochet Guild of America's Chain Link conference. It's difficult to remember everyone you meet at a conference, but I know that we've been corresponding lately, and I feel that I know her. Disclaimer: whether I know the author or not, that doesn't influence me when I review their work.
2. Who tech edited the book?Who did the charts? Do I know or have I heard of them?
I am a tech editor, and I know how difficult it is to tech edit a book. In this case, I couldn't find a name for the tech editor (it might have been listed as "assistant editor"). But I did find a name for the person who did the charts – Lindsey Stephens. I know her, and know that she does excellent work. So I know the charts and stitch diagrams will be correct.
3.What about the skill levels?Are the designs for just one skill level, or many different skill levels?
There are 15 designs in this book, and the skill levels are divided between them – 4 Easy, 8 Intermediate, and 3 Experienced. So there is something for everyone!
4. What about the yarn? What type of yarn is used?
Once again, Sharon thought of everyone's preferences for yarn. The yarn weights range from Lace weight (0), to Jumbo weight (7). In other words, the yarn weights are: lace, super fine, fine, light, medium (also known as worsted), bulky, super bulky, and jumbo. So whether you like working with Jumbo yarn, or Lace weight, or anything in between, you'll find at least one cowl you can crochet. And perhaps you'll also try a yarn weight that you don't usually use! It's a great opportunity to expand your skills!
5. What about special stitches and techniques?Are there any? Do you have to look in the back of the book for them, or are they included in the pattern directions?
If a cowl uses special techniques or stitches, the instructions, along with great pictures, are included with the directions. You don’t' have to search for them!
6. Stitch diagrams? Are they included with each pattern?
Each of the 15 patterns has at least one stitch diagram that shows a section of the pattern. That is my favorite part of any book. When I see a pattern I like, I want to crochet a section of it first – to see if I can follow the pattern, and to see if I like the way the stitches look in the yarn that I want to use. So I always look for stitch diagrams, to help me with my swatching. I use them to make gauge swatches, and to test new stitch patterns. Sometimes (and this is why I love stitch diagrams) I just use the stitch pattern, and crochet myself something else, not the original pattern that it came from! But however I use them, I know that reading stitch diagrams is usually a lot easier than reading patterns – long ones or short ones.
7. Anything else?
Yes!. In the back of the book, there is a section of the basic crochet stitches – with directions, and pictures. Just in case! Also, just in case, there is section on Tunisian Crochet (used in some of the patterns), and, some helpful hints for Tunisian Crochet. Then, there is information on how to read a pattern, and how to read a stitch chart or diagram - including Tunisian stitch diagrams. Then the usual stuff is included – abbreviations, hook sizes, what the crochet skill levels mean, and what the yarn categories mean.
8. What else is included?
There are all sorts of different techniques you will learn if you crochet these cowls.
You can learn how to work beaded crochet, in Art Deco Skyline.
Or learn Mosaic Crochet, in Magenta Mosaic.
Pearly Grapes will teach you how to work Tunisian Knit and Purl stitches.
Intarsia Arrows will teach you how to work Tunisian Colorwork.
And there's so much more: Tunisian Double hook techniques, crochet through the back loop, Tunisian Full stitch, Loop stitch, etc.
So, all in all, Crochet Cowls is a very thorough book.
When I looked through the book, I saw 5 or 6 cowls that I immediately wanted to make. Or at least try out their stitch patterns, because they intrigued me. I found some yarn to work with and I got started. . . .
So once again, Sharon's book meets my criteria for a great crochet book that I want to have for my Crochet Book library. I know that there are many great stitch patterns in there, and even if I don't want to make a cowl, I can still use the stitch patterns. Plus, there are a lot of different techniques included. (Marty Miller, Not Your Granny's Crochet)
Sharon has absolutely done it again. This is a stunning book on so many levels.
First the actual physical book is beautiful. Many may not pay attention or notice these details but, I do. The feel of the cover, the inside intro pages, the chart shadowed as a header on the pages.
The photography by Shanken Photography is on target. I love that the photos are clear and close so you can see the stitch and details like beads. Did I mention beads??? The Art Deco Skyline Cowl . . . is a work of art.
As usual I like to make a project or piece of a project from the books I review. I think this is important to really see what others will read and need when they work from the book. I chose to make the Green Fields Capelet. I happened to have enough Lion Brand-LB Collection Cotton/Bamboo, in green no less, to make the whole capelet. I think it came out beautiful. ... I always learn a new stitch in Sharon's books, and this pattern was no exception.
One thing I absolutely LOVE about this book was the clear pictures of stitch instructions on the same pages as pattern being worked. LOVED THIS! No going to the back of book looking up what I needed to know now. The only time I needed this feature was for the loop stitch, and after looking at the pics, piece of cake. The instructions for the other stitches, of which there were four, were very clear as written. (Karen McKenna, I Hook Design)
I am thrilled to introduce to you all another new book from the very prolific Sharon Silverman!
Crochet Cowls is a gorgeous book! From the patterns, to the layout, to the how-to, to the photography, this book is amazing. Sharon includes 15 gorgeous patterns that actually walk you through photo instructions on any out of the ordinary stitches. From Lace to Bulky, from standard Crochet to Tunisian Crochet there is a pattern here for everyone!
Here is information directly from the back of the book:
Cowls are a perennially popular wearable accessory—and
great cowl designs can be crocheted by even a relative
“newbie.” This new book by crochet design expert Sharon
Hernes Silverman includes simple graphic designs, some
in striking black and white, as well as more complex color
patterns to present a variety of looks and styles. Includes
instructions and patterns for crocheting 15 strikingly beautiful
cowls using traditional and Tunisian techniques, plus
beautiful color photos of the finished pieces.
Every word of this is true! It is a gorgeous collection, but the fact that Sharon actually helps you along the way makes it a perfect book for even a brand new crocheter. The designs are a mix of graphic and timeless stitches. From bold to romantic, I truly cannot pick a favorite. But I do think that I will be making the cover cowl first. Atlantic Ice is not only made in lace weight yarn but it is in my favorite colors too! . . . This is one book you will not want to miss. With the holidays coming this book will be your go to for most of you gift list this year! (Karen Whooley)
In addition to providing 15 never before seen cowl patterns, Sharon also teaches you techniques, both traditional crochet and Tunisian; information on how to read a pattern, for new crocheters, how to read a symbol chart; she also provides a list of abbreviations and resources. . . . The 15 original designs are comprised of traditional crochet and Tunisian crochet, offering a variety of different styles and techniques. Each pattern in the book is thoughtfully and precisely written out to be easy for everyone to follow, though a basic knowledge of crochet is necessary. The patterns all have step by step instructions and diagram charts.
(Lorene Eppolite, Cre8tion Crochet)
Crochet Cowls: 15 Bold & Beautiful Designs is a cozy new book by designer Sharon Hernes Silverman who always impresses with her strong writing and crafting skills.
About Crochet CowlsCrochet Cowls has fifteen patterns for cozy neckwear. The patterns are a combination of traditional crochet techniques and Tunisian crochet, a niche that the author has truly mastered. In addition, the patterns introduce other advanced techniques including bead crochet, raised stitches, loop stitch, Tunisian intarsia, mosaic crochet and double-strand crochet. Many of the crochet patterns include helpful symbol charts, and the instructions on all of them are precise and easy to follow.
The variety of the cowls offers a little something for everyone so it’s great if you want patterns to crochet gifts for others; one cowl fits the luxurious appeal of silk-mohair lace while another has bold, graphic retro granny squares. There a few easy patterns but the majority are considered intermediate or advanced patterns. The book comes with stitch instructions for both classic and Tunisian crochet.
Three Favorite Crochet CowlsAll of the fifteen crochet cowl patterns in this book are lovely. What I love most is the variety amongst them; there is a terrific mixture of different techniques, colors and fibers used throughout the book. But if I had to pick my personal three favorite crochet cowl patterns from this book, my top picks would be:
The Art Deco Skyline crochet cowl introduces the bead crochet technique in such a classy, beautiful way. It is a contemporary urban design that sparkles and glitters; the perfect accessory for so many different occasions! It uses more than 1000 beads for an intricate, stunning pattern.
The Chepstow Cowl crochet pattern is one of the easiest pattern in the book, worked in a woven stitch combination of single crochet and chain stitches. It has great texture, and it’s designed to be worked in Red Heart Unforgettable Yarn, which is one of my favorite yarns. I love the coffee-colored yarn chosen for the book but of course it could be worked in many of the other bold Unforgettable colorways as well.
Double Strand Delight is one of several crochet patterns that use double-stranding, which is a simple technique that I really love to incorporate in my own work. The color combinations that Sharon has chosen for the project are absolutely perfect for an autumn accessory.
About Crochet Designer Sharon H. SilvermanSharon Hernes Silverman is a skilled an established crochet author who authors books that not only have cute designs but also provide clear, concise, complete instructions. In each pattern, Sharon answers the questions that you might ask if you were learning the projects from her in person or an online course. Some of her other great crochet books include Crochet Scarves, Crochet Refresher, Basic Crocheting and Projects and Tunisian Crochet for Baby.
Cowls are a perennially popular wearable accessory and great cowl designs can be deftly crocheted by even the most novice of needlecrafters. Crochet Cowls: 15 Bold & Beautiful Designs crochet design expert Sharon Hernes Silverman draws upon her years of experience and expertise to showcase fifteen simple graphic designs, some in striking black and white, as well as more complex color patterns to present a variety of looks and styles. Includes instructions and patterns for crocheting strikingly beautiful cowls using traditional and Tunisian techniques, plus beautiful color photos of the finished pieces. Profusely illustrated throughout and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, Crochet Cowls is very highly recommended for personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.
Crochet Cowls: 15 Bold & Beautiful Designs provides a range of designs that crocheters can follow to create cowls of varying looks and textures, and is recommended for a range of crochet workers from newcomers to advanced users looking for new ideas. The cowls vary in skill level and approach and because of this, beginners have access to projects that look more complicated than they are; while those with more experience will find more intricate crochet designs. The result is a collection of colorful, fun projects that belongs in any crochet worker's collection, requiring only a basic knowledge of crochet instruction abbreviations to prove accessible. (California Bookwatch)
About the Author
Sharon Hernes Silverman is a lifelong crafter, especially passionate about crochet and Tunisian crochet. Known for fashionable, wearable designs and crystal-clear instructions, she has authored 15 books, including Tunisian Crochet (978-0-8117-0484-7), Crochet Scarves (978-0-8117-0081-8), Crochet Pillows (978-0-8117-0646-9), and Tunisian Crochet for Baby (978-0-8117-1287-3).
Sharon’s designs have been published by top yarn companies including Plymouth Yarn and Louet North America, and she has been a featured guest on “Uncommon Threads,” HGTV’s fiber arts program. She is a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), a design member of The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA), and contributed the Tunisian Chevron Scarf pattern to Laura Zander’s Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women’s Heart Health. Sharon lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.