a preview copy of Kathy Merrick's beautiful new book, Crochet in Color: Techniques and Designs for Playing with Color, which will be released by Interweave Press any day now.
It is spectacular.
So today, as a special back-to-school treat, I will present a very special
I have seen many [crochet] projects that are fascinating and take much technical skill, but even those of us who consider ourselves 'arty' or fashionable may be hard-pressed to wear the finished pieces outside the house. There are also many projects that are practical and usable but not very challenging or exciting to make. My hope is that you will find this book a helpful resources that merges the best of both worlds.
Wearability, fun and challenging to make, and lots of color? Those are lofty goals, but Merrick proves up to the challenge.
She begins with a brief introduction and some exercises for working color, then jumps right into the projects. You'll find 17 projects, organized into four categories: One Or Two Colors, Stripes, Color Blocks, and Color Adventures. I doubt I'll be accused of exaggeration when I say that each project is more gorgeous than the last, and all of them are marvelous.
Chapter 1 features designs done in only a single or two colors of yarn, including an adorable pleated hat; a button-up cardigan, shown above (I like the way the back pleats help give the sweater waist shaping); a bobbly scarf; and the spectacular Granada Shawl. That Grenada Shawl may in and of itself entice me to take the hook back up and practice my crochet, because it is beautiful.
Stripes, Chapter 2, features the Tropical Stripe Wrap (a beautiful use of Koigu), a striped blanket (mmm-Malabrigo), and the fetching Butterfly Turtleneck.
Color Blocks features the very charming chain lace scarf (again, a gorgeous blend of various multicolors of Koigu), a block-motif coat, and another stunning wrap called "Autumn Sun" (done in one of my favorites, Trekking XXL sock yarn). But perhaps my favorite in the book is the Urchins and Limpets Blanket, a creative use of texture and muted color.
This, dear readers, is cutting edge crochet, the kind of design that is truly innovative and gorgeous.
Last, you'll find Color Adventures, beginning with the Clover Hat, a pillow with a swirled colorwork design, a tuffet made with wedges of color; a floral-motif scarf (made in Noro Silk Garden), the Circles Table topper (interesting use of perle cotton thread)
and the "Tiny Motif Sweater," a charming short-sleeved number.
The book includes four pages of colorwork techniques, four more pages of finishing techniques and an illustrated glossary of stitches.
Chain Lace Big Fat ScarfAs you'd expect from an Interweave Press book, you've got full color, lots of photos, nice charts, inset boxes with additional tips, a layout that cleverly uses a colorblock motif, all for a MSRP of $22.95 (pre-order for $15.61 by clicking here). The book is paperback and approximately 128 pages.
I don't know from crochet, but I do know what I like, and I like -- make that "love" -- this book. It's full of color, creativity and style, using beautiful yarns and featuring wearable-yet-unconventional projects. So two rousing thumbs-up for a beautiful book and a valuable contribution to crochet design. Well done, my friend; well done.