I’ve had this book on my table for about a month. The nice people at Interweave/F+W sent me a copy to review, and I have been dragging my heels. It’s not because I am uninterested in the topic, but rather quite the opposite.
When I set out to review a book that hinges on a particular technique, I always like to try that technique. Maybe make something from the book. This being the busy time of year that it is for those of us with school-aged children, it’s taken me a few weeks to brandish my hook.
This past Sunday morning, though, was a beautiful day for breakfasting outside. And also a fabulous opportunity to try out a new crochet technique, as it turns out.
Reversible Color Crochet by Laurinda Reddig teaches an interesting new technique for crochet colorwork. Most of my own crochet experience is with motifs that are worked from the center outwards, using one color at a time. The squares in this book are worked side-to-side (like a gauge swatch or a washcloth, for example) and at any given time you may have 2 or more colors going at once.
The emphasis is on squares that can be combined to make quilt-style blankets. In fact, several of the square designs that are presented are based on traditional quilt squares. Additionally, there are pictorial squares: flowers, dragonflies, even robots. Once you learn how to make the different squares, there are instructions for turning them into finished afghans.
The book starts off with general instructions for working stitch patterns in multiple colors, and then presents twelve basic blocks that serve to reinforce the techniques.
I have to admit that I found this a little bit difficult in practical use. When working the first block on page 18, I had to flip to the “hints” section on page 136 to see how to make a multi-color starting chain, then back to page 18 to work a bit further, and then to page 10 to remind myself how to do a color change in hdc. It was a lot of juggling back and forth until I internalized the process.
The good news is that I did internalize it by the time I got to the 4th row, so I wasn’t flipping around the book for too long.
I think this is an intriguing technique, and I like the idea that you can use multiple colors in this way. It’s nice that the unused colors are carried inside the work so as not to be visible on either side.
My favorite project is the “A World Too Wide” blanket. I like that you can’t immediately tell that it is comprised of blocks.
I’d recommend this book to those who want to duplicate the quilty look in crochet, those who want to learn to make pictorial motifs, or those who are in a crochet rut and looking for a new technique to try.
I plan to play around with this technique some more – it’s pretty interesting!
P.S. The usual disclaimers apply 🙂