Book review: Crochet One-Skein Wonders

coverThis is soooo embarrassing, because the sound you hear is me eating my words. I don’t crochet, I can’t crochet, attempts have been made to teach me to crochet, and I still can’t crochet. So there. Only I was sent this book to review, edited by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman and featuring designs from lots of people, and I am clearly going to have to learn.

Despite not being a crochet queen, I can still review it to the extent of saying that it has patterns in it which I would like to use. This, for me, is a real plus, and something of a first.

For me crochet has traditionally lurked in Golden Hands territory, all nasty colours, acrylic yarn, 1970s waistcoats and toilet-roll covers. However, I have clearly not moved on. Here there are patterns for eminently covetable necklaces, fingerless gloves, headbands, bags, cushions, kids’ toys (love Louis the lobster, and particularly Sam the big-bottomed bunny)… In fact, the toys are absolutely gorgeous, but we don’t all have kids of a suitable age to make them for, though I wouldn’t mind Sam or sweet kitty for myself.


But I’m transferring my affection to the jewellery, especially the beaded pieces.


See what I mean? Not a hint of a 1970s loo-roll cover. And there are 99 other patterns to choose from, too.

Like all the other One-Skein books, this is usefully divided by yarn weights, is well illustrated and has clear instructions, but whereas the others had a few crochet patterns, this one is entirely devoted to hooking yarn. Now because I don’t / can’t / won’t crochet, I asked my knitting group to have a look at it and give some much better-qualified feedback which I could pass on, and they were as positive as I am. There was even a scramble for the book and a brief argument about who was going to use it first.


One person, for instance, pounced on it because she had always wondered how you got a crochet edging on things made of fabric, and hadn’t been able to find any clear instructions. She’d squinted at pieces of work and thought she might have worked it out, but found clear confirmation and instructions here (you blanket stitch around the fabric and attach the crochet to the blanket stitch). Another person spoke highly of the instructions for Tunisian crochet. But everyone felt like I did, and just loved the patterns. I have a distinct feeling that Niles the Crocodile (hee hee)


will be first off the hook, when my crocodile-loving friend has prised the book out of the hands of the fabric-edger…


4 thoughts on “Book review: Crochet One-Skein Wonders

  1. Lydia

    The 1970’s waistcoat! Well, I made a 1960’s bright green waistcoat with brass buttons from a pattern I found in my Mother’s Woman’s Own I think. In my hippie days I was so proud to wear my handmade crocheted silver smock top – finished delicately with a fringe of what must have been cat bells. Tinkle, tinkle as I walked down the street combined with the heady scent of patchouli and yes, desert boots. Ah, well…….. However, crochet has never really grabbed me at all, not sure why, I just prefer the look of knitting and the gentle peacefulness it brings me.

    1. kate Post author

      That sounds very adventurous for Woman’s Own! Of course the desert boots – just what was needed for the perfect look. And you can still buy stuff to achieve this look, you know, especially in Barmouth…


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