Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Taught Myself Crochet kit

book cover

I Taught Myself Crochet kit
by Boye

Paperback: 32 pages
Released: 2010

Source: Bought at Walmart.

Kit Description from Back Cover (slightly modified):
Even beginners can crochet beautiful things.

Kit includes:
  • Complete instructional DVD
  • Special section of tips and techniques for left-handers
  • Boye crochet hooks, sizes F, G, H, I, K
  • Afghan hook, size I
  • Plastic tapestry Yarn needles
  • Stitch marker rings
  • Bulky knit yarn bobbins

book coverNote: I own the 2010 version sold at Walmart which includes an instructional DVD. The book has a lady with a blue crochet sweater on the cover (see right), but the rest of the kit looks like the top picture.

Includes 16 Patterns:
(11 Beginner patterns, 4 Easy patterns, 1 Intermediate pattern)
  • Cro-Hook Cool Coasters
  • Easy Crochet Bag
  • Easy Scarf
  • Cell Phone Case
  • Color Block Mesh Poncho
  • Hairpin Lace Skinny Scarf
  • Ruffled Skinny Scarf
  • Broomstick Lace Pillow
  • Wavy Baby Blanket
  • Bright Nights Wrap/Throw
  • Mesh Scarf With Posies
  • Girl's Wrist Warmers
  • Summer Stripes Throw
  • Summer Strips Pillow
  • The Gift Poncho
  • Soft Sage Camisole

My Review:
The I Taught Myself Crochet book was pretty bare-bones, but it did get the basic necessary information across. It explained the different Boye crochet products and what they're used for (steel crochet hooks, aluminum crochet hooks, jumbo crochet hooks, afghan hooks, CroHook, and two sets). It explained the different yarn weights, what hooks are good to use with the different yarn weights, yarn weight metric equivalents, crochet hook sizes, and a long list of crocheting abbreviations.

The book taught how to do a slip loop, chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, increasing and decreasing, joining yarn and changing colors, finishing techniques, gauge, afghan stitch, how to use the cro-hook (needed equipment not included), how to make broomstick lace (needed equipment not included) and how to make hairpin lace (needed equipment not included).

Clear black-and-tan illustrations were included, though I would have liked more of the steps illustrated. It's great for a refresher, but not enough for an absolute beginner who's never crocheted, knitted, etc. The instructions were very good, but I guess I'm a visual learner when it comes to crocheting. There was also a tan-tinted photo of what a square of each stitch would look like, however it was difficult to see due to the coloring. All of the basic stitches (slip loop to treble crochet) were also taught for left-handers.

The patterns look fun, but this book didn't teach you how to read the patterns. You might be able to muddle through them with frequent looks at the included abbreviation chart, though. Three of the patterns required equipment not included in this kit.

The DVD included with this kit was Learn to Crochet with Erin Elkins. The DVD was 11 minutes and 47 seconds long. We were shown how to do a slip knot, chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet, and finish off the yarn ends on your piece.

It was easy to see what the presenter was doing, however, she sometimes didn't do what she told us to do. (For example, she described a "yarn over" as putting the hook under then over the yarn, but sometimes she did the opposite. She never explained why she sometimes didn't do it the way she said to, so I'm assuming she just goofed.) Because of this, I found the DVD more confusing than helpful.

Personally, I found naztazia's YouTube videos, How to Crochet - Part 1 - Basics for the Absolute Beginner and How to Crochet - Part 2 - Basics for the Absolute Beginner, very clear and much more useful. She also taught more of the basic crochet stitches.

The hooks included with the kit were easy enough to use, but I've since bought a full set of Susan Bates hooks and I much prefer them. The book and DVD didn't explain how to use the included stitch marker rings or bulky knit yarn bobbins. (I learn pattern-reading and the use of stitch marker rings from another book, Crocheting in Plain English.)

Overall, this kit was a cheap way to see if I'd enjoy crocheting, especially since I had the additional help of the YouTube videos. I'm sure I'll use the book to refer back to about abbreviations and to double-check how to do the various stitches (now that I've done them some). However, this probably wasn't the best set to get in a longer-term perspective.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Cross Stitch Crazy Mum said...

I just bought this book last week and with the help of it and my mother-in-law I have finally learnt crochet. I am making the striped blanket in the book :)

Genre Reviewer said...

Great! I'd like to make blankets someday, but I already have more blankets than I can use. :) So I read, more advanced another book, and now have made ("freestyle", no pattern) a small purse and a large hot-pad, both of which I needed.

Good luck on your project, and thanks for stopping by!

LauraMars said...

Bought this book a few days ago and really like it although I may check out the youtube vids you suggest. I'm a long time knitter so the instructions were fairly easy for me to follow. I can't wait to get started on a project! I would love to make the blue long sleeve sweater on the cover. Any idea where I might find the pattern or something similar? Thanks!

Genre Reviewer said...


No, I don't know where to find a pattern for the cover sweater. I checked on the Boye website, too, but didn't see it there. Sorry I couldn't help, but I'm glad you're enjoying your new hobby! :)

Uborrowmycar said...

I like the book but sometimes the instructions aren't clear enough, like the "girl's wrist warmers" patterns, which I am stuck on lol!

Genre Reviewer said...

Uborrowmycar, I haven't tried that pattern, but I know what you mean. I hope you manage to figure out how to finish them nicely. :)

allyshake said...

Hi I used to crochet as a young child and have bought this book to re-learn the craft. In that respect the book is fine although I agree that the abbreviations in some of the patterns and the instructions are a little difficult to interpret. My main issue is I think there is an error in pattern 16 the Camisole. Re the Lower Section Row 2 I think there should be a sc between each shell since in Row 3 it says to sc in the middle of the shell followed by working a shell in the NEXT sc. If you repeat after the * in Row 2 as instructed there is only one sc in the previous row, so you cannot work the shells in Row 3 in the sc's that should be there.I would like to email the designer Leigh K Nestor however whilst there are many of her patters on the net I cant dind any email contact for her.

Genre Reviewer said...

I also haven't tried that pattern--I did a few patterns and then just started making my own patterns up. Thank you for sharing the potential fix, though. It's always frustrating when a pattern isn't clear or actually turns out to be wrong!