Creative Crochet Projects Book Review
Book reviews on the Marly Bird site are written by team member Kathryn unless otherwise noted. Kathryn also writes book reviews for Happily Hooked Digital Magazine. This review of Stephanie Pokorny’s Creative Crochet Projects originally appeared in the August 2021 issue of that magazine. Get the book.
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Crochet blogger/ designer Stephanie Pokorny creates mesmerizing, whimsical crochet creations. I think of her as a true crochet artist. So, of course, I was intrigued and excited when I was browsing through my library and discovered that she has a recent crochet pattern book.
“Creative Crochet Projects: 12 Playful Projects for Beginners and Beyond” is exactly what the title says it should be. It does not disappoint. The book is filled with playfulness, joy, and color.
What To Expect from Creative Crochet Projects
Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before I browsed through this crochet book. Whenever I think of Stephanie, I think of her Marie Antoinette-style crochet wig. I think of costumes and imagination and magic. Of course, I was sure that her crochet patterns for the book would be interesting … I just wondered how those huge ideas would translate down to projects easy enough for beginners. But, never fear, she did a great job of that.
Inspirational, Creative Crochet Wearables
The first set of crochet patterns in Creative Crochet Projects is all about wearables. This is the part that I personally find to be lots of fun. Stephanie has taken her world (her site is Crochetverse) and distilled it down into a few fun, wearable projects that are also relatively easy to crochet.
Finger Crochet Scarves
She starts this section off with finger crochet scarves. Finger crochet is a great way to really immerse yourself in the tactile joy of the craft. Additionally, you can easily teach kids to finger crochet, so you can get the whole family involved in this project. Huge poms at the ends of the scarves add that extra touch that Stephanie is known for.
Additional Crochet Accessories
There are a few other accessories in this section. Her Bubble Hue Shift Hat is one of the standout pieces. Its rich with color and texture. There are clusters in rainbow stripes topped up with a big fun pom. Craft and fashion are both supposed to be fun and Stephanie really embodies that in her work.
Crochet Owl Wrap
Which brings us to my favorite piece in the whole book: The Asymmetric Owl Wrap. As you know if you’re familiar with Stephanie’s work and/or read the aforementioned June 2020 feature, she really stands out for her costume pieces. In fact, when asked back then what inspires her, she said:
“I am inspired by imagination, costuming, color, shapes, and graphics that POP! I love to be able to transform with crochet in the sense that when I put it on it creates a mood or feeling. Brightly colored rainbow pieces make me happy. Costume pieces allow the imagination to run wild. My favorite thing is that we can literally create ANYTHING we want. Crochet is magical in that it can be so much more than a flat object. I view my yarn as a sculpting tool more than anything else. How can I use this fiber to build and mold and layer to achieve my goals?”
Taking Costumes to Wearable Pieces
When I look at the owl wrap in Creative Crochet Projects, I see all of that inspiration distilled down to something wearable. It’s one of those pieces that is a little bit costume – it’s got an owl hood after all – but is also totally functional. You don’t have to wear it to a costume party; you can absolutely wear it as a fun every day piece.
The Fun of Playtime Projects
The second half of the book is a selection of crochet projects that are meant for kids (or adults?) to play with. This, again, embraces the beautiful tactile nature of the craft of crochet. In the 2020 interview, before Stephanie listed all of those other inspirations that I already shared above, she said that she’s most inspired by her kids. This is a mom who makes things that her kids want, drawing inspiration from their imaginations as much as hers. You can see that in the pieces here.
Children’s Crochet Food and Kitchen Playmat
The Rollaway Kitchen Playmat is a great example from this part of the book. It’s a crochet mat that has stove burners and dials, soap, a kitchen sink with bubbles, and lots of other kitchen fun crafted on to it. It’s colorful and tactile. And yet, it all rolls up into one easy piece for storage. It’s great for little kids to play with, pretending to make dinner alongside as you do, and yet quick to put away.
Foldable burgers and hot dogs as well as a sliceable watermelon offer more fun projects to make for kids. The watermelon is designed as a play toy for kids but I have to note that it looks to be the right size for a comfy whimsical pillow that would look great on many couches. These aren’t the kinds of crochet patterns that you can find just anywhere. They’re one of a kind and truly original, which is why it’s worth checking out the book.
Crochet Mobile for Kids
My personal favorite from this part of the book is the Bee-Unified Mobile. It’s a children’s mobile designed with a beehive as well as bees and flowers that hang off of it. I can see it mesmerizing children as it hangs over their cribs. However, I also think it makes a really fun art piece for adult décor as well. Bees are important and this is a great conversation starter.
Well-Written, Clear Book for Beginners
Creative Crochet Projects truly is a book that works for beginners. It has tons of information about yarn types, hook sizes, how to crochet even basic stitches, changing colors in crochet and more. Throughout the book are helpful lessons that apply to specific projects, such as How to Work a Chainless Foundation Row for the Bubble Hue Shift Hat. There are detailed written instructions as well as clear photo instructions.
Stephanie mentioned in that previous interview that she always asks her pattern testers to be really hard on her. Then she corrects her patterns accordingly, adding notes where necessary to make sure everything is clear. You can see that effort come through in these finished patterns.
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