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    80 Original Stitch Patterns Plus ...

    The book starts out well, with frequent two - colour illustrations indicating "how to" crochet one or another of the basic stitches upon which the rest of the book depends. It leads the reader to want much more. All too soon, however, we enter the world of the "80 Original Stitch Patterns", where in each instance a list of instructions (I won't call them patterns because each result looks like a different face cloth) precedes a photo in beige and green. There are no particular words of caution about trickier bits, no personalised words of encouragement. This part of the book has all the charm and appeal of a flat pack assembly project. The next focus, on projects, obviously employed a different, decoration magazine oriented, photographer. The projects are interesting - but none is clearly visible so the visual learner cannot engrave the intended image in their mind as they progress. Given the popularity of crochet at the moment, and the number of warm and thoughtfully written books illustrated tenfold and obviously engaged with their audiences, I would not seek this one out unless the techniques hold great interest. Having edited academic books and journals, I know how difficult it is to resist the author's blind spots. In this case I think there is ample blame to go around: this book could have been much better!

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