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Friday, September 21, 2012

Seamless Crochet book review

Kristin Omdahl is one of my very favorite crochet designers. When I heard that she had a new technique being published in "Seamless Crochet" I was excited, to say the least. The concept is simple: projects made using motifs, but not cutting the yarn in between. Joining as you go without creating ends to weave in! Amazing idea, isn't it? The very first pattern in the book was made with one of her trademark swirls. I love swirls too, and I love shawls, and I figured since it was the first pattern so I'd try it first. The beginning motif turned out perfect and I was pleased. The next motif (made by making a chain, putting a loop on the end, and working from the loop as the center) was fine also until I came to the part where I was supposed to join them. Work in the motif, slip stitch into the corresponding stitches of the first motif, stitch in the motif you're currently working on...It didn't take me long to get lost. After a few tries I decided that I didn't have enough yarn to work this shawl anyway and I'd try a different pattern. Next pattern was just simply a disaster for me. Trying to figure out the "corresponding stitches" in the previous motifs was a nightmare. I had to lay my work flat and try to decipher the graph while reading the written pattern. Couple this with the myriad of typos in the print (why in the world would I chain 65 there?) and I gave this pattern up as a bad job also after several tries, piles of unraveled yarn and a heap of frustration. Then I decided to watch the video that comes with it. Great idea, Kristin, giving us a video and audio explanation of what in the world you're doing! This helped me understand the construction of the projects much better. Definitely watch the video first. It would have been nice to know beforehand that the first project printed was the most advanced technique in the book. It was nice to have the graph explained, since I've never followed a crochet chart before. But now I know that we're working partial motifs across the length, finishing them up on the way back, leaving the first motif of the row incomplete until the end of the entire project. Got it. I can do this now. Enter pattern attempt number three. I decide to make the skinny scarf into a fatter scarf. The video walks us through how to make the skinny scarf, the book instructs us how to make a 3 x 3 repeat. I figure I'd just keep going after the third repeat. I was wrong again. I tried several times to figure out how the next row (row 4) would be constructed, but was unsuccessful each time. It doesn't sound like it should be hard, but since the rows are offset (not squared at the edges) each of the first 3 rows is begun differently. The starting motif is worked it's own way, unlike any other in the project. The first motif in the 2nd row joins to the first and 2nd motifs worked. the third row joins only to the first motif in the 2nd row. The 4th row would join to the first and 2nd in the previous row, but since the first motif of the previous row isn't worked the same as the first motif in the first row, it doesn't work out that way. Are you tired of the word "motif" yet? I sure am. I clenched my teeth every time I heard it in the video, too. My conclusion? It would be easier and less time consuming to cut the yarn and weave in the loose ends. I love the concept and Kristin does a great job on her own projects, but I'm disappointed with the end result of my own. I'm returning this book back to the library without any future expectations of borrowing it again. One thumb up. Or 2 stars out of 5. Whichever you prefer.