This book review is part of a blog tour* to celebrate the publication of Edie Eckman’s new book: Every Which Way Crochet Borders.
Waaaaaaaay across the Atlantic in the US, is a woman who likes to live life on the edge. She’s based in Virginia** (which is on the edge of the US, you’ll note. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.) And this month, she’s brought out her second book about ornamental crochet borders. Y’see? Life on the edge. This woman adores borders. Can you imagine living in her house? Borders. Everywhere. I bet even her fridge has a perfect little fringe of picots across its top.***
But for just a few moments, I shall be serious.**** This is a book with charts and written instructions for 139 different crocheted borders. (Don’t be fooled by the fact that the numbered patterns only go as high as 125: there’s also designs A-N to top up the total.) You can apply these motifs to your crocheted, knitted, or fabric projects. That’s great, but what I really like is that the first thirty pages are devoted to the principles of creating the right border, in the right yarn, and the right colour(s) for your project. It will not tell you that your knitted washcloth must be edged with three rounds of purple puff stitch, but it will show you how to design an original border that’s just right. I like the fact that it’s not prescriptive, but instead empowers you to be creative.
So of course, I had to have a play. Time was short and the twinnage were tetchy, so I’ve only made one border for this post. But I’ve followed Edie’s patterns/charts in other books before, so I know that they’re reliably clear and accurate.
She advocates working a base round in the same colour as the body of your project, in order to neaten away a multitude of wobbly yarny sins, and prepare for the ambitious stitchery ahead. This woman talks sense, and I wasn’t about to disobey:-
I do like the fact that there’s a photographic directory at the back. Experience has taught me that I’ll never again buy a stitch dictionary without a photographic index. Look at all the pretties!
It was so hard to choose. But 68 is a nice number. Let’s try 68. (Yarn = Stylecraft Special Chunky. Hooks = Clover Amour: go speak to Janie Crow if you fancy some these super-speedy hooks. No that’s not an affiliate link – I just think that Jane is brilliant at what she does.)
Now I’m immediately sinning by working a border that’s bigger than the fabric it encloses, but this is just a swatch, so I hope that you’ll forgive me.
The written instructions combined with the charts should ensure that everyone is catered for, regardless of whether you’re a visual or a verbal thinker. There’s also an adapted chart that you can use if you want to work each design in back-and-forth rows, rather than in rounds.
Each design requires multiples of a specified number of stitches, but I warmed to Edie considerably when I saw that she’d included a brief note on fudging stitch counts. (Is it me, or does ‘fudging stitch counts’ sound like something you’d mutter under your breath when your mum’s visiting and you can’t swear properly?)
The range of designs is enormous, from very simple edges, to clever and elaborate borders:-
It’s written using US crochet terms, so those of us on the Brit-side will have to remember to adjust accordingly (unless you’re like me and show a rare disloyalty to the UK by using American crochet terms). In case you need a reminder, Edie includes a brief table of translation.
But between bouts of flicking through these fabulous finishes, I completed #68. Here y’go:-
A-n-y-w-a-y, did I mention a giveaway? I do believe that I mentioned a giveaway. Would you like to win a copy of this marvellous book, regardless of which corner of planet Earth you currently call home? Yes? YES? Well read on, Macduff.
To win a copy of Every Which Way Crochet Borders, leave a comment below. To gain a sneaky additional entry, you can also ‘like’ the Yarn’s Facebook page here, and leave a comment under the Facebook post for this blog post. (For Facebook comments only, you’ll need to include some way of reaching you in case you win – your Ravelry username would be just perfect.)
The competition is open worldwide, from RIGHT NOW until noon UK-time on Saturday 25th February 2017. After the gong sounds at that very moment, all the entries will be gathered up and a winner will be chosen randomly with assistance from the marvellous yet inscrutable folks at random.org. The winner’s contact details will be passed to Storey Publishing, so that they can arrange for your prize to be sent out. Don’t worry, neither they nor I will spam you.
And if you’re not lucky enough to win, you can buy a copy right now (£13.99 in the UK, and, um, other prices in other places). Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book for review, so obviously my shallow and fickle mind has been swayed by a mere freebie, and you cannot trust a single word I say.
∗∗No, I’m really not her stalker. I just read the blurb on the back of her book.
∗∗∗With apologies to Edie if your home is actually a temple to white Scandi minimalism.
∗∗∗∗No I don’t believe that, either.