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Friday, February 4, 2011

Review of Crochet That Fits

Wow! I am so humbled and amazed at her detailed review of this book! I can't thank you enough Paula for your support and for promoting my books! She has a fantastic blog with lots of info about crochet.

 Crochet That Fits Book Review


Crochet that Fits. You had me at the front cover of the book, Mary Jane.

Crochet That Fits

This is one of the catchiest book covers I’ve come across! What got me first was the title, Crochet That Fits. Then it was the wording in smaller font on the cover, Shaped Fashions without increases or decreases. And then that picture of the lady in that little black number. Sold!
“I have to have that book!” I said. So, my husband hunted it down for me and came home with it as a surprise. I was pleasantly surprised!
It’s a funny thing because I loved it so much that I had to feature it on CrochetHooksYou.com in the Crochet Book of the Week box! A few days later the Author of Crochet That Fits, Mary Jane Hall, contacted me to thank me for having it on the site. That in itself was exciting too! So I replied to Mary Jane to let her know that I had planned on writing a review on Crochet That Fits, so here it is!


Crochet That Fits – At a Glance
Book Name: Crochet That Fits: Shaped Fashions Without Increases or Decreases
Format Available: Softcover Paperback
Book Size: A4
Skill Levels Required:
  • Beginner
  • Advanced Beginner
  • Intermediate
Features:
  • Abbreviations Guide
  • Checking Your Gauge
  • Choosing your Yarn or Thread
  • How Graduated Stitching Works
  • Index
  • Large Pictures of Garments
  • Stitch Guide with Diagrams
  • Yarn & Supply Resource Page
  • 150 Colored Pictures
  • 33 Gorgeous Crochet Patterns
Number of Patterns for:
  • Beginners – 12
  • Advanced Beginners – 19
  • Intermediate – 2

The names for all of the Crochet Patterns are below

Crochet That Fits – More in Depth
Crochet That Fits was the winner of the Best Crochet Book for 2008, as voted by the members of the Crochet Liberation Front in their annual Flamies Awards. Now that is saying something.
There has been a lot of attention to detail with Crochet That Fits which means for us that the patterns are straight forward, pictures are large and colorful, stitches that are used in the book have been displayed with step-by-step pictures of how to crochet each stitch and the patterns are trendy. They aren’t those old boxy looking garments that we’ve all seen before. They are stylish and you can actually wear them and they look good!
Mary Jane says that, “This book is dedicated to showing beginners and advanced crocheters alike that you can make projects that go beyond a simple square or rectangle.”
Understandably Mary Jane has taken much care with this book because she would know what other crocheters look for due to her 38 years of crocheting experience and designing. She is a full-time Designer and is a Professional Member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) so we can tell that Mary Jane possesses high standards in the art of crochet.
Another book Mary Jane has authored is Positively Crochet!: 50 Fashionable Projects and Inspirational Tips. I’ll talk about that one another time.
Okay, so the main feature of Crochet That Fits is that it has ‘Shaped fashions without increases or decreases.’ Thank you very much! I was thrilled with the idea of this. And the patterns really don’t have any increasing or decreasing. What a nice break from them for a change.
There is a stitch guide with large diagrams that explain each step of a stitch. Very useful, especially for beginners and advanced beginners. And I just like to look at them because they are so pretty. :-)
Mary Jane shows us how to use graduated stitches to make garments with squares and rectangles but they don’t appear that way once finished because of her special technique.
She also shows us how to custom-fit garments to our own size and shape. There are different designs which use the same basic pattern which is a neat idea. So you start with the same basics but end up with different projects!
There is a colored picture of each garment before its pattern which takes up ¾ of the page so the garment can be easily seen. I like this because I don’t want to squint when I look at a book.
Materials, size, gauge, stitch guide and pattern notes begin each pattern so we don’t have to think about anything. Mary Jane has done it all for us. She even suggests substitute yarns alongside the yarn she has used for particular garments. So yes, you have a choice with which yarn you want to use.
Mary Jane has named her book perfectly because the majority of the designs are those which fit! They have a tailor-made look to them. There are a few other crochet projects in the book that aren’t fitting items such as the scarves and purses but they are nice little extras. Actually there is also a very sweet-looking Sweater bag in there that I will be looking to make very soon.
Out of the 33 patterns there are 29 of them which I am interested in crocheting. Actually I have already made 2 of them. The Short Skirt for my niece and the Slippers for my mother. I enjoyed crocheting both of these patterns because of their easy-to-follow patterns and I had no problems with completing them. Oh, and they look smashing!
Short SkirtMy favorite was making the Short Skirt pattern. I took a photo of it to show you (pictured left). I loved watching the way it formed and I didn’t have to increase or decrease. Just thought I would point that out – Again.
The finished product was something that I wanted to show off.  Actually, I was showing this one off only halfway through! You will understand what I mean when you crochet it.
Take a peek at other garments inside the book here at Amazon.com.
I’ve listed the name of each pattern that is in Crochet That Fits below in skill level order.
Patterns for Beginners:
These beginner patterns are for girls and women.
1.       Basic Capelet
2.       Short Skirt (I made this one – so very cute)
3.       Turtleneck Capelet with Arm Warmers
4.       Pom-Pom Poncho
5.       Toboggan Hat
6.       Hobo Bag
7.       Shoulder Wrap
8.       Sweater Bag
9.       Smooth Textured Headband
10.   Textured Belt
11.   Beret
Patterns for Advanced Beginners:
These advanced beginner patterns are for girls and women.
1.       Little Black Dress (featured on the front cover)
2.       Cap-Sleeve Top
3.       Ballet Neck Sweater
4.       Shoulder Wrap with Edging and Flower
5.       Striped, Sleeveless Turtleneck Sweater (this one is gorgeous!)
6.       Slippers with Rose (I made these ones – so comfy)
7.       Flared Tweed Hat with Mittens (I really want to make these next)
8.       Scarf with Flared Ends
9.       Scarf with Ruffled Ends
10.   Wavy Fringed Scarf
11.   Textured Headband 1
12.   Textured Headband 2
13.   Hemp Choker
14.   Baby Doll Top (open weave)
15.   Long Flared Skirt (open weave)
16.   Ruffled Shrug (open weave)
17.   Houndstooth-Check Felted Purse
18.   Wave-Stitch Coin Purse
Patterns for Intermediate:
These intermediate patterns are for girls and women.
1.       Little Girl’s Dress (open weave)
2.       Lacy Tunic (open weave)
I found that you can buy the cheapest copy brand new online at Amazon.com.
Overall, Crochet That Fits is a must-have to carry in your crochet tote bag when you want to whip up something trendy and with ease. Oh, and did I mention there are no increases or decreases? :-)
What a mammoth task this would’ve been so thank you Mary Jane Hall for putting so much effort into designing these patterns. In addition to that, for creating Crochet That Fits so we who crave brilliant crochet designs can crochet them with ease without having to jump through hoops (or loops). A job really well done!
To anyone who has had the pleasure of flipping through Crochet that Fits leave your comments below of your experience with the book and its patterns. We’d love to hear all about it!
All the best,
Paula

3 comments:

  1. I say this is one gifted lady ( MJ) and she will go fa.
    She has more books and patterns in her,,,,,and I AM A KNITTER ,( who is learning to crochet only due to these books )

    Same deal for me, you can fit w/o increasing or decreasing?? not possible I reasoned,,,but yes it is!
    How did she think this up?
    I am totally sold on this and my DGD are desiring to crochet so what does any good Nana do??
    She gets the hooks out and learns herself so she can help them,,,(in my case they cant handle the whole 2 needle thing,,,Mia Rose did make a chain about 200 ft long over Christmas!)

    Mary Jane Hall should be teaching at large events and be being offered lots of speaking engagments
    they do that all the time in the knitting world, hope they are the same in the crochet world!
    If you ask me its just the beginning of her career and it will be taking off big time sooner than later.
    Many blessings come to those that wait on the Lord! thank you from this Nana who is learning for her grandaughters, I LOVE your books!

    Fiddlestickchic ( on Ravelry)

    I play Celtic fiddle so that is why the name, gave up my classical for Celtic music

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  2. Pamela, you just don't know how much your support means to me also! I wasn't even thinking about making money when I came up with the ideas for these books. (that's the icing on the cake :)I truly wanted to help crocheters and it is my passion to come up with easier ways to make patterns for people seeking help. I remember the struggles I had when I was trying to learn how to read patterns all those years ago. Sometimes the patterns were so vague and it took hours to figure out what the designer meant by the way she worded things. I want it to be FUN for people (especially beginners) and see how easy it is to actually make garments. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful support!

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