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Saturday, April 29, 2006

AllCrafts.net Arts & Crafts Review - Michael's Book of Needlecrafts

The Michaels Book of Needlecrafts The Michaels Book of Needlecrafts- Knitting, Crochet & Embroidery

Well, this is a big book! More than 300 pages of knitting, crochet and embroidery. Truly, it is three books in one.

Each section begins with a comprehensive set of instructions for that craft. Large drawings show the stitches and other details. The knitting section covered one of my pet peeves - what if I can't get the yarn they use in the pattern? An article gives tips and ideas to make good substitutions. Each pattern has a color photo and sometimes a few. The patterns have summary info at the beginning - skill level, sizes, supplies and tools needed. I have one quibble with the book - the table of contents is very short and doesn't provide a list of the patterns. The patterns are listed in an appendix at the back.

The knitting patterns are varied. All the standards are included- afghans, hats, mittens, scarves, shawls, socks, sweaters and vests. Other patterns include a dog sweater and collar, Ipod holder, purses, wire jewelry, and purses.

I think crochet has become a hot craft, and the authors seem to agree. The crochet patterns are interesting and modern. Even though the arm warmers done in a fuzzy yarn look like hairy arms. And the Santa's stocking is rainbow-striped and has individual toes... I liked all the rest very much. The baby clothes look cute and probably work up quickly. The patterns also include hats, ponchos, purses, sweaters, tops, a backpack, pillow, shawl, and a jacket to name a few. The beach cover-up was stylish, and the crochet trim for a store-bought top was different.

The embroidery instructions are comprehensive. Many types of stitches along with bead embroidery, ribbon embroidery and hardanger are illustrated. Most of the projects are embellishments for pre-made items. They range from elegant to quirky and fun. Embroidered jeans and beaded tops are popular now and both are covered here. Many types of items go under the needle - mittens, napkins, pillows, purses, paper, sweaters, towels, and tote bags. A few of the purses are handmade, with the patterns included. The embroidered greeting card and scrapbook embellishments add dimension to your papercrafts.

The Michaels Book of Needlecrafts - Knitting, Crochet & Embroidery is a very solid and worthwhile book for your library. If you're already involved in one of the crafts, it's a great way to learn the others, while getting a good set of patterns.

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