Look what’s new on the bookshelf this month– Melissa Leapman’s Cool Crochet: 30 Hot, Fun Designs To Crochet And Wear: another of the “new generation” of crochet books diffusing the myth that crochet is old, stogey, or lace-ridden. The greatest thing about these designs is that they fit–no shapeless or boxy sweaters. These are all women’s garments and accessories, and there’s a nice variety. She’s got a great hoodie, a georgeous top with bell cuffs in a shell design, halter tops, and even a string bikini.

I appreciate that she uses yarns in a variety of price ranges, from Classic Elite to Lion Brand to TLC’s Amore. The patterns are written in sizes from small to XXX Large. The projects vary in scope–there’s a crocheted necklace made with sterling silver wire and beads and there are a couple of nice bags and hats. It looks like a large portion of the yarns run on the lightweight side, i.e. DK and sportweight yarns and smaller D or E hooks.

Many of the designs are in the intermediate to advanced level, in fact none of the designs are at the true beginner level. (There’s a beautiful intarsia sweater which I may just have to make even though I hate to weave in ends!) The instructions are well laid out with helpful tips scattered throughout the book (including a technique for minimizing the holes between turning chains and the first stitch of a double crochet row). The large format of the book allows for big type and lots of helpful, colorful pictures, including, in most cases pictures of stitch detail.

I saw Melissa on The Knitty Gritty this week demonstrating cool knitted edges. She’s got a great eye for design and she’s good at teaching concepts and techniques.

Crochet library: Cool Crochet