Friday, July 14, 2006

Review: The Michaels Book of Needlecrafts

The Michaels Book of Needlecrafts has knitting, crochet and embroidery projects. Edited by Dawn Cusick and Megan Kirby and published by Lark Books, this 300+ page hardback book is almost equally divided between the 3 needlecrafts.

Each of the 3 book sections has a list of suggested tools, instructions for the stitches with nice large illustrations and other useful information. The skill level and finished measurements are given for each knit and crochet pattern. The knit and crochet patterns use yarns that are available at Michaels Arts and Craft stores and other chain stores. The knitting section has a page on substituting yarn and the crochet section has a table describing the common weights (by name, not number) with common hook sizes used for each type. It would have been helpful if they had included the yarn weight for those that want to use a different yarn.

The knitting projects include 2 afghans, tops, sweaters, socks, mittens, scarves, hats, purses, a dog sweater and collar, an Ipod holder and wire and bead jewelry. The crochet projects include tops, sweaters, hats, scarves, ponchos, shawls, baby clothes, baby afghans, and purses. The yarns used include cotton, chenille, fuzzy eyelash yarn, mohair, ribbon, microfiber and some more basic yarns.

Most of the embroidery designs are applied to purchased items such as clothing and purses. There are a couple of scrapbook and embroidered card projects. The embroidery techniques include beading, hardanger, and ribbon embroidery.

If you like to knit or crochet with some of the current yarns you will enjoy the projects in this book. If you are a fan of basic acrylic worsted weight yarn, you'll want to look elsewhere. If you like to embroider you may find a design you can't resist in this book.

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