Thursday, August 28, 2014

Road Maps - A Review of Modern Baby Crochet by Stacey Trock

Do you remember in Episode 76 when I said that I probably will not be picking up my crochet hook for a long time after finishing the Mario Blanket?  Well, thanks to Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches and her adorable new book, I may have to eat my words.

Photo courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane
Earlier this year, Stacey published her third book, Modern Baby Crochet - Patterns for Decorating, Playing, and Snuggling.  This book is available from Martingale for $22.99 for the Print + eBook or $14.99 for the eBook through their website.  I would like to thank Martingale for kindly providing a sample eBook copy for my review.

Before diving into the patterns, the Getting Started section contains useful information for choosing yarns (machine washable yarns are best!), gauge, and other supplies.  The Anatomy of a Stitch section goes beyond the basic "how to crochet" and discusses the different stitches and why you would want them constructed in a certain way (i.e. through the front loop vs. through both, etc.)

This title contains 21 patterns divided into three sections: Bold &Bright, Pretty in Pastel, and Naturally Neutral.  As Stacey describes, these patterns focus on making the nursery whimsical and adorable, but with a chic twist.  The pattern format is clear with bright photographs, both close-up and of the whole object.  Each pattern lists the skill level, size of the finished project, gauge, materials needed, and helpful project notes.  
Photo courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane

As for the actual projects in this book, there is a wide range from blankets, to a mobile, monsters, and pillows.  And all of them appropriately fit the title of Modern Baby Crochet.  The Mondrian Inspired Afghan starts off the book with its bold color blocks that are not your typical crochet blanket motifs.  Beyond a baby's nursery, I can see myself making this blanket larger to be a throw in the living room.  

Throughout the book, Stacey provides many tips and tricks that as a newbie crocheter, I find extremely helpful.  For example, in the Zabby the Giggle Monster, there is a tip box explaining why Stacey has you do a ch1 in the body rounds.  These may seem like minor details or no-brainers to some experienced crocheters, but for someone just moving beyond granny squares this information can prove invaluable.

Photo courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane
As a self-proclaimed preppy gal, I was immediately drawn to the Funky Argyle pillow and matching afghan. Again, the pattern contains tips about crocheting intarsia - turns out it is just like in knitting when you want to work with a separate ball or bobbin of yarn for each color section!

And what would this book be without Stacey's signature crocheted stuffies?  From Oakley the Owl to the Teddy Bear Bookends to the Sweet Tweeter birds that appear on the cover.

Photo courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane

Following the patterns, there is a section on finishing and care, which tells you how to block and wash the items.  As with any craft, the finishing can be the most important step to make your project come to life and these projects are no different.

Overall, I found this book to be fun, educational, and approachable.  The instructions are clear and there are many helpful hints along the way.  The projects are whimsical, fresh, and absolutely adorable. Now where did I hide my crochet hook?

1 comment:

  1. Famous last words!!! Love the pieces in this book - and have you heard that Stacey and her hubby are expecting their first little girl. C x

    ReplyDelete