Title: Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs
Author: Edie Eckman
Book Review by Marie Segares (www.undergroundcrafter.com)
Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs: Creative Techniques for Joining Motifs of All Shapes by Edie Eckman is the follow up to her bestselling book, Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs. The book was a pleasant surprise for me. I expected a short book with suggestions for interesting ways to join crochet motifs, and what I found was a collection of over 100 crochet motif patterns along with many tips and tricks for making more polished motifs and joins.
The first part of the book, Techniques, is filled with ideas for starting to crochet in the round, reading symbol patterns, starting and ending rounds, weaving in ends, color theory, choosing yarn, planning increases, arranging shapes, mutliple methods for joining motifs (in progress and while they are finished), forming continuous motifs, and blocking. While some of this information is also available in Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs, if you love crocheting motifs and are always looking for ways to make your projects look even better, this section will help take your motif crocheting to the next level.
The next part of the book, Motifs and Joins, includes both motif patterns and suggestions for joins. Each pattern is written with both U.S. pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols. The patterns are organized into different sections based on construction and appearance.
● Classic Grannies: 3 squares, 1 circle, 1 hexagon, 1 half hexagon, 2 triangles, and 2 joins
● A Little Double Crochet: 3 squares, 1 circle, 2 hexagons, 1 half hexagon, and 2 joins
● Gathered Chains: 2 squares plus 1 four-sided motif, 1 triangle, 1 six-sided flower, 1 circle, and 3 joins including 1 filler motif
● Lacy Links: 1 square, 1 triangle, 2 stars, 1 circle, and 6 joins including 1 filler motif
● Layered Mesh: 4 squares, 1 hexagon, 2 circles, and 2 joins
● Sc/Dc: 3 squares, 1 circle, 2 hexagons, and 2 joins
● All Clustered: 2 squares, 3 octagons, 1 triangle, 1 hexagon, and 2 joins
● Triple Petals: 2 squares, 1 triangle, 1 six-sided motif, 2 hexagons, and 2 joins
● Start with a Flower: 3 squares, 2 triangles, 2 hexagons, 1 circle, and 2 joins
● 3-D Fun: 2 squares, 2 hexagons, 1 triangle, 1 circle, and 2 joins
● Swirls: 2 hexagons, 1 circle, 2 squares, 1 triangle, and 2 joins
● Radiants: 2 circles, 1 hexagon, 1 square, 1 six-pointed motif, 1 triangle, and 2 joins
● Picots in Plural: 2 six-pointed motifs, 1 eight-pointed motif, 1 triangle, 3 squares, and 2 joins
● Wheels and Shells: 3 squares, 1 triangle, 1 hexagon, 1 eight-sided motif, and 2 joins
● Inner Connectivity: 3 squares, 2 triangles, 1 hexagon, 1 six-sided motif, 1 circle, and 1 join
My favorite patterns are in the Layered Mesh, Start with a Flower, and Swirls sections.
The third part of the book, Patterns, includes 12 projects. All but one of these projects includes new motif designs. The projects include 9 home decor projects and 3 women’s garments (1 shawl, 1 vest, and 1 skirt). The Lacy Skirt is my favorite of these projects and would be a great wardrobe staple.
The book ends with a motif directory which includes a thumbnail of each motif in the second section so it will be easy for you to locate your favorite patterns. The book is a spiral-bound hardcover, so it stays open while you crochet.
Overall, this is a great book for crocheters who like to make motif patterns and other portable projects. There are tips sprinkled throughout, and while the joins work with specific motif patterns from the book, a careful reader could learn a lot about adapting joins to different motif patterns. I would also recommend it to crocheters who prefer international stitch symbols, as well as beginners hoping to advance their technical skills.
Retail price: $19.95
Full disclosure: A free review copy of Connect the Shapes Crochet Motoifs was provided by Storey Publishing. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.