Book Review: The Go-To Book for Irish Crochet Motifs

Monday, October 27, 2014

Title: The Go-To Book for Irish Crochet Motifs
Author: Kathryn White

Book Review by Marie Segares (

The Go-To Book for Irish Crochet Motifs is a booklet by Kathryn White that combines an introduction to the stitches and techniques common in Irish crochet with over 100 patterns for motifs, edgings, and insertions written in modern US pattern abbreviations.

If you’ve always looked longingly at Irish crochet but haven’t the faintest clue how to recreate one of those patterns, you will find this booklet very helpful. In the Introduction and first chapter, Stitches & Techniques, Kathryn provides an overview of the basics of Irish crochet. She also shares some tips for simplified, contemporary versions of different techniques or patterns.

After the basics are introduced, the book continues with seven chapters of patterns, including one each on Flowers, Leaves, Fill-in Motifs, Edgings & Insertions, Dangles, Overlays, and Fill-in Lace. The next chapter, Irish Crochet Sampler for Fill-In Lace, explains several different methods for assembling Irish lace. The final chapter, Squares & Motifs, includes several larger motifs that can be joined together.  At the end of the booklet, there is a one page illustrated stitch guide and charts with metric conversions and hook and needle size conversions.

Each chapter opens with a brief introduction and then continues into the patterns. Each pattern includes the skill level and a color photo, created in white cotton thread against a light colored background. I enjoyed having the option of keeping the project authentic or simplifying the methods. Kathryn did a good job of clearly explaining the methods.

I would have liked to see more process photos displaying visual techniques. In some cases, international stitch symbols would have been a helpful addition to the book, especially for the patterns that flow over a page. Nonetheless, The Go-To Book for Irish Crochet Motifs does a great job of clarifying the methods used to create traditional Irish crochet while also offering some simplifications for the modern crocheter.

This booklet would be most enjoyed by a crocheter who is interested in learning more about Irish crochet, or who enjoys lace. Although all the samples in the book are crocheted with thread, many of the patterns would translate well into yarn for a completely different look.

The booklet is available in print or as an electronic download for the retail price of $14.95.

Full disclosure: A free review copy of The Go-To Book for Irish Crochet Motifs was provided by Annie's. 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.

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