I love to see the interesting projects and creative techniques that crochet designers come up with. Recently I had the opportunity to review Hand-Picked Gloves & Mitts by Karen McKenna, published by Leisure Arts. You may recognize Karen's name from the Crochet Guild of America board of directors or her I Hook Design blog. (Disclaimer: I was given an electronic copy of the book; as you probably know from reading my prior book reviews, that doesn't influence my assessment.)
Karen takes a modular approach--so clever! Crocheters who want to make mittens or mitts can choose from three hand styles and eight cuffs; for gloves, there are three finger styles and the same eight cuffs. This allows for custom mixing and matching.
I chose the Basic Rib bottom-up cuff and the fingerless mitt. The instructions are clear. Here's how it looks so far:
What I love about this book:
- Modular approach. Eight cuffs to choose from, three mitt/mitten styles, three glove styles.
- Nice variety of sizes--toddler, child, medium adult, large adult. Instructions are color-coded to make it easier to stick with the size you choose.
- Cute options in hand-coverings. Crocheters can always use more of these!
- Quick projects, especially the mittens in the smaller sizes. Those would make great gifts.
- Cuff styles range from basic to quite fancy and pretty! Check out the Long Shell.
- Along with illustrations at the back of the leaflet, video links are provided by Leisure Arts for specific techniques.
- Clear close-up photographs.
I did find a typo in the pattern I tested: on p. 12, the Child Size Right Thumb says to "slip next 8 sc" when it should say to "skip next 8 sc." I didn't scrutinize the other sizes and patterns to see if this error is repeated.
(One thing I question is the decision to have instructions for each cuff style twice (once for mitts/mittens, and then again for gloves). There's nothing wrong with doing that, I just wonder why Leisure Arts would dedicate extra pages to duplicate the same information.)
For me, I think it would be easier to work from the written pattern than from the electronic version. There are a lot of places where changes in size and style mean you have to jump to another section; marking up a printed copy to map out all of the steps for the project would be helpful. Other people might not need that.
I understand why each sample is crocheted in a solid color, but I'd love to see some of these done in variegated yarn. I'm not a huge fan of rows and rows of single crochet (personal bias!), especially in the adult-sized projects where you really notice it; bringing some color to these hand-coverings would add another note to the projects. I'll bet it would look great to crochet one of the fancier cuffs in a solid color to show off its intricacy, with the body of the mitten or glove done in variegated yarn for additional interest.
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Hand-Picked Gloves & Mitts!
Here are the rules:
- The contest is open to U.S. residents only.
- To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. It must be posted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 1, 2016. (One comment per person.)
- The winner will be chosen at random from all commenters, and will be announced below and on my Facebook Page (Sharon Silverman Crochet) on July 5, 2016.
- I WILL NEED THE WINNER'S EMAIL ADDRESS! He or she must respond (via the Contact link here or by sending me a message on FB) by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 8, 2016. If the winner does not provide an email address by then, a new winner will be chosen at random from the remaining entries.
- The winner can choose whether to receive the print or electronic version of Hand-Picked Gloves & Mitts. If the print version is selected, the winner will need to provide his or her mailing address.