Rachael Matthews
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Buy *Hookorama: 25 Fabulous Things to Crochet* by Rachael Matthews online

Hookorama: 25 Fabulous Things to Crochet
Rachael Matthews
MQ Publications
144 pages
October 2006
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Boasting a cover of bright wild color, Hookorama seems to call out to the younger set, Crocheting isnít just for Victorian ladies of olde anymore! Rachael Matthews offers an eclectic array of patterns, from the functional to the artistic. It might be likely to draw in a younger generation, to help continue the art of crochet. It isnít all doilies and hot pads in this assortment of patterns!

The book boasts four distinct sections, in addition to the in-depth guide for beginners and the index. Their titles are a very good hint at the playful and inventive nature of the book.

Adam and Eve offers amusements such as the fig-leaf bikini and a pineapple handbag. Matthews keeps with the general theme with inventive patterns for the Garden of Eden, floras, and, of course, the Serpent. While it does all seem designed to bring a chuckle, the cute little picnic set with the crocheted tea cups might just be a very special treat for a little girlís room - and the snake would be great for a little boy. The fruits could easily be tossed into a pretty wooden bowl as a homey touch to a warm kitchen. The way she works in the basics of how to whip out flowers - and smiles - will be helpful in any number of projects. The bikini though? Just not sure on that oneÖ

The Log Cabin Sexy chapter has as much variety and basic learning that can be applied to the other ideas that Eve offers. There is a lovely step-by-easy step pattern for warm fingerless mittens, with a flap that can flip over the finger tips in extreme cold. This is the chapter where the wonders and questions of spinning wool are explained, in simple language. The diagrams are excellent. The no-pop, no-style hat is a colorful wonder for both using up scraps and hiding messy hair. The tie and the coasters take the worry out of shaping and felting.

In Baroque, Matthews really kicks off her shoes, mixing the old-fashioned with an adventurous modern style. We have a fancy mask for the ball, a feminine parasol and lazy-lacy gloves, and the powdered wig that never needs powdering. To further make your jaw drop, she has included a science-experiment sweater vest whose inspiration might have been taken from the periodic table. A lacy crocheted tank top rounds out that bunch.

For the last grouping of patterns, the title Black for Night Time hints at its offerings. With a more open weave, the fancy-that gloves set the tone for the evening. We jump back a couple of decades with leg warmers and sparkle things up with a beaded necklace. There is also the offering of a crocheted lampshade and a book cover, for quiet nights at home. A yarned candle adds a further touch of unique whimsy to the collection.

Given the somewhat frou-frou nature of the book, itís a pleasant surprise to find such good introductions to stitching that are easy to follow for a beginner. There are nearly 20 pages of excellent instructions and clear photos on everything from chaining to changing colors and measuring gauges. There are precise directions explaining how to create a border, and how to join two pieces seamlessly.

This is a book for the new generation of crocheters, but the more experienced yarn addicts among us ought to pick it up just for the amusing photos. You might be surprised to find your hands itching for a hook while youíre grinning at the picture of ďAdamĒ wearing his fruit. If nothing else, who doesnít need a handmade hula hoop to get the party started?

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Carolynn Evans, 2007

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