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Friday, September 25, 2009

Review: Vickie Howell's Pop Goes Crochet by Vickie Howell

Vickie Howell's Pop Goes Crochet!: 36 Projects Inspired by Icons of Popular Culture
by Vickie Howell
Lark Books (May 5, 2009) ~ 144 pages
Non-Fiction / Crafts / Crochet

Edition Reviewed / Special Thanks: Paperback - many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!

Perfect for : Personal Use, Great gift for the crafty/crochet person in your life

In a nutshell: I've seen a few of Vickie's Knitty Gritty shows and absolutely loved them, so when I received this book, I couldn't wait to dive in and try out a few patterns. I'll start by saying they are fun and trendy, and Vickie has provided a wonderful variety of projects ranging from Beginner to Intermediate. All the designs in this book were inspired by pop culture's celebrities, including such notables as Cher, Bjork, Gwen, Giselle, Dita, Salma, etc. The projects are for all ages, including purses, hats, sweaters (children and adults), scarfs, gloves, a bikini set, poncho (Clint), shoes, belt, a shrug, lacy corset, dresses, etc. There is even a fun wire crocheted pendent with beads.

A nice plus to the book is the cover - it has a folded edge that allows you to "bookmark" the page you are on while working on a project.

The only thing that would really make this book better would be a section actually showing the basic crochet stitches. As a crocheter/knitter/craft person, I generally know what I'm doing, but occasionally have to jump online and "remind" myself how to do a certain stitch. On her website, she does include the basic instructions.

(The picture is of my wonderful niece, wearing the Beret from page 94, which I knitted over the course of two days off-and-on)

Extended Review:
Content: The book includes an Introduction, and the patterns/projects are broken down into five sections, and are followed by a section of helpful tips (yarn weight chart, abbreviations, crochet hook equivalents, etc). The Sections are: Rebels (Dita, Marc, Sean, Bettie, David, Johnny), Icons (Esther, Clint, Serena, Grace, Doris (see example below of green scarf), Shirley), Fashionistas (Anna, Vera, Giselle, Yohji, Betsey, Harlow, Paris, Heidi), Starlets (Angelina, Gwyneth, Mary-Kate, Cameron, Dakota, Drew, Helena, Salma, Sandra, Kate) and Rockers (Cher, Madge, Bjork, Erykah, Selena, Gwen)

Format: Each project includes a little description, the difficulty level, size information, finished measurements, a list of items you will need, the stitches used and the gauge. These lists are followed by the detailed instructions. Each project has at least one full-color photograph, and many include multiple photos.

Readability: The instructions are fairly easy to follow, and seem to be consistent with the difficulty rating. Having plenty of pictures help as you can compare your project to them.

Overall: This is a fun and trendy crochet book that has plenty of projects to choose from. All of these projects could be created for gifts or personal use.

About the Book ~ From the Publisher's Press Website:
(The project shown to the left can be found on pages 50-51, as well as on Vickie's blog)Needlework dynamo Vickie Howell is back with a high-spirited, playful collection of goodies to crochet. Vickie Howell’s Pop Goes Crochet! pays creative tribute to popular culture past and present with 40 projects inspired by celebrities in fashion, music, film, and television. Howell has whipped up a spectacular array of hip clothing, jewelry, and accessories, ranging from an intriguing “Yohji” asymmetrical sweater (in homage to designer Yohji Yamamoto) to a funky striped “Cameron” hoodie with the laid-back California style of actress Cameron Diaz. Everything’s fashionable and as fun to make as it is to wear.
About the Author: (From the Vickie Howell's website)
A self-proclaimed crafty gRRRL, Vickie Howell has been involved in the creative arts for as long as she can remember.

Before becoming the mother of two boys, she worked in the entertainment industry at companies including International Creative Management (ICM) and Alliance Atlantis Entertainment.

Post motherhood, she’s acted as owner, designer, web-mistress and CEO of three craft-based businesses. Mamarama, founded in 2001, offered cool hand-made garb for hip moms and their kids. In 2003, after relocating to Austin, Texas, Vickie co-founded Ruby Goes Retro (RgR) with her sister-in-law. RgR furnished hipsters worldwide with authentic, embellished and inspired by vintage clothing and accessories. In 2005 she founded VickieHowell.com under her company Vickie Howell, Inc., as a homebase for her many crafty endeavors. Networking for her businesses lead her to nine other crafty entrepreneurs and, together, they co-founded Austin Craft Mafia (ACM), an organization whose sole purpose is to promote and support independent, female-run, craft based businesses.

In efforts to do her part in the mobilization of the feminist-based knitting movement, she founded successful chapters of the irreverent but socially conscious knitting group Stitch n’ Bitch, in Los Angeles, CA and Austin, TX. Vickie’s on a personal quest to assist in breaking the negative social stigma that knitting and crafting have attached to them by bringing more recognition to the hip, creative and edgy sides of these forms of expression.

Currently, Vickie can be seen on the DIY Do-it-Yourself Network as the host of the successful knitting series, Knitty Gritty, which is currently airing all 8 seasons; and on the new Lifetime Television web series, Crafted. Her DIY Network 1-hour special, Knitty Gritty Knitsters, airs in July 2008. In 2006, she and her ACM partners debuted Stylelicious, another series for DIY that focuses on edgy, hand-made fashion.

Vickie, her projects, and her businesses have been featured in such mediums as: The Today Show; USA Today; Tease!: 50 T-shirt Projects from Superstars of Art, Crafts & Design; E! Network's Singled Out; BBC Radio Scotland; TV Guide; Interweave Knits Magazine; Knitty.com; BUST Magazine; DIY Jewelry Making; Weekend Entertaining, Real Simple Magazine; and “Celebrity Scarves II” book. She also writes a regular celebrity column for Vogue Knitting’s Knit.1 Magazine, an Eco-Craft column in the healthy parenting magazine, KIWI, and is the Knitting Editor for CraftGossip.com. In October 2005 her first book, New Knits on the Block: A Guide to Knitting What Your Kids Really Want, hit shelves and was nominated for a Craft Trends Magazine Award of Excellence. In June 2006 came her second book, Not Another Teen Knitting Book, followed by her 3rd book, Knit Aid: A How-to Helper for the Knitter on the Go, which debuted in May 2008. Coming from Vickie in 2009 and 2010, are three more books: Pop Goes Crochet, Eco-Stitch (co-written with Adrienne Armstrong), and Craft Corps.

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add a link to your review, please include a link in your comment!


bermudaonion said...

Your niece is adorable in that beret! (I'm sure she's adorable without it too.)

Vickie Howell said...

Wow, Wendi--thanks for such a thorough review! I really appreciate it. :)


Julie P. said...

Thanks for the review. I love to crochet and I was wondering about this book!

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