Anyone who knits or crochets knows that finding a book one can deem interesting from cover to cover is one of life's greatest challenges. Sometimes I get a book on the basis of a couple of patterns alone. Sometimes, due to my still limited skill-set, I get a book because the visuals are very good, but the patterns and ideas not so much. There are however two books I am completely taken by. One is Vintage Crochet by Susan Cropper and the other is Essential Crochet by Erika Knight.
Vintage Crochet may be written as a homage to crochet of yesteryear, yet its designs are thoroughly modern. I am absolutely taken by the dress, the chevron blanket, the corsage and the purse and bag. The instructions are very easy to follow and a back section is rife with pictures of special stitches and techniques. And if you scour Ravelry, drop a line to susanlondon, the author of the book and excellent owner of Loop.
Essential Crochet is a treasure-trove of classic designs with a very elegant spin. I cannot wait to begin the spiderweb curtain, the lingerie case and the colourful throws. The book also includes patterns for cushion covers (another favourite of mine) and lavender pillows which always make lovely gifts. Considering the rate I'm going, if I start tonight I should be able to have something to give away this Christmas!
Of course I couldn't do any of this without The Happy Hooker. Sometimes scoffed at, certainly so in the States, where I was recently laughed at for admitting to liking her books, the Hooker is the author that got me onto the crochet bandwagon to begin with. The patterns in the book aren't that breath-taking, but if I ever need a refresh, she's the woman.