Review: Japanese Wonder Crochet

In amidst a year+ of working from home and having umpteen gazillion video conferences a week, I’ve discovered a) it reduces my wardrobe needs to about zero, and b) it makes focusing on small stitches for both clothes sewing and embroidery much more difficult. I’m not sewing clothes at all right now, and I now rest my eyes, regularly and frequently, including staring into the middle distance and also including slowing waaaay down on the kind of handwork I love. Sigh.

Happily, crochet (at least, if done with yarn and not thread) is large enough that I can work away without eye strain or pain, so I’ve been steadily borrowing crochet books from the local library in bunches of three, and trying out projects and stitches. Japanese Wonder Crochet was a recent borrow, and I made up two projects from it: the Granny Bag and the Diamond Waffle Stitch Handbag (also shown on the cover).

Granny Bag
diamond waffle stitch Handbag

Japanese Wonder Crochet does not contain basic crochet information such as picking a yarn or hook or how to do basic stitches; it assumes you already know this and gets right to the projects. It also does not contain written pattern information except for the rare, tricky stitch; all projects are given in pattern diagrams. Personally I prefer this as I find it easier to read and navigate and I don’t get mixed up between British and American stitch names, but if you can’t read pattern diagrams, this is probably not the book for you.

But the projects are simple and elegant, very useable, and not challenging or time consuming to complete, assuming you are not a complete beginner. I was able to make up both, including ordering yarn and waiting for delivery, within the initial three-week book loan period. Both bags are useful and made up as described and pictured. I’ve been using the granny bag for a week already, and while I wouldn’t trust the weave with, say, small change or subway tokens, it holds my daily essentials well and is also extremely cute. Recommend for crochet enthusiasts who are comfortable with reading diagrams and looking for interesting and useable accessory projects.

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