The book you see pictured below is called Triple Play Pattern Stitches. Darla Sims is the author of this book, and it was published by Leisure Arts.
The purpose of this book: It aims to teach you how to crochet 3 different color variations of 30 different stitch patterns, for a total of 90 different effects — some solid, and some colorful.
I would categorize this book as a crochet stitch dictionary. Although it is not a comprehensive one, I find it to be a valuable reference, and I count it as one of the most inspiring crochet books I own.
The reason I find it so inspiring: I think the use of color is outstanding, and this book sparks new design ideas for me whenever I refer to it.
If you look carefully at the front cover of the book (pictured at above left), you’ll observe that the featured stitch is presented in three different color combinations. This presentation is consistent for all the stitches that Darla introduces you to in the book. So for each stitch pattern included, you’ll enjoy choosing from three different ways to crochet it: a one-color version, a two-color version, and a three-color version.
I was really drawn to the one-color version of the lovely textured stitch shown on the front cover of the book. I crocheted my own swatch of it, which you can see pictured above at right. I used a soft mint green cotton yarn to make my project sample. After completing my sample of the stitch pattern, I decided to use the finished piece as a dishcloth.
As far as dishcloths go, it’s been a useful and practical one. However, this stitch would also be suited for far more glamorous uses, especially if you choose a yarn that’s more appealing than the basic kitchen cotton I used for working my initial swatch.
I found Darla’s stitch instructions to be clear and understandable, although working through them did require me to put on my “thinking cap.” The actual stitch instructions are all verbal, with no symbol crochet charts provided.
For such a short book, there’s an outstanding variety of of crochet stitches and options presented. No matter what your experience level with crochet is, you are likely to find a new stitch in this book that you haven’t tried yet — which means you are also likely to learn something new or interesting from this book. I already own a whole library of stitch dictionaries, and consider myself to be an expert crocheter — but I was pleasantly surprised to learn several new things from this book. If you decide to pick up a copy, I really hope you will learn new things too, and be similarly inspired.
One more selling point for this book: it’s a real time-saver. If you ever find yourself stumped for color ideas on a project you’re working on, you can leaf through this book instead of crocheting up one zillion different swatches.
Most of the photos in this book are crisp, clear, detailed and helpful. A couple of exceptions: there are stitches where the project sample is crocheted in off-white yarn, and then the stitch was presented on a white background. The result: it looks like the stitch gets a little lost on the ground. This is not a major issue, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Things You Really Need to Know Before You Buy This Book:
While I think this book could be a great reference for crocheters of any experience level, including new crocheters, it is NOT intended to be an introductory manual to crochet. If you don’t already know the basics of crochet, this book is not going to teach them to you. I recommend buying a beginning crochet book.
The other thing you need to know: This book is NOT intended to be a project book that gives you complete instructions for projects like dishcloths, potholders, blankets, mittens, scarves and hats. You can certainly use these stitch instructions to create those sorts of projects if you are interested in design work and inclined to invest a bit of effort in perfecting your projects. However, a stitch dictionary like this one is intended to give you the stitch instructions only, and it would be up to you to design out your project to get the desired effect.
If you are primarily interested in buying books that give you complete instructions for crochet projects, this book is not going to meet your needs in that regard.
This book is going to be most useful to crocheters who understand how to work with stitch dictionaries and adapt their contents, using them to create new custom-made projects.
I Highly Recommend This Book!
If neither of the above points are deal breakers for you, and you are interested in learning new crochet stitches, I highly recommend this book to you. For anyone interested in furthering their crochet skills or design skills, I think this title is well worth owning.
The original cover price of the book was only $12.95 US dollars. You can often find used copies for sale online for less than that, but even at the original price I think the book is an exceptional value.