Book Title: Lovely Décor in Filet Crochet: 7 Designs
Book Premise: This book features patterns and charts for 7 pictorial square designs in filet crochet.
Author: Susan Lowman
Publisher: Leisure Arts
Copyright Date: 2010
ISBN 13: 978-1-60900-044-8
Format: There are a couple of different formats of this book available: a softcover version with staple binding, and a digital version that’s formatted for Amazon.com’s Kindle reader.
Number of Pages: 16, not including the covers
Cover Price: $7.95 US dollars; however, last time I checked Amazon, there were lower priced copies available, including the Kindle version which was priced at $5.99. Books sometimes go on sale or get re-priced, so these prices are subject to change; click here to check the current price at Amazon.
Skill Level: The patterns in the book are all rated as “Easy +” by the publisher.
Keep the following in mind: these patterns can be worked with many different yarns or threads, but filet crochet is typically worked with crochet thread. To achieve the finished sizes specified in the book, you would typically need to use size 10 crochet thread. However, you could get fantastic results with even finer thread.
At the beginning of the book, there is a photo showing a comparison between the same chart worked in two different thread weights: once in size 40 thread, and once in size 10 thread. The square worked in size 40 thread is significantly smaller, and it is beautiful.
However, the finer the thread you use, the less the “easy” skill level rating is likely to apply – because the work gets more challenging as the thread size decreases.
Often, if beginning crocheters learn how to crochet using yarn, they may find that they experience challenges when working with crochet thread for the first time. This is because crochet thread, being finer than most yarns, can be challenging to hold on to, and it can also be challenging to see your stitches when they are that small. So, the result is that thread work might require more patience, and it almost definitely will require more time, than what you are used to if you are used to crocheting with yarn, and new to working in thread. Please keep the above in mind in addition to the skill level rating given for each pattern.
The Filet Crochet Patterns That Are Included in This Book:
I’ve listed the patterns according to their finished sizes below. Please note: these sizes are only accurate if you use size 10 crochet thread, a size 7 steel crochet hook, and if you work to the same gauge specified in the book.
15.5 Inch Filet Crochet Square:
16 Inch Filet Crochet Squares:
- Love Never Fails
16.75 Inch Filet Crochet Squares
17.5 Inch Filet Crochet Square
General Observations About the Book
This is not a project-oriented book, meaning that you will not learn how to create specific finished projects such as pillows or table toppers or wall hangings or scrapbook covers – although the author does mention that the finished squares would be good for any of these purposes.
So, be aware that you will need to come up with your own ideas for how you want to use these squares, and you will also need to use your own creativity for transforming the squares into finished items. Either that, or you will need to get help from someone who has those sorts of skills.
What I Learned From This Book
I have known how to do filet crochet since childhood. It’s one of my most-admired crochet techniques. Although these days I don’t work on filet projects as much as I would like to, I do enjoy filet crochet, and I considered myself proficient at it. However, I find that there’s always something new to learn, even when it comes to your own areas of expertise. I was pleasantly surprised to learn one unexpected thing about filet crochet from this book.
If you take a careful look at either the front or back cover of the book, you might notice that the sample squares have edges that are remarkably neat, tidy and straight. I’ve never been able to achieve that perfect an edge in filet crochet before, no matter how carefully and consistently I’ve worked to form each stitch.
I was delighted to discover that Susan shares the secret for accomplishing these super-straight edges in the back of the book. It’s marked as a “tip” in the short informational / instructional section which is included at the back of the book.
Wow! What a revelation. It’s a little thing that isn’t difficult to do, but it’s something I would probably never have thought of.
(No, I won’t post the secret here; sorry, but if I were to post it on the Internet, it wouldn’t be a secret any more…)
This Book’s Pros
- Each square is outstanding! The designs are all detailed, intricate, eye-catching and delightful.
- The instructions are clear and laid out well. Each design includes a chart plus written instructions, although the written instructions are only sufficient to get you started with each pattern; eventually you do get to a place in each set of instructions that says “follow chart across.”
- The book is affordable, with a cover price of only $7.95 US dollars. The supplies to make the projects are also reasonably affordable, as you don’t need anything fancy – just some crochet thread and a steel hook.
- You know how some crochet books go outdated because the projects in the books are made from yarns that eventually get discontinued? That’s a whole lot less of a worry with this book. These patterns are classics, and they won’t be outdated anytime soon, if ever. As long as you can get your hands on some crochet thread or fine yarn, you should be able to keep crocheting from this book. (And if you run out of crochet thread, there are plenty of smooth fine yarns that would work OK as well.)
This Book’s Cons
The cover art on the book is a bit misleading: It shows each square lined up neatly, side by side, as if the squares are all exactly the same dimensions. They are not. So, at first glance, you might get the idea that it would be easy to use all of these squares together in the same project, like a bedspread.
While you probably could use them all together, it might take you some significant effort to manage it, because you’d have to work out a way to make the squares all fit together. Since they are not all the same size, it would require some creativity – perhaps adding additional stitches and rows to the smaller squares to make them the same size as the larger ones.
Also, I studied the squares and concluded that they were not meant to be used together as coordinates. Thematically, the squares are all pretty different. I do think it would be possible to use a few of them together, but it would have been nice if some designs had been intentionally designed as coordinates. For example, it would have been nice if there could have been a guitar or a violin to go along with the piano, and it would have been nice to have another southwestern-style design to go along with the cactus. I can’t see using the cactus with any of the other designs from the book, so if I need a cactus coordinate I would have to design it myself. For me, that’s fine, as I’m a crochet designer and I have the skills to do it. But the same might or might not be true for you.
However, if I had had my wish on that count, it would mean the book would be longer, and no doubt more expensive, which means that one of my wishes would no doubt end up being another crafter’s complete deal breaker. At $7.95, I think the price is right for this title — but maybe it would start to lose some of its appeal if the price were to climb too much higher.
If you aren’t inclined to design coordinates, no worries; my suggestion in that case would be to think of ideas for using each design as a standalone pattern that doesn’t need a coordinating design.
I Recommend This Crochet Book!
Assuming you’re ok with the minor limitations I mentioned above, I’m thrilled to recommend this book to you. It’s evident that the author has achieved significant expertise with the filet crochet technique, and I think her special brand of creative genius shines through wonderfully in these patterns. I find the book to be an exceptional value for its asking price. Between the meticulously detailed designs, the concise filet crochet explanations, and the valuable tip I mentioned above regarding straight sides — I think there will be plenty of filet crochet enthusiasts who will get more than their money’s worth out of this book.