It’s now 2019, and it’s been awhile since I originally reviewed Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women’s Heart Health by Laura Zander. Looking through the pages of the book now, several years later, I’m just as inspired by the crochet projects included in the book as I was when this book was originally published. They’re gorgeous!
If you don’t already own a copy of this book, I think it’s still a fantastic buy, even at its original cover price, although you can now usually find used copies for super cheap. The yarns used in the book range from affordable big-box acrylics to high-end luxury fibers.
What You Need to Know About This Crochet Pattern Book
Book Title: Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women’s Heart Health
Authors: Laura Zander, With Forewords by Deborah Norville and Vanna White; Additionally, the list of crochet pattern contributors to this book is long and distinguished.
Publisher: Sixth and Spring Books
Copyright Date: 2014
ISBN 13: 978-1-936096-61-9
Format: Softcover / Trade Paperback
Number of Pages: 144
Skill Level Ratings:
- Easy: I counted 13 easy crochet patterns in the book.
- Intermediate I counted 13 intermediate-level patterns in the book.
- Advanced: I counted 5 advanced-level patterns in the book.
- Beginner: There are no patterns in the book rated as “beginner-level.” For patient beginners who are motivated to break out of beginner status, this book could be fantastic inspiration to practice, practice, practice and get to the point where you can work patterns in the “easy” and “intermediate” range.
What This Book Is All About:
The creators of Crochet Red claim they want to “stick it to heart disease.” Quoting from the back cover of the book, “A portion of the proceeds from Crochet Red will be donated to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) in support of The Heart Truth. As far as I know, they don’t expound on this statement to give details about how much of the proceeds the organization will receive.
The book includes an odd, unexpected mix of crochet patterns, designers’ stories, stitch instructions, health tips, and recipes. My perception was that the main focus is on the crochet patterns and designers’ stories.
Important Note: This book covers health-related topics in addition to crochet topics. Here at crochet-books.com, my job is to cover crochet – not heart health. For that reason, I’m going to stick to commenting on the crochet content in the book, and refrain from commenting in any detail on the book’s health-related content. But in general, I think some of the health advice in this book is questionable, and should be ignored (this is based on my experience as the daughter of a medical researcher and an AMA doctor).
Crochet Projects Included in Crochet Red
I counted a total of 31 projects in this book:
- 2 blanket patterns designed by Vanna White and Tanis Galik
- 13 Garment patterns (coats, sweaters, cardigans): Designers include Melissa Leapman, Nicky Epstein, Deborah Newton, Kristin Omdahl, Marie Wallin and many others
- 2 Hat patterns by Jill Wright and Linda Permann
- 2 Purse patterns designed by Erika Knight and Nora Bellows
- 2 Shawl and wrap patterns by Mary Beth Temple and Dora Ohrenstein
- 3 Scarf patterns including a hooded scarf by the Crochet Dude (Drew Emborsky), a Tunisian crochet scarf by Sharon Silverman and a beaded scarf by Iris Schreier
- 3 Cowl patterns designed by Norah Gaugan, Edie Eckman and Robyn Chachula
- 1 pair of fingerless gloves designed by Kit Hutchin
- 1 Yoga mat carrier pattern by Vickie Howell
- 1 Pillow pattern designed by Debbie Bliss and Kathy Merrick
- 1 Heart sachet pattern designed by Kristin Nicholas
Things I Like About Crochet Red
I LOVE, love, LOVE the crochet patterns in this book. Most of these designs are appealing, unique and beautiful.
These are innovative, interesting designs. For the most part, they are things you couldn’t just buy at the store; they’re extraordinary designs that look handmade, chic and luxurious — just what you want if you’re going to go to all the trouble of crocheting something.
Many of this book’s contributors are celebrities and “rising stars” in the needle arts. There’s some incredible talent, creativity and brainpower behind this book.
There’s a spectacular variety of different types of crochet projects included.
Most of the projects are either right on-trend, or timeless classic designs. Nothing looks outdated, in my opinion, although some of the designs look vaguely 80s-ish.
The styling in the book is excellent.
The book includes some schematics, diagrams and symbol crochet charts where appropriate.
I really appreciated the fact that skill level ratings were included. For me, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, it makes the process of choosing a project easier and more straightforward.
Things I Didn’t Like About This Book
I’m small — both short and petite. One thing that stood out to me: sizes appropriate for small ladies are not included for a surprisingly high number of the garment patterns in the book. Also, some (not all) of the designs are “boxy” and could overwhelm a smaller figure. Having said that, even once I eliminated those from consideration, I was still able to find plenty of worthy projects in the book to work on.
Some of the health content in the book seems untrustworthy to me. As noted above, this is a crochet site, not a health site, so I’ll just leave it at that.
General Observations About This Book
If you love the color red, this book will probably read like eye candy for you. If you hate the color red, you may wish to steer clear. Just about everything in the book is crocheted using red or burgundy yarn.
On the other hand, it’s worth keeping in mind that you can crochet all these patterns in other colors if you like.
The photography is lovely, and everything is presented well. Unfortunately, there are a couple instances in the book where the photographs are insufficient to see all the details you might want to see on each project.
For example, there’s a gorgeous photo of the “Three-Button Mitts” included in the book. I love it! The mitts look attractive, and I’d love to make a pair. But it’s hard to make out the thumb openings to see what’s going on with them. I looked around for a second photo that would show more detail, and couldn’t find one.
For me, this is not a deal breaker, as I can read the instructions and get a sense of what’s going on with the thumb opening. For those who are not easily able to visualize what the output might look like when reading text instructions, this could prove to be frustrating.
Another example: The “Mock Neck Vest” is fabulous, and there are several photos showing the front of the vest, including the details on the collar. However, instead of a photo of the back of the vest, the book includes a side shot, where only part of the back is visible. These are beautiful photographs, but if you want to know what both the back and front of the vest look like before you splurge on yarn, you’re going to have to fire up your imagination and fill in some missing details in your mind’s eye. Or maybe search the internet in hopes that maybe another kind crocheter has posted a photo out there somewhere.
Overall, this is an outstanding book with mass appeal. I’m delighted to recommend this book to other crochet enthusiasts. I think it is a fantastic value for the price, and it is a valued part of my own crochet library.
Where to Buy Crochet Red:
This book is included on our list of best womenswear crochet pattern books. Click here to see more of our picks for great womenswear crochet pattern collections.
About Your Book Reviewer: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer who holds a degree in textile design and previously enjoyed a career in the textile industry. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, ArtsWithCrafts.com and KnittingandCrochet.net. Amy invites you to sign up for her free knitting and crochet newsletter, so you can easily keep up with all the new patterns, tutorials and book reviews she is posting. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.
This page was last updated on 8-26-2019.