The Complete Book of Crochet

I am always drawn to books the titles of which promise some sense of sufficiency.

An abbreviated list of the titles in my library that were purchased in no small part as a result of the promise of the titles are the following: Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet, Crocheting School, a Complete Course from Sterling Press, Betty Braden’s The Crochet Stitch Bible, Jane Davis’s Crochet, The Complete Guide, and James Walters’ Crochet Workshop.

In my quest to master the craft of crochet, I keep searching for that one true thing, and it was that search for the one true thing that first drew me to the copy of The Complete Book of Crochet where it sat on the shelf of the needlecraft section of the local library in Wilson, North Carolina.

Although we are often told not to judge a book by its cover, the fact is we do, and by modern standards, The Complete Book of Crochet is not much to look at.

The pictures are all in black, white, and shades of gray, and there were. at the time of its printing, no standardized international charts to which the reader could refer.

But despite all those missing future features, when I took the time to carefully read the patterns contained in the book, I did come across one technique which I have not yet seen elsewhere, and which I made use of when I crocheted this purse:

ruffled drawstring crochet purse
Ruffled drawstring crochet purse

If I were to make this purse again a I would not mix mercerized and unmercerized cotton (shiny vs. dull), and I would update the look by making the ruffles more ruffly.

However, one thing I would take forward was the technique used to attach the ring that is incorporated into the bottom of the purse.

While many current patterns call for a simple single crochet around a ring, this pattern called for the following: make a single crochet around the ring, but instead of completing the stitch, just bring the yarn through one loop leaving the other loop on the hook. You then complete the stitch by going around the ring a second time, and bringing the yarn through the three loops that are now on the hook.

This method ends up covering the ring much more fully than a simple single crochet around the ring, and there are no unsightly gaps. This is definitely one of my favorite techniques when working with anything that needs to be encased in single crochet stitches; it is also useful in fashioning handles from rings.

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