â€œAh, but itâ€™s not a new hobby. Itâ€™s the same one. Just using wire instead of yarn. Thatâ€™s the great thing about crochet you see, you can almost use anything, in fact just...â€
No, no good, Iâ€™d lost him. Probably at the word yarn. Quite why I was having to justify to my father the request for wire and beads as a birthday gift I donâ€™t know, but it was obviously causing some sort of problem. Can a girl really have too many hobbies? My love of crocheting began two years ago when I finally took my childhood passion for finger knitting to the next level and ensured that Santa brought me a Learn to Crochet Kit on Christmas morning. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve gone more than 3 days in a row without crocheting since and have been known to panic if stuck on a train without my project bag. And so life in my Glasgow home with my husband, daughters, too may part time jobs, aÂ cat and an apple tree is surely one in which I can keep my hobbies in check. Or maybe thatâ€™s a matter of opinion... Luckily he gave in, handed over the cash and crocheting with wire became my not-new hobby. For which I thank him.
â€˜Crochet with Wireâ€™ by Nancie M. Wiseman is the lovely little book that helped me on my way. Itâ€™s small in size (perfect for fitting in my new crochet with wire craft box â€“ does every not-new hobby not need a new box?) but packed with colourful, sparkly projects, most of which I would actually want to make.
The projects are divided into Beginner, Easy, Intermediate and Experienced and number 30 in total, with a relatively varied range of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, a purse and some baskets Iâ€™m pretty sure I would never make. Inspiring colourful photos showcase theÂ finished pieces and occasional line drawings make instructions clear. Most importantly for me though it gave clear and practical advice on how to get started - and thatâ€™s where the book came into its own. Nancie held my hand as I learned the way through my not new-hobby world. She recommends wire and the tools you need (not many Dad, donâ€™t panic) and there are clear instructions on starting, finishing, and attaching closures and fastenings to give your project a more professional look.
Itâ€™s a great wee book for a beginner to wire crochet. I got started immediately and was delighted with my bead encrusted necklace which didnâ€™t take much time to complete. Grinning like a school girl I showed it off to my husband who smiled faintly. â€œIâ€™ve told you, Itâ€™s NOT a new hobby.â€ Are you seeing a theme developing here? Nancie and her book are American, so you will need to remember to switch your terminology, but since a Nice American Grandmother on YouTube taught me to crochet, I felt quite at home. You should be able to read a pattern as they are all abbreviated, and if you are new to crochet, it might be a good idea to have a go with some yarn first.
After making a few projects I felt confident and inspired enough to just go for it, and the excitement at creating, designing and wearing my own necklace is yet to subside. Perhaps some of the more advanced pieces are not as challenging as they could be, but the confidence this book gave me to get started and then create my own pieces should not be underestimated.
Itâ€™s an 8 out of 10 for me.
Crochet With Wire by Nancie M. Wiseman is available from Interweave.
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