Crochet Book Review – Colorful Crochet Knitwear

Crochet Book Review – Colorful Crochet Knitwear by Sandra Gutierrez

It’s no secret that I love crochet colourwork, so when the lovely folk over at David and Charles publishers asked if I’d like to review a copy of their new book, Colorful Crochet Knitwear, I jumped at the chance.

Colorful Crochet Knitwear is written by the super talented knit and crochet designer Sandra Gutierrez of Nomad Stitches.

colorful crochet knitwear book and crochet hooks
Colorful Crochet Knitwear

Shortly before receiving the book, I’d just finished making Sandra’s Confetti DK Pullover for my daughter. I was really pleased with how it turned out, so I was extremely excited to receive a whole book of her designs and eager to see what was inside…

An overview of Colorful Crochet Knitwear

crochet garments from colorful crochet knitwear
Some projects in Colorful Crochet Knitwear

I have to admit, at first I wasn’t quite sure whether there would be any knitting in the book, given the reference to “knitwear” in the title. However, having now read it from cover to cover, I can confirm that Colorful Crochet Knitwear is a 100% crochet book.

The term “knitwear” is, I guess, a reference to the fact that all of the patterns are for garments and wearable accessories (hats, mittens, cowls..), which are of course typically classified as “knitwear”.

However, and perhaps more importantly, I think “knitwear” also refers to the fact that these patterns all have something of a “knitted” feel to them. They are all extremely beautiful with exquisite details and many of the stitches and techniques reflect the kind of effects you can get with knitting.

As well as all being “knit-look” garments, the projects in the book all use a crochet colourwork technique to create striking, beautiful and simply fun patterns.

Looking a little deeper

As mentioned above, the projects in the book all use various colourwork techniques. As such, the book starts with a great overview of Colour Theory, or the combining of different colours. This is really helpful as a starting point to choosing your own colours for each project.

This is followed by a nice introduction to crochet hooks (I never knew that a part of the hook was called the “throat” before!), and a guide to different types of yarn (with regards to both fibre and weight) and how to choose between them.

Gauge and blocking are also both covered, so that the book contains details on all the key points for making a crochet garment.

contents of colorful crochet knitwear
Contents of Colorful Crochet Knitwear

Next, comes a comprehensive section on Colourwork Techniques. This contains all you need to know for each of the techniques that are used in the projects:

  • Tapestry crochet – both flat and in the round, and with different stitches such as single crochet, central single crochet (AKA waistcoat stitch), single crochet back look only, and extended single crochet (all in US terms).
  • Mosaic crochet – both the “standard” and “single-row” methods are described and used in the book.
  • Intarsia crochet
  • Stripes and colourblocking

The book contains twelve projects, although two of these are for a pair of coordinating items (hat and mittens, and hat and cowl), so you could say there are fourteen projects really. These are:

  • Three pullover projects
  • Two tank top projects
  • Two cardigan projects
  • One hat and mittens project
  • One jacket project
  • One hat and cowl project
  • One summer top project
  • One shawl project

In terms of techniques, there are:

  • Four tapestry crochet projects
  • Four mosaic crochet projects
  • Two intarsia projects
  • Two stripe or colour block projects

With regards to yarn, the projects use varying weights ranging from fingering up to aran and several others in between. The fibres used include linen, cotton, various wools, alpacca, bamboo, and acryllic, so there’s a great variety.

My Merak Cowl

Merak Crochet Cowl
My Merak Cowl

A proper review of the book wouldn’t really be complete without actually trying out one of the patterns. I didn’t have enough of a single type of yarn in my stash to make a larger project (although several are now on my “to make” list – see below!) so I opted to make the gorgeous Merak Cowl.

I had a few balls of Scheepjes Linen Soft (47% Cotton, 27% Linen, 26% Acrylic), which seemed they would work well as a substitute for the sport weight wool yarn that the pattern called for. The colours I had were definitely very “me” too, perfect for this cowl.

The pattern uses mosaic crochet to create striking ziz-zag or step-like stripes. In the actual pattern there is also a middle section with a different mosaic pattern. However, as I wasn’t sure exactly how far my yarn would go, and I absolutely loved this first pattern, I decided to make the whole cowl with the first pattern.

The top and bottom edges of the cowl are made with what is called a “faux i-cord” edging. As I’m not really much of a knitter, I didn’t know quite what an i-cord is, although I had heard of it as a knitting term. Here, it’s a few rows of a particular crochet stitch which you then fold back on itself to create a tube of crochet around each edge of the cowl. This gives a very satisfying weight to the edges of the cowl and, I think, helps it to sit well around the neck and shoulders too. I was very pleased to learn this new technique!

All in all, I’m rather in love with this cowl. It’s just a shame it’s nearly summer time here in the UK and I’ll have to wait a few more months before I can use it!

A few of my other favourite patterns in Colorful Crochet Knitwear

There is a gorgeous variety of patterns in the book but a few that really caught my eye are these.

This is the Fernweh tank top. It also uses the mosaic technique, and to stunning effect. It uses a linen/cotton fingering yarn and I think this will be the next project I attempt from the book.

“Fernweh” is a German word, which means “an ache or desire for distant places” so I think this makes it the perfect make for summer travels. Fingers crossed I can get it made in time!

Fernweh Top from Colorful Crochet Knitwear
The Fernweh tank top
Ailyak Pullover from Colorful Crochet Knitwear
The Ailyak Pullover

Another project I adore is the stunning Ailyak pullover. This is a tapestry crochet project and I just love the beautiful colourwork.

“Ailyak” is Bulgarian and means “the art of doing everything slowly with no rush” so I think I could make this a longer-term project to savour stitch by stitch!

Sticking with pullovers, I also love the Lagom Pullover. This is a mosaic project with a striking stripy yoke.

It uses fingering weight yarn and I think would make a great addition to my winter wardrobe. Perhaps I’ll use a nice dark grey or blue as the main colour.

Lagom Pullover from Colorful Crochet Knitwear
The Lagom Pullover
Wabi Sabi Hat and Mittens from Colorful Crochet Knitwear
Wabi Sabi Hat and Mittens

Finally, I love the Wabi Sabit Hat and Mittens set. These are made with tapestry crochet and use the central single crochet, or waistcoat, stitch.

I’ve actually had a little go at this one but I think I need to practise the waistcoat stitch a bit more and check my tension (my mittens were working up massively!). However, with a bit of practice and frogging, I’m sure these will be great for chilly winter walks.

In conclusion

As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of this book. I love crochet colourwork, especially tapestry and mosaic crochet, and this book contains both of them. What’s more, the garment designs are beautiful, wearable, and (at least from what I’ve made so far), a real joy to make.

I would definitely recommend this book if you’re in the market for a fun and stylish new crochet garment book, with possibly even one or two new techniques for you to try.

Where to get Colorful Crochet Knitwear

Colorful Crochet Knitwear is available from all the usual (and well-known!) online book retailers. It’s also stocked by many local yarn shops. Why not check to see if your local yarn shop has a copy?

Merak Cowl and Colorful Crochet Knitwear Book
My Merak Cowl and Colorful Crochet Knitwear

2 thoughts on “Crochet Book Review – Colorful Crochet Knitwear”

  1. I absolutely adore your Cowl. I’ve not tried an i-cord in crochet before.

    And that Ailyak sweater. Oh my gosh! I can see this beauty in a midnight blue base, with silver accents!
    Just beautiful designs.

    Yarny Hugs,

    Karen x

    • Hi Karen, Thanks for your comment! I’m pleased you like the cowl! Oh yes, midnight blue with silver sounds perfect for the Ailyak sweater! xx


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: