Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Book review "Crochet - the complete step by step guide"


I love crochet, but then you all knew that, didn't you? So it was hardly surprising that I spotted an advert for this book in Mollie Makes magazine # 37. I had bought the Mollie Makes magazine because writer, needlefelter and artist Gretel Parker featured on the cover and I was off to her workshop at Cinderhill Farm the next day.

The front cover image of this book is very memorable and eye catching and is what I remembered spotting in MM so kudos to the art editor, photographer and whoever made the throw most of all! I thought at the time that this looked a good book to add to my collection and that I might save up and get Crochet (or drop lots of hints before my upcoming birthday).

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I was sent a copy of Crochet to review along with the Small Spaces Big Ideas book I wrote about here

The DK website says of this book

Crochet is the go-to crochet compendium, with more than 80 crochet projects, from simple flower blankets to crocheted baby bonnets and chunky scarves. Crochet uses step-by-step techniques and photography to cover basic stitches, such as chain stitches and treble crochet, and includes helpful practice projects to build your confidence, before embarking on more adventurous and impressive crochet patterns. Beginner crocheters are clearly led through every stitch or if you are already familiar with knitting and other crafts you can pick up a great new skill quickly to create beautiful crochet projects, such as cute gifts, things to wear and items for the home. Crochet is the perfect guide for crocheters of all levels of ability.

Having had a good look through this book over the last couple of weeks and tried out a few of the stitches and ideas I can only conclude one thing - this book is excellent and DK are absolutely correct in what they say

I am a moderately experienced crocheter (some stitches at least) and there were loads of interesting ideas for me to try in this book. The how to pages are detailed and clear and I was able to learn some advanced stitches to try out, but if you needed to learn the basics it is all there with very clear illustrations. Patterns and charts are all explained as are the tools you need and different yarns to try.

I loved the pages about alternative yarns - as I am in the middle (still!) of a crochet rag rug it was great to see this included and the metal wire crochet had me dashing to sort through the Cupboard of Doom to find my stash of wire and seed beads.

There are lots of ideas for real, proper, useful things to make ( I loved this wrap!) 

and also different types of "granny squares" to try, not just the usual square but hexagons and suchlike.


as well as bags and rugs and sweaters and cushions and hats and ...oh so many lovely things!

In conclusion - if I were made to chose just only one book on Crochet to keep from all the ones I have, this would be it. I think it is really good, with wonderful illustrations and photographs and a very good contents list and index. 

I love it. 

DK Publishing - Author
Publisher: DK
Hardback : 03 Feb 2014

With thanks to Vivienne  at DK for sending me the books :) I did not get paid to write this post apart from having the book to keep.


  1. A lovely write up of a book I have my eye on.

  2. This is a great review & that's my blanket on the last photo! Enjoy your Crochet!!

  3. Ooh I am honoured :) Thank you for dropping by :)


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