First off, the cover is what had me hooked. I love the sweater on the front and the lacy sweater at the bottom. The projects are mostly new, creative, and fun! There isn't a cheesy striped scarf in the entire book, which is a great plus for me. So many of these books pack in scarves and cheesy jewelry. Even if they include tons of projects, there are very few you'd choose to make. Not so with this book. There are very few projects I wouldn't want to make, probably the cocoon bag, thigh highs, and mini wrap are my least favorites, but here's a list of the projects to help you decide:
"Babydoll Dress" - this is just an adorable dress that would look great over jeans. Author gives suggestions on lengthening sleeves or modifying dress length to suit style. Definitely on my to-do list.
"Icelandic Turtleneck" (includes arm warmers) - super cool turtleneck worked completely in rounds. Uses a stitch I'm unfamiliar with, but I'll learn.
"Victorian Shrug & Wrap" - this is the teal sweater from the front, the shrug is the top half and sleeves, you add the lacier part to create the wrap. Directions could use some work where it separates the instructions for the shrug from the wrap instructions, but it includes both a diagram and the stitch pattern in graphical form.
"Mini Wrap Skirt" - a slightly tapered rectangle with some ribbing. More for a younger person and meant to be worn over leggings.
"Messenger Bag" - very cool felted bag. It has circles cut out of the front flap so you can see through to the colorwork on the interior pocket. One of the few projects that doesn't have a diagram with measurements, which is a bummer. Probably due to the fact that they put in a color chart for the interior piece. I really would have liked measurements for this so that it would be easy to modify the size. Otherwise, it's just lovely.
"I'm a Convert Sweater" - this is the two-toned green sweater on the front. Not quite as pretty as you'd think from the picture. I think it would have been prettier if the bodice was worked from top down instead of side to side. Still, it's a nice top.
"Style Moderne Jewelry" - I'm not a big crochet jewelry person, but even I have to admit that this set of necklace and bracelet is pretty nice. It would look elegant with a nice dress. I'm definitely going to make the bracelet.
"Mesmerize Sweater" - the lacy webbed sweater from the front. Holy cow! This thing is just gorgeous!!! Beautiful swirly designs with a loose bodice and kimono sleeves. I'm in love. Of course, with all that beauty means a fairly complicated pattern, so it's not for the faint of heart. You make a few round motifs, then modify them with row work to add shape. There is a lot of FLO/BLO to keep track of and gauge swatch and project must be blocked. Still, if the result of all that hard work is something this beautiful, I'm in.
"Shades of Plaid Scarves" - I've never liked plaid until now. They did a great job creating a mesh panel with woven chains. They even included a picture in a different color scheme to give readers inspiration.
"Leaves Sweater" - honestly, not a big fan of this one. Maybe I'd like it better if it were longer. It's a fairly fitted bodice with "leaves" forming the edge of the 3/4 sleeves and the waist. It has potential, but it won't be on my list.
"Thigh Highs" - from the front. Um, yeah. If I was hip and 18.
"Comfy Cardi" - like a lot of people I know, I'm sick to death of shrugs. That said, this one is quite pretty, but in a more romantic, old-fashioned way. It is worked with #2 yarn, so is lacy, plus has ribbing around the edges and cuffs. I'll probably give it a go.
"Five O'Clock Tank" - definitely for the younger generation, like teenagers. I'd love to wear it, but I'm not so sure that it would pass even on my fairly fit form. The entire tank is done in Tunisian, which is a plus, because you can wear this without something underneath it - a rarity in so much crochet clothing. Of course, you need to be fairly versed in how to work Tunisian before you attempt this. One other plus, it gives instructions not only for chest measurement, but cup size as well, allowing for a nice fitted garment. Recommends zipper because of the lack of stretch of Tunisian.
"Cocoon Bag" - yup, not a big fan of market bags, but to each his/her own.
"Variations Baskets" - pretty cute little felted baskets in tapestry crochet. Worked completely in rounds.
"Circle Rug" - at first I thought, big deal, a bunch of circles joined together, but I've grown more fond of it with each viewing. It's probably not for everyone. It's circle motifs that are joined after completion with a slip stitch border.
"Doug & Gordo Dolls" - these are just so funny and cute. Little stuffies with goofy arms and hats. Did I mention cute?
All patterns contain basic stitch instructions, yarns used in project, substitute yarn weight and yardage, and any additional materials as well as little tips on modifying or finishing.
The patterns are accompanied by diagrams that give measurements for all sizes, which is something I love!!! I think all clothing projects should have diagrams.
There are pages called "Technically Speaking" which go over techniques that you'll need for the book such as blocking, Tunisian, shaping, reading stitch diagrams, etc.
A page is devoted to each designer called "Designer in Profile," where you get to learn a little more about them and the author's experience with them. I also like that with each pattern, there is a little paragraph right off the bat that tells you the inspiration for the design. It's nice to get a background peek into the creative process.
One final bit, at the back of the book you get websites for the designers featured in the book, abbreviations and a chart for standard weight system (with recommended hooks, gauge, etc), small stitch glossary, and a supplier list complete with websites.
All in all, a job well done!!! :)