Book Review: ‘Crochet with Wire’ by Nancie M. Wiseman

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I am fortunate that I get to flip through and see all these super beading books here in our warehouse, and I keep thinking ‘oh….if my customer’s could only see this book they would be in love’!  Therefore, I have decided to share some book reviews with you to try and give a better idea of what is between the covers of our carefully chosen books.

This week I am going to start by looking at ‘Crochet With Wire’ by Nancie M. Wise (publisher: Interweave, 2005, Pages:88, Paperback).  I have admired this book for a while, and last week I had the inclination to pop a crochet hook out of its package, grab some Artistic Wire, and make an inspired piece.  And boy did I love making it!  But more on that later…let’s have a peek at the book first.

Immediately I was drawn to this book because of its size.  It is a lightweight, but sturdy paperback measuring 18 by 15 cm, perfect for storing in my bead bag.  I love compact books that I can pop in my bag and bring with me!  And one that do not take up half the table as I am following the instructions.  Thumbs up for this little, yet important, detail.

Secondly, the bright colors on clean, white pages gives it a modern feel and really shows off the photography, which is plentiful in this book.  The photos really beg you to make the various pieces.  The information is clearly laid out and projects are easy to find with both the Table of Contents and Index.

There is such a variety of projects-20 in all, and not all just jewelry.  Bracelets, necklaces, sets, a purse and even baskets and boxes are all easily made with accurate instructions and detailed photographs.  Tons of ideas and inspiration for the beginner and the experienced.  The only negative criticism I would have of this book is that although the instructions are accurate, they are all abbreviated.  Now, I know I am being pretty picky out there, because as all you crocheters know, patterns are always abbreviated.  But if you are a completed newbie to crocheting, wire or otherwise, it can take some time to get into the swing of things when you have to check back to the abbreviation legend all the time:)  But that challenge was conquered and my hook was soon flying.

So…what about the projects?  They are all rated either Beginner, Easy, Intermediate and Experienced.  So there is a nice progression throughout the book and it is relevant to all abilities.  I will start with the ‘Bead Encrusted Necklace and Bracelet Set’, as this was the project I tried and tested.  Well kind of.  I made the bracelet but and doubled its width, so just doubled the required wire and beads.  It’s a cuff…and, as everyone who knows me, it is either big or not at all when it comes to my designs.  But that is the great thing about this book!  Patterns are easily modified and wire crochet is oh so forgiving that you don’t have to be scared at all.

Here’s the final product: Not so shabby if I do say so myself!

I’ll be sending out some instructions and the material list for my inspired design soon.  Maybe some of you have spotted the ‘Bead Soup’ mix in Evergreen that I have used, perfect for projects like this.  It has an air of Spring about it (I am wishful thinking, for Spring won’t really come to Halifax for another month or so!).  I would love to replicate this with black wire and the Heavy Metals mix.  It would be so sophisticated and stunning.  But maybe I should finish the matching necklace for this one first…exactly as instructed this time.

Want a taste of the other projects? Do ‘Winter Trees Necklace and Earrings’ sound interesting?  Or what about  the ‘Seaweed Necklace and Bracelet’?  Be bold and make the ‘Zig Zag Necklace and Bracelet Set’, with its cool, angular look and bead adorned zigs (or are they zags?).  I am definitely making a set of the ‘Triangular Trinket Boxes’ for my desktop- so much more inspiring than the plastic containers that are there now.  I wish I could show you lots of the lovely photos, but copyright law is not my strong point and it is better to be safe than sorry:)

So why should you take up wire crochet?  Getting into this great technique only requires some wire and a crochet hook– both of which we sell at great prices!  So it is an quick and inexpensive way to add more variety to your jewelry.  It is great for using up all those odds and end beads and lengths of wire too.  It is pretty portable-you can take it with you in a small, plastic container to work on during your lunch hour.  And remember, you don’t have to make whole pieces of jewelry.  Why not crochet some components and connectors to use with other materials?  This book will inspire you to do that and more…and for this reason I give it The Beading Room seal of approval.

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