Crochet Collage Garden Book Review
Today I would like to share my thoughts and impressions on a beautiful new book by Chris Norrington called, “Crochet Collage Garden.” I was so happy to have found it in the craft section of my local bookstore! I often sit and look through crochet books and magazines and work on a variety of crochet projects while I spend time amongst the books. The atmosphere of a bookstore is relaxing and peaceful. And, of course, I have fun perusing the crochet section! Thank you to Chris Norrington and her publisher, David and Charles Ltd., for giving permission to use these photos. 🙂
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Gardens, Flowers and Crochet!
One day this summer I found Norrington’s book, Crochet Collage Garden, and I was so impressed by its concept and layout that I just had to get it. I also love gardens and flowers and think her idea is so clever! I took her book with me on my summer vacation and thoroughly enjoyed crocheting the 10 motifs in one of the collages – it was relaxing and therapeutic to work on someone else’s designs and to be able to complete so many so quickly. (I’ll share some photos of my project and give you some tips at the end of this blog post)
Overview of Crochet Collage Garden
Crochet Collage Garden is a colorful book full of 10 exquisite flower collages all made with crocheted flower and leaf motifs. Each chapter has a theme and coordinating color-scheme. At the beginning of each chapter you see the final collage expertly photographed and then you see each motif photographed separately with a number near it. On the following pages are all of the written instructions for how to make each motif. These instructions are written with the UK terms but a stitch chart/diagram is also provided for each flower or leaf as well.
Unique Crochet Flower Projects
Chris Norrington lives in England and was inspired by her own real garden of flowers when she started creating her flower collages. I love that her book includes several photos of her garden mixed in with the photos of the crochet motifs. The projects in the book, Crochet Collage Garden, go through the seasons of the year, starting with Woodland Glade and Spring Awakening and ending with Autumn Wreath and MidWinter Magic.
Most flower and leaf patterns people make are used to applique on another crocheted item (and, of course, you can do this with these as well) but I think using them to make the collages in the book is a great new way to use crocheted motifs. Chris has a wonderful sense of color and composition that shows in every one of her gorgeous collages. Make sure to check out her Instagram chris.made.this (here) and Facebook (here) pages for more inspiration from her!
Stitches and Yarns Used
Most of the stitches used for the flower motifs are basic crochet stitches so I think even a beginner would be able to have success with this book. Plus, each motif comes with a very clear stitch diagram that helps you see where to put each stitch and how the stitches cleverly create all the nature-inspired shapes. Chris recommends using yarn from your stash and I love that! Since each flower and leaf require a very small amount of yarn, it is easy to find colors that match the collage themes in the book – at least it was for me! 😉 Chris also shares many little tips along the way about how to work the stitches, change colors, weave in ends and put together the final collages.
Layout and Colors of Crochet Collage Garden
One of my favorite things about Crochet Collage Garden is the layout and colors – it is just so pretty to look through! Everything is color-coordinated and crystal clear. Each collage has a color-scheme which is carried throughout the entire chapter. The text is in an easy-to-read font and each motif has a number by it that is inside a colored circle. I think that anyone would enjoy looking through this book even if they didn’t crochet!
My Favorite Collages
My favorite collages of the book would be the Flower Meadow, Cottage Garden, Spring Awakening and Terracotta Pot. Each collage is a beautiful work of art with its variety of flower colors, petal designs, leaf shapes and balanced compositions. I decided to crochet the Flower Meadow collage and I love how it turned out!
My Project from Crochet Collage Garden
I looked through my stash of Size 10 and Size 3 cotton crochet thread and picked out all the colors I could find that matched Chris’ Flower Meadow Collage in the book. I enjoy working with this size yarn/thread so I had a lot of colors to choose from. I put all of the yarn in a reusable shopping bag and kept it by my side as I worked on all of the motifs. I mainly used the Size 3 (which is a little thicker and seems to match the yarns Chris used in her collages) but if I didn’t have the color I needed in the Size 3, then I found it in the Size 10 and used a double-strand!
UK terms vs. US terms!
After the first motif it became easier to ‘translate’ the UK terms into US terms in my head but the chart at the back of the book was helpful for that. Plus, all the stitch diagrams helped and I discovered it was easier and easier to work with the UK terms the more motifs I made. If you are really struggling with this step, I suggest photocopying the pattern you are working on and marking it up with a pen to change the stitches into US stitches. (Of course, photocopying would only be for this personal use and not to give out to friends – encourage them to buy the book for themselves!) I collected all of my completed motifs in a small bag and then wove in all the ends in one sitting. (There are a lot of ends but it went quickly because I used some of the techniques and tricks I share in this Youtube video on my channel. ) Next I took the time to block each motif (as Chris recommends) and then had a lot of fun arranging them following Chris’ example in the book.
I Love Crochet Collage Garden!
I love this book, Crochet Collage Garden! It is everything a crochet book should be: beautiful, clear, thorough, colorful, and inspiring. And even if you don’t crochet, you can visit Chris Norrington’s daughter’s website, Tosca’s Corner, to enjoy already made flowers put to images & artwork on paper products. Chris’ daughter is a designer and maker that also creates beautiful artwork and the mother-daughter duo have combined their creative genius to make a variety of greeting cards and other products featuring Chris’ flower collages and Becky’s whimsical creatures.
I highly recommend purchasing the Crochet Collage Garden for yourself especially if you love flowers and gardens. And if you know someone who loves to garden, then the collages would make a great framed gift for them. This book has become one of my favorite crochet books and I know it will bring me much enjoyment in the years to come.
Thank you to the publisher, David and Charles Ltd., for sponsoring the giveaway for my newsletter subscribers!
Check out some of my other book reviews here.
Copyright – Jennifer E Ryan- www.celticknotcrochet.com- all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Special thanks to Chris Norrington and David and Charles Ltd. for giving permission to use the photos posted in this post.