I believe I stated a while ago that I had plenty of crochet patterns and books on hand, that there was no need for me to spend any money on this new pursuit, or to acquire more stuff to clutter the new house. When I found a big gap in my collection of crochet hook sizes, it didn't seem outrageous to buy a set of large-ish steel crochet hooks at Wal-Mart. They wouldn't take up much space, and they only cost seven dollars--not as much as many new hobbies require, surely?
A few weeks later, shopping online for a replacement flashlight, we found what we wanted on Amazon. Just a few dollars short of the free shipping minimum, I dipped into my "Wishlist" and added on Beyond-the-Square Crochet Motifs: 144 circles, hexagons, triangles, squares, and other unexpected shapes by Edie Eckman.
Although I'm nickle-and-diming my way out of my frugality promises, I am very pleased with this book. It's hardback and spiral bound, and the colorful example motifs fulfill my yen for new eye-candy. I'm pleased to have both text directions and diagrams, and I've learned some new-to-me techniques. There's also a section at the back on how to design your own unique motifs. That's something I'd never even thought about before, but that is one of the truly cool things about crochet--you can go wild and just try things. (With knitting and the sort of sewing I usually do, you need to plan ahead more.) I'm really pleased with this book, and here are some of the motifs I've made so far.
Eckman's book shows all the motifs in colorful sport-weight yarn, so of course I'm trying them in some rather coarse crochet cotton thread (using my new Wal-Mart steel hooks). A couple dozen of the ecru squares at the top of this post would make a handsome table runner, I think. I like how open this square is, compared to the granny squares we're used to seeing sewn into afghans and blankets.
These motifs remind me of dogwood blossoms. I think I'll sew them onto my next pair of slippers, with some little gold buttons in their centers.
These white motifs are two variations on a theme. I think they both look floral in crochet thread, like some small spring ephemeral--perhaps wood anemones?