In the past, most people learned crafts from a friend or family member. They taught the new crafter basic stitches and were nearby to help when he or she got stuck working on a new project. These days, people teach themselves crafts a lot more often, which means there is no wise expert on call to solve problems that can stymie a project and crush a new crafter's confidence. Edie Eckman's The Crochet Answer Book seeks to take the place of that helpful friend by anticipating and answering some of the most common questions crafters have. This book covers the basics of forming stitches, shaping and blocking, as well as more advanced techniques. It should be on every fiber lover's bookshelf. Sarah E. White is the senior editor of the crafting website LovetoKnow Crafts.

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