Thursday, February 1, 2007

Couture Crochet

As a self-taught crocheter I'm on shaky ground when it comes to more advanced techniques in the craft. I eagerly anticipated Lily Chin's new book Couture Crochet Workshop - Mastering Fit, Fashion and Finesse.

This book is not a crochet primer; it is assumed that you have a knowledge of basic stitches and techniques. What is offered is Lily's insight into couture and fashion, a brief (26 page) section on fitting and stitching tips/techniques meant to help crocheters achieve a custom fit with attention to details of style and finishing, plus patterns for various garments and accessories. I found a lot of helpful and new (to me)information in the technical section of the book. Especially intriguing was Lily's suggestion of photocopying a large swatch of your stitch pattern to be used with neckline/sleeve cap/armhole shaping templates in order to more easily shape complicated patterns. In the past I've limited myself to very simple (and thus boxy) shaping for just that reason -- it can be quite difficult to work out smooth shaping when you are using anything but the simplest of stitches. My only quibble with this section of the book is that I wish it had covered more.

The remainder of the book consists of patterns. These have been grouped in the categories of -- simpler stitches -- circular construction -- manipulating lace -- shell stitch and variations -- and the chevron stitch. While there are only a couple of the 24 patterns that I would be tempted to make 'as is', I could see the others as useful examples of particular techniques and possible inspiration for my own ideas.

I'm glad to have this book in my crochet library -- especially since I have not (yet) found any other books that cover this type of information, but I can't help regretting that the technical section was not longer and more comprehensive. Whatever one may think of Lily Chin's designs, she has impressive technical skills and I'd like to learn more.

3 comments:

Pattianne said...

Karen~
Two things to say
"Welcome to CP"
"WOW" can't hardly believe that you are a novice crocheter. You will blow us out of the water when you become an 'expert'!

Pattianne said...

Karen~
Two things to say
"Welcome to CP"
"WOW" can't hardly believe that you are a novice crocheter. You will blow us out of the water when you become an 'expert'!

Karen said...

Thanks, Pattianne -- I have a long way to go, but the journey has been fun!