Monday, January 14, 2008

A Sweet Scoop...

...of 'Soft Serve' from Everyday Crochet by Doris Chan. Crocheted from Classic Elite Avignon, a discontinued pima cotton/silk blend: 115 yards (106 m.) per 50 gr. skein. 8 skeins used - hook size 6.0 mm (J). Sleeves were lengthened by one repeat, and body was lengthened by three repeats.

Doris Chan's second book (the first being Amazing Crochet Lace) presents a range of garments crocheted in her signature style: top down, seamless, raglan shaping using a variety of shell stitches. If you know you like working this way I think you'll really like this book. If you're not sure, or think it's not for you, please give it a look before dismissing it out of hand. Doris may prefer working this one way, but her garments are attractive and eminently wearable.

Styles featured are camisole/tanks, pullovers, cardigans, vests, coats and even some belts. She also gives instructions for a cute button fastener she calls "In-Line Links" which is two buttons joined by beaded links which is used instead of ordinary ties or buttonbands. As a big fan of unique buttons and beads, that's a technique I'll be trying soon.

I've mentioned before that I often have problems with "any" written crochet instructions, so the fact that I've been able to make 3 of her designs speaks well for instructional clarity. I won't kid you, I sometimes have to re-do a section, but I'm sure that has more to do with my own limitations.

When you're working all (or most) of your designs within the same stylistic framework, you might expect the results to be overly similar and thus less interesting. This may prove to be true later in Ms. Chan's design career, but her effective use of shaping, garment proportions and a wide range of attractive yarns worked in drape-able gauges helps give individuality to the various designs.

I'll probably make a couple more designs from Everyday Crochet -- when you consider all the pattern books I have which haven't been used for any garments -- well, high praise indeed.

1 comment:

Mary Sarah said...

Beautiful sweater! I have the book too and want to make something from it. I just haven't figured out what to make yet. Thanks for your review!