Storey Publishing, £14.99
There are many how-to guides for beginner crocheters, but few that go as far beyond the basics as this. Written by respected designer Dora Ohrenstein of www.crochetinsider.com, this is a workshop for anyone looking to move from chains and trebles to more sophisticated techniques and stitches.
Starting with a comprehensive guide to yarn, with discussion of fibres and drape, Dora covers choosing your tools and adjusting your tension before running through the basic stitches. Clear colour photographs detail cables, colourwork, crocodile stitches and more, with each technique including a pattern, chart and swatch – so it’s also a good basic stitch dictionary.
Our favourite chapter is on shaping, and how to incorporate increases and decreases into a variety of basic stitches and stitch patterns, making this a great resource for a budding designer.
Dora advocates swatching out each technique, after all: “People learn best by doing. Imagine learning a complicated dance step without moving your feet!” At the end there’s a short section of five projects demonstrating some of the techniques covered, including a slouchy cluster stitch hat and lacy shaped capelet, plus a section on pattern reading. This is a great investment for anyone looking to gain a thorough knowledge of crochet or interested in refining their own designs.
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