I have been asked many times how I learned to crochet. Of course, the answer is always basically the same but I share different details depending on the context of the question. I thought I’d round up some of those answers today to offer a full picture of how I came to this craft.
I explained in an interview with The Stitch Fixer:
“I originally learned how to do basic crochet from my mother when I was a child. My mom was terrific at constantly introducing us kids to new crafts, activities and experiences so we dabbled in many things like crochet. I didn’t do much with crochet until I was an adult, though.
I re-discovered the craft when I was battling an intense period of chronic depression. I remembered the joy and peace of crafting as a child and returned to that for solace. I taught myself mostly by working through a kids’ crochet pattern book although I used YouTube videos for a few things where the book wasn’t quite clear enough.”
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I recently had the opportunity to receive and review a copy of Dora Ohrenstein’s The New Tunisian Crochet: Contemporary Designs from Time-Honored Traditions. There are lots of things to love about this new crochet book. Here are twenty of them:
#1: Awesome Author
Dora Ohrenstein is a terrific crochet designer and also a terrific writer. The combination makes for great books. Last year I reviewed her Custom Crocheted Sweaters and had the chance to interview her, which was a joy.
#2 – #8: Plus 7 Awesome Contributing Crochet Designers
Mago Vest designed by Charles Voth
There are seven other contributing designers who created patterns for this Tunisian crochet book. I was already familiar with most of them and love their work. Those seven designers are:
- Vashti Braha. In my recent roundup of 100 unique crochet skirts I mentioned that Vashti is a terrific designer of sets, such as crochet skirts and a matching shawl. She has a lovely Tunisian crochet shawl pattern in this book.
- Doris Chan. I also featured Doris Chan in that skirts roundup so it was great to see a Tunisian crochet skirt pattern from the designer in this book!
- Lily Chin. Both Lily Chin and Doris Chan were designers I also mentioned in my post on the best crochet shawl designers. It’s neat for me to see something different from Lily here with a hat and mitts set.
- Charles Voth. This designer, also known as Stitch Stud, was another one I mentioned in that great shawl designer post plus he’s one of the guys I absolutely had to feature in my post on 20 wonderful male crochet designers. You’ll be able to see why when you check out his men’s vest pattern in The New Tunisian Crochet.
- Margaret Hubert. This designer has been working in the industry since the 1970s, has nearly twenty of her own books to her name and has made a terrific contribution here with an entrelac-style purse pattern.
- Andrea Graciarena. I’ve featured this designer (and AG Mode blogger) several times on Crochet Concupiscence in posts like link love where I’ve featured links to some of her patterns. Most recently I did that in my NatCroMo roundup when she offered a free Tunisian Crochet square pattern. Her collared, textured long cardigan pattern is one of my favorites in The New Tunisian book.
- Lisa Daehlin. Lisa is the only designer in the book whose work I wasn’t already familiar with, which has now been remedied. She is a knit and crochet teacher and designer who has been published in several knitting magazines and works regularly with the retail / fashion industry. Her Sampler Throw pattern in this book offers readers a great chance to practice a lot of Tunisian crochet in one project.
#9: Detailed Stitch Dictionary
This was my first experience with Tunisian crochet and I feel like the book offers a wealth of stitches for the beginner as well as advanced, textured and unique stitches.
#10: Great Clear Description of Tunisian Crochet
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I know a lot of crocheters who love Japanese crochet patterns. I love looking at the cute things that people make using these patterns although I don’t really use them myself since I tend to be a less visual crocheter and don’t really like working from symbol charts. Nevertheless, I sometimes catch myself going to the craft section of the local Japanese bookstore near me and eyeing the styles. Japanese fashions are so unique, particularly those of the Harajuku Girls and Mori Girls, and I love seeing if I can spot crochet in those fashions.
Harajuku Girls and Mori Girls
Harajuku is a section of Tokyo and the term Harajuku Girls refers to the fashion style that emerged from this section. It is actually comprised of a variety of different styles ranging from punk inspired to looks to Gothic styles to boldly colorful cosplay inspired costumes. Mori Girls are easier to pinpoint; their kind of like the hippie bohemian counterpoint to the Harajuku Girl and tend to embrace natural colors and textures inspired by things like forests and fairies. As you might expect, it’s more common to see crochet among the Mori Girls style but you can find it sometimes on Harajuk Girls as well.
Japanese Crochet Style
Here’s a roundup of some more of the images I’ve seen of crochet on Harajuku Girls and Mori Girls:
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