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
If you’ve ever wondered what makes this niche crochet different from both standard crochet and standard knitting then you’ll find the answer in this book.
#11: Info on Tunisian Tools, Too
I have to confess that I was a little bit intimidated by trying out Tunisian crochet because the tools are slightly different from normal crochet hooks. There are a few different options. It reminded me of the early days of learning to crochet and not being sure what to buy in terms of hooks and yarn! Dora provides terrific information on the different tools in Tunisian that makes the selection process easy for a newbie.
#12: Great Tips
It is clear that Dora is experienced in Tunisian crochet because she identifies and addresses potential problems that a reader might run into. For example, she discusses that fabric curling is common in Tunisian crochet and provides tips for dealing with that.
#13: Great Photos
The finished projects are excellently styled and photographed but more than that I love the great clear photos of the little details like the practice gauge swatches.
#14: Terrific Organization
Everything about the book is well organized from the table of contents on through the index. When there is an image or tip that is relevant to another part of the book there is a clear note telling you exactly what page to go to for that extra information. Well done!
#15: History of Tunisian Crochet
Dora Ohrenstein did her research and shares what she learned in an informative, conversational way. She includes some images of vintage Tunisian crochet patterns.
#16: Options for Different Learning Styles
I love the wordy part of the book’s instructinos. Other people will love the symbol charts. Others will like the graphs or the detailed pictures. There’s an option for everyone.
#17: Project Variety
Najmee Rug by Dora Ohrenstein
In addition to all of the different stitches that you can learn there are the projects by Dora and each of the other crochet designers. No project is repeated, meaning that there’s only one shawl pattern, one scarf pattern, one rug pattern, etc. I love that this offers lots of variety in the different types of things that you can make using the Tunisian crochet patterns in this book.
#18: Detailed Sizing Information for Garments
The patterns have information about the finished sizes and they are excellently detailed. For example, the vest pattern by Charles Voth has five pattern sizes (Small – XXL) and it shows the finished length as well as the finished chest circunference in inches and also cm for each of those sizes.
There is a cohesiveness and consistency to the patterns even though they are by different designers which really speaks well to the editing of the book.
#20: Lots of Resources for Further Exploration
From a reading list on the history of crochet to a list of the yarn resources there is tons of organized information here for going further beyond this book in your explorations of Tunisian Crochet.
I received a free review copy of this book. The book is published by Interweave/F+W Media and is available for sale for a listing price of $24.95. The link to the book at the top of this post is an Amazon affiliate link. The book is also available through Interweave and Barnes and Noble online.