Creative Crochet: A Vintage Resource on Freeform Crochet

por Kathryn en Febrero 7, 2012 · 23 Comentarios

en Crochet Books

creative crochet book Creative Crochet: A Vintage Resource on Freeform Crochet

I’ve been on a kick lately where I’ve been hunting down vintage crochet books through my local library. I love seeing what was written about crochet in different eras of the craft, especially in the 70s and early ’80s. Previously my vintage resources were mostly limited to crochet magazines but these books provide a lot of fun stuff that I’m happy to be checking out. I’m especially excited about a book I’ve discovered called Creative Crochet Creative Crochet: A Vintage Resource on Freeform Crochet that I swear is an early resource for freeform crochet before anyone was calling it freeform crochet.

What is Freeform Crochet?

Okay, so for those people who aren’t too familiar with freeform crochet, it refers to a type of crochet where you are free to break the rules of crochet. You don’t necessarily work in rows but instead just in any direction your heart desires, adding any stitches you feel like adding. You can do this as art but it can also be shaped to be a unique wearable item. Freeform is fun because it really opens up the possibilities for crochet and lets you be wildly creative if you want to.

About the Book

Creative Crochet is a book by Nicki Hetz Edson and Arlene Stimmel. It is subtitled: “Step-by-step demonstrations that take you from basic stitches to creative techniques”. It was published in 1973 by presses in New York and London. One downside to the book is that most of the pictures are in black-and-white although there is a nice color section in the center. Other than that the book doesn’t seem too dated and offers lots of great ideas for freeform crochet.

Some Fun Vintage Features

One of the things that I like about vintage crochet books is that they have information you don’t see a lot in modern times. This info can be useful. This book includes:

  • Yarn Chart. It shows the descritions, pros and cons and best uses for various types of yarn and some of it is vintage yarn that you don’t necessarily find info on today. So if you’ve ever wondered how to use that old rug yarn that your aunt gave you or fisherman’s yarn or cowhair then this book can tell you. (Yes, cowhair, apparently used to crochet Western stuff mostly).
  • How to Use a Yarn Swift. I’ve never seen this in a contemporary crochet book so I think it’s kind of fun extra info.
  • Different Names for Familiar Stitches. Today we saw BLO or FLO for crocheting in just the back loop or just the front loop. Apparently in 1973 BLO was called Rib Stitch and FLO was called Albanian Stitch. I love these little insights.
  • Slightly Different Crochet Charts. I don’t typically use crochet charts but from what i can tell the symbols are a little different in this vintage crochet book. I may be wrong on this detail, though. I’m so not a chart-visual style of person.
  • Crocheter’s Work Showcased. There are a lot of crochet items from different designers shown in pictures in this book. I have created a list for myself of people to look up to see if I can get more info on any of them.

The Normal Stuff in this Crochet Book

Although vintage books like this do have those fun bonus things, it’s still your basic crochet instruction book so it has much of what you’re used to from your crochet books including:
  • How to do the basic crochet stitches. Very clear drawings help if a beginner were to come across this book.
  • How to do some basic crochet techniques like weaving in ends.
  • A simple guide to some commonfancy stitcheslike shell sitch. These come with row by row instructions as well as graphs.
  • A guide to making the basic geometric shapes. This mostly explains increases and decreases to get different common shapes.

Project Ideas, Not Patterns

There are row-by-row instructions for some of the things in this book for the most part the instructions are designed to guide you in creating a work rather than tell you exactly how to make something. This makes perfect sense for freeform crochet. So for example, the pillow samplerpatterntells you to make a circle of a certain size, squares of a certain size and then stitch them together in a certain layout but it doesn’t say row-by-row how you have to make your square or what yarn to use or anything like that. In that way, this vintage crochet book is kind of timeless because you could always adapt the ideas to a contemporary design.

A Few Examples

As I said, I’m going to be researching the crocheters with work in the book so I’ll hopefully be able to showcase their work in individual posts but for now here are a few examples of the items that are highlighted in this vintage crochet book.
vintage freeform crochet Creative Crochet: A Vintage Resource on Freeform Crochet
Starry Vest by Dina Schwartz, Cloud Coat by Sharron Hedges, Swan by Cindy Picchi, Geometric Pillow Cover by Pauline Stammer

Buy the Book

This vintage crochet book is available on Amazon Creative Crochet: A Vintage Resource on Freeform Crochet. As of the writing of this post there were copies available priced at as low as $3.

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Creative Crochet: A Vintage Resource on Freeform Crochet

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] crocheters that Nicki Hitz Edson and Arlene Stimmel made in the introduction to their book titled Creative Crochet. I’m curious to see if you agree with it or not [...]

  2. [...] Crochet Quotes Pin ItToday’s crochet quote comes from the vintage freeform crochet book that I reviewed last week. Creative Crochet by Nicki Hitz Edson and Arlene Stammel is a fun book [...]

  3. [...] Crochet Quotes Pin ItToday’s crochet quote comes from the vintage freeform crochet book that I reviewed last week. Creative Crochet by Nicki Hitz Edson and Arlene Stammel is a fun book [...]

  4. [...] areas of crochet that are popular with certain segments of crafters and artists today. For example, Creative Crochet is about freeform crochet and Hard Crochet touches on tapestry crochet. These books mention so many [...]

  5. [...] that I got for the serieslist came from the great 1970s freeform crochet book Creative Crochet. Arlene Stimmel was the co-author of that terrific book. The book explains that New Yorker Stimmel [...]

  6. [...] personally first saw Sharron’s work in my go-to 1970s crochet resource, Creative Crochet by Nicki Hitz Edson and Arlene Stimmel. This book is the ultimate resource on the group of New [...]

  7. [...] 1970s Crochet Designers The 1970s crochet book Creative Crochet shows several pieces of work from a Lannie Martowe. The 1980s book Art to Wear has a few items from [...]

  8. [...] first reference I saw about this artist was in the 1973 freeform crochet art book Creative Crochet by Niki Hitz Edson and Arlene Stimmel. Many of the artists who were featured in this book knew [...]

  9. [...] Dittrick’s work in his own book, Hard Crochet. However, I later saw that he was featured in Creative Crochet, a top crochet resource from the 1970s that was written six years before Dittrick’s own book. [...]

  10. [...] Hawk mentioned two that you already know I love: Creative Crochet and Design Crochet, both from the [...]

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