Margaret Hubert is a fabulous crochet designer, teacher and author of more than one dozen crochet books that provide instructions as well as patterns. Her newest title, Customize Your Crochet, combines her many years of experience into one well-written title that offers advanced crochet instruction broken down into simple steps with easy-to-understand language.
Margaret begins the book by teaches us about the four most common body types and describing how to identify which of the four is closest to your shape (or the shape of the person you want to make a crochet cardigan for). She provides detailed information about how to measure your body for fit, not only so that you can make these crochet patterns but so that you have a better understanding of adapting all types of crochet clothing patterns for the right fit.
Then Margaret offers us four crochet cardigan patterns. Each one is made using a different simple but visually intricate crochet stitch pattern. For example, the first crochet pattern uses double crochet stitches but they are worked in a beautiful v-stitch crochet pattern. The original crochet pattern is written for the basic rectangular crochet shape, the same as most other crochet sweater patterns that you may have tried.
However, after we get the regular pattern, we get information about how to alter the pattern. Margaret gives us detailed instructions for increasing and decreasing while maintaining the correct stitch pattern. She then gives additional information about specifically how to adapt the crochet pattern to fit each of the remaining three body types. Working with this information, it shouldn’t be long before you have a good understanding of how crochet shaping works.
This information makes up the bulk of the crochet book but Margaret goes on to offer some additional tips and insights gleaned from her years of experience, information that will help in finishing these pieces and all of your other crochet pieces with a professional look. That information includes:
- Tips for measuring the gauge. She explains why this is an important step in the crochet clothing making process.
- Tips for your foundation chain. You can’t get a good product if you don’t start it off right!
- Why it’s important to count rows when you are working with crochet clothing patterns, rather than just measuring the size of the project.
- How to stitch together crochet seams. Margaret shows us five different seaming options so that you can try different styles and see which one is the best one for you and which one is the best one for a given project.
- Tips for giving attention to the front borders of a crochet project. She explains that this is what people see most on the project and attending to the details here will give you that professional finish you may be seeking.
- Information for measuring and shaping collars and necklines on crochet cardigans.
- Simple guide to blocking your crochet. She doesn’t make a big deal out of it but does tell you how to do it.
- Troubleshooting. She suggests four common problems that you might come across in your crochet and provides solutions to those problems.
This book continues with another crochet pattern – for an open-back girl’s tank top – so we get a chance to explore an entirely different type of shaping for a crochet shirt. Then she gives us crochet patterns for a series of motifs that can be used to embellish this project or any other project – patterns for crochet flowers, fans, leaves and more. Then, she gives us seventeen crochet edging patterns, some of which are independent sew-on patterns. These crochet edging patterns would be great for a variety of different projects beyond the wearables in this particular book.
The end of the book provides us with instructions and insights into how to add additional features to crochet shirts including two types of pockets, buttons and buttonholes, zippers, and even shoulder pads. Although there are only four crochet patterns in this book, this additional information provides tons of options for creating varied crochet cardigans in different designs and styles.