When I was approached by Dora Ohrenstein’s publisher requesting a review of her new book, The New Tunisian Crochet ~ Contemporary Designs from Time-Honored Traditions, I, of course, said “Yes!” Dora is a great crochet friend and tireless campaigner for our beloved craft. I expected a good book out of Dora, what I got in the mail was nothing short of BRILLIANCE!
This is a book for the crochet lover who has everything. This is a book for the crochet lover who is looking for adventure, creative exploration and discovery. This is a book that belongs on hallowed bookshelf (or project bag) space next to such revered classics as James Walters and Silvia Cosh’s masterpiece “Harmony Guide to Crochet, Vol. 1″.
Dora is well known for her love of history and her treks throughout Europe and Asia seeking out our crochet roots. She begins The New Tunisian Crochet with a fascinating look at Tunisian Crochet’s history, showing a thoroughness one has come to expect from Dora. If you are hoping to find proof this interesting blend of crochet and knit came from North Africa, you will be disappointed, in fact Dora points out that we still don’t know it’s origins. This mystery technique is shrouded in legend, that’s okay, the rest of the book allows us to write a great Tunisian story, not on a word processor or in ink, but via our hooks.
The book is one third history and technique, one third stitch dictionary and one third patterns. Regardless of your approach to crochet this book will serve your style. For this Free Form crochet lover, the stitch dictionary screamed out to me to grab hook and yarn and start playing.
This is a combo swatch using
“Stitch number 4″ and “Stitch number 6″ I used single crochet (sc) to break up the stitches.
What I really love about the stitch dictionary is that it gives you room to learn and grow and then Dora points out that you can experiment and make new discoveries on your own. I LOVE that! I love that Dora is part of the LIBERATION from have to “do it this way” and “MUST crochet this way”! (Hugs and kisses to you Dora!)
Let’s talk patterns for a moment… Now this book is HUGELY detailed, and we would have had to wait eons if Dora had to produce all of the patterns herself, so what did she do? She brought in her crochet friends, masters of design and form, to help create one of the single most beautiful pattern collections in Tunisian crochet (or any crochet really) that I have seen in some time. (Yes, this book excites me.)
Vashti Braha explores open and lacy tunisan stitches, Doris Chan offers a beautiful skirt also in lacy open work, Andrea Graciarena brings us an elegant classic long cardigan, Charles Voth brings us a classic and very handsome cabled men’s vest, Lilly Chin (oh Lilly you marvelous creature) gives us colorwork and texture in a “girl about town” hat and mitten set, Lisa Daehlin’s sampler afghan is one of my favorite pieces in the book, offering you the chance to play with stitches, Margaret Hubert (one of my favorite people on the planet!) brings us Entrelac Tunisian in the form of a fun bag that is definitely bound to get anyone a MILLION complements… And Dora Ohrenstein designs some of the most lovely and fun projects ranging from a fun scarf, the cutest booties and a fascinating geometric throw rug.
Is it too good to be true? All of this crochet lusciousness in one book? Can it really be? Yes, yes it is. It is beyond luscious. And I am proud to see CLF Pro’s Vashti and Charles included in such a worthy hookalicious tome.
This is a FIVE HOOK book.
(Yes, the links are affiliate links. I was sent a copy of the book for review, I did not guarantee a positive review in return for the book. No I am not giving away the copy I received in the mail, because it is mine, I tell you, this book is mine, and I am not lending it out, giving it away or sharing it, I am keeping it greedily to myself.)
Photo Credit: Joe Hancock Photos used from www.crochetinsider.com
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Interweave Press (February 19, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596685530
- ISBN-13: 978-1596685536
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches