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Rusalka Wrap

Rusalka Wrap

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Here's the blurb from Lark's website:

This isn’t just another crochet project book; it’s an exploration of the craft’s creative possibilities! Designer Dora Ohrenstein closely examines crochet’s three basic variables—hook, yarn, and stitch—and how their infinite combinations create distinctive fabrics. Dozens of swatches show which techniques will result in a structured, hardwearing fabric or a lacy one that drapes; how a yarn can either hide or show off stitch patterns; and which crochet patterns can mimic plaid or colorful African designs. Fifteen projects move readers from theory into practice.

Pre order the book here



I had a great time working on this book. It made me clarify my thoughts on the challenges and solutions for designing crochet fabric with today's yarns.  Have you ever noticed that stitch dictionaries tend to use the thinnest yarns to show various stitch patterns? That's because many of them don't work with heavier yarns -- but then again, sometimes they do. And some very simple patterns look amazing with the right yarn and hook. In this book, I aimed to make sense of all this. There are chapters on analyzing stitch patterns, understanding the nature of different yarns, learning to control the drape of fabric, creating texture and structure, color work, about 100 swatches, and lots more. Also 15 pretty projects and a stitch dictionary with 30 patterns, many of them unusual.

My editor from Lark, Terry Taylor, was a great help in organizing both my thoughts and the book itself.  And he let me name all the projects after opera heroines! Check out the swatches pictured on the back cover to get an idea of what's inside.

Here's a quote from the chapter called Designing Crochet Fabric

"The strong definition of crochet stitches can be an asset that makes stitch patterns crisp and beautiful. On the other hand, there are instances where it's preferable to minimize the stitch definition, which can be accomplished with fuzzy or very soft yarns. To have individual stitches disappear completely, you can turn to variegated yarns.  What the crochet stitch may lack in delicacy, it makes up for in many other ways. Knitted stitches must always be done in rows; crochet stitches have more structural integrity. They can latch on to one another at any point, in any direction, all bunched together into a small space or set apart with only chains between. It’s this architectural quality that gives crochet its marvelous ability to create shapes and patterns. I call this 'crochet graphics,' and it’s a very important factor in the mastery of essential tools.

When stitch definition is absent, it's useful to have other ways to give visual definition to crochet fabric. One way to do this is to use well-defined stitch patterns. The essence of every stitch pattern is a repeating visual of some kind, and one has to choose a yarn that allows that visual to come through.  Some stitch patterns are defined by grouping stitches together, forming shapes like fans and shells. These shapes stand out well in the fabric, because we can see the stitches moving in various directions. Even more clear to the eye are open work stitch patterns, where the shapes are surrounded by air. Stitch patterns are one of the great resources crochet has at its disposal, and they come in so many guises that there's one to suit almost any yarn you can imagine."





Lucia Scarf

Lucia Scarf

Faust and Marguerite

Faust and Marguerite


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Creating Crochet Fabric

Just bought CREATING CROCHET FABRIC at a LYS Anniversarycelebration, where we had the added pleasure of meeting Dora.  The book is wonderful - a treasure trove of wonderful stitches, patterns and color adventures.

Can't wait to play with my hooks and yarn!

Amazing stuff, Dora! I love

Amazing stuff, Dora! I love the hats, especially Chapeau Lulu. Off to preorder now!

Aw shucks, thank you Kathy!

Aw shucks, thank you Kathy!