Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Review: Crochet Master Class

I sold one of my personal crochet books to one of my workshop student this week and feeling a little bereft - my crochet books are like dear friends - decided to treat myself to a replacement. My local Barnes and Noble bookstore has a wonderful selection of crochet books and being rather particular and not a big shopper I find I need to have a good look before I buy.  

Advanced crochet techniques: Tunisian crochet, Hairpin lace,
Filet crochet and Double-ended crochet clockwise from top left

The book that stood out on the shelf was Crochet Master Class by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss published in 2010 by Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. It features eighteen crochet techniques each taught by an innovative master crocheter. These super talented master teachers have found new ways to use their hooks or resurrected old techniques. These are the celebrities who keep our craft alive and truly inspire me! I linked the names to their Ravelry profiles where I was able to find them.

We read the story of how each master started out. This is particularly fascinating to me because a creative career is never straightforward as you probably know! Each master then provides instruction on how to do the technique and then includes a project which was written specially for this book. The pattern is helpfully rated by the skill level needed from beginner to experienced so that you can pick one that is suitable for your skill level. The projects are simply inspiring. I am finding it difficult knowing which one to start with.

I am familiar with some of techniques thanks to the second Craft Yarn Council teaching certificate I took. I made swatches of Tunisian crochet (Julia Bryant), Hairpin lace (Jennifer Hansen), Double-ended crochet (Darla J. Fenton) and Filet crochet (Harmut Hass) as part of the course. My samples are above clockwise from top left. I just realized after taking this photo that I also made a Tapestry crochet (Carol Ventura) swatch - it's called Fair Isle crochet too.

A student asked me to teach her Bead crochet (Lydia Borin) so I had to teach myself first! I loved it. And I have a little experience in making the crochet cables that are involved in Aran crochet (Jane Snedden Peever) too. Such fun!

The other techniques in the book are brand new to me and I can't wait to try them out:
  • Woven crochet (Jenny King)
  • Entrelac crochet (Joyce Wyatt)
  • Fashion crochet (Margaret Hubert)
  • Tassels (Nancy Nehring
  • Bullion stitch (Bonnie Pierce)
  • Overlay crochet (Melody MacDuffee)
  • Bruges crochet (Tatyana Mirer)
  • Painted crochet (Ferosa Harold)
  • Free-form crochet (Prudence Mapstone)
  • Irish crochet (Maire Treanor)
  • Wire crochet (Nancie Wiseman)
This book would be ideal for anyone who like me has a good grasp of all the basics and wants to challenge themselves with a new technique. There is nothing like a bit skill-building in the craft you love. The book also contains a refresher course in crochet in the back pages so if you were a little rusty but keen you could have a go at that and then pick one of the techniques with a beginner rated accompanying project. Yay! Everyone is happy :)


kathy b said...

Cool I am sending the link to my sister for crochet

Crafty Escapism said...

I'm sure she will enjoy it Kathy. Hope all goes well with you and yours :)

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