Saturday, May 26, 2012

Custom Crocheted Sweaters

I am looking through a fabulous book by Dora Ohrenstein called Custom Crochet Sweaters . This is her latest book published by Lark Crafts.

What can I say. The designs in this book take my breath away. I love that every single design is elegant, wearable and fits beautifully. The focus of this book is on providing the reader with certain tools and knowledge that he/she will be using to make the next garment fit.

Dora begins with an important and a lot of times underestimated stage of the custom design: taking correct measurements and understanding the fit for your body. For those who are new to making garments in crochet, there are lessons on reading a pattern and schematics, shaping and alterations, importance of gauge (if you ever thought it's o.k. not to make a gauge swatch, after reading this book you will change your mind. I guarantee that.), and finishing.

Each of the designs can be done as is, if the measurements fit you just as you like it, or you can modify it with the help of the author. At the end of each pattern there is a lesson that you can study and follow to alter that particular pattern. After reading through all the patterns and their lessons, you can also combine what you have learned and apply to other designs or, if you are that brave, design your own garment.

So, this book is not the type you look through, put on the shelf and never touch again. It is a reference book with the information on custom design and a perfect fit. It is a huge leap from what many people used to think when they heard the word "crochet".

Dora loves good and sophisticated clothes and loves to crochet. In this book she is sharing with us both the craft of designing in crochet and the fashion trends that she admires. Above are some of the designs from this book. The rest you will appreciate only after reading through it. I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Giveaway of Complements Collection by Kristin Omdahl

You are at the next stop of the blog tour for the Complements Collection.
This collection is a product of wonderful collaboration of a prolific designer Kristin Omdahl and Bijou Basin Ranch. This collection of 13 designs is released at a perfect time. Summer is coming and we all want to work on small projects either we are on a trip or at home. You can choose patterns that use only one skein of yarn or up to three.

Whatever you choose, I guarantee that you will enjoy working with this exquisite yarns and well-written and clever designs that Kristin offers in this collection. When I look through this book I recognize the yarns featured there. I worked with Bijou Basin Ranch and I can appreciate the way Kristin is letting the natural characteristics of these yarns shine by the way she is using them in her designs. The drape is incredible and when you look at this knitted shawl, for example, you want it to hug you with its softness.

The designs in this book call you to explore the use of both crafts and see the exceptional qualities of both. If you do only one of these crafts, maybe it is time for you to try the other? This shawl is crocheted and looks very soft with a nice drape.

I think it is wonderful to see a book that gives us this opportunity to expand our skills and do something different. The projects in this book range in difficulty and the are some designs for a beginner.  I love this cowl. It is interesting and fun. Wouldn't you like to make it? It is on my list, for sure.

I had a chance to ask Kristin a few questions. See our conversation below.

FG: Kristin, I love this elegant collection of small projects that people can take on a trip. Can you say a few words about the yarns you chose for these projects? Are they easy to handle? What behavior were you expecting from the yarns for some specific projects?

Kristin: Thank you! I love the yarns I chose for these projects. Some I chose based on weight, others on yardage, and I'm always drawn to how the color varies from one fiber blend to another.

FG: This book has both crochet and knit designs. It is about time that we see such collection. Are you encouraging people who only knit or crochet to try something new as they are looking at your beautiful designs? Or you are offering a little bit of each so everybody can find a pattern that apply to the skills they have?

Kristin: Both, actually. I have always knit and crocheted simultaneously. I wanted to explore being inspired by something and creating a vision in each craft, but not identically. For example, the shawls are inspired by a scallop sea shell from the beach near my house. Each shawl has a predominate scallop shape, but they are not identically made but in the different crafts. And the tiered cowls, while they are both tiered, they are constructed differently and have different types of edging (and obviously one is knit and the other is crocheted).

FG:. Should we hope to see more of this type collections from you?

Kristin: I still have a few tricks up my sleeves :) Thankfully!!

This book is available on the Bijou Basin Ranch website. A few of the projects from the book are also available separately as kits.
And now...

Bijou Basin Ranch is very generously providing a copy of this eBook for me to give to a lucky reader of my blog. What do you need to do to win this book? Just leave a comment with a few words about Kristin Omdahl's designs and if you ever used the Bijou Basin Ranch yarns. Any fun stories about your knitting experiences or your trip projects also will count. Let's have some fun here. Summer is coming after all.

Do not miss all other wonderful blogs on this tour. Next stop is tomorrow at Romi's Studio.


meppybn !!!

 Could you send me your email address, please?  I will forward it so you can get your e-copy of this wonderful book.