Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.
As part of this month’s focus on hairpin lace, I’m sharing a review of Doris Chan‘s Crochet Lace Innovations: 20 Dazzling Designs in Broomstick, Hairpin, Tunisian, and Exploded Lace, along with a giveaway sponsored by Potter Craft/The Crown Publishing Group!
This post contains affiliate links.
Doris Chan is well known for her flirty crochet garments and her focus on lace. Crochet Lace Innovations, first published in 2010, is a pattern book that explores three specialized crochet techniques (broomstick lace, hairpin lace, and Tunisian crochet) along with what Doris calls “exploded lace” (crocheting lace patterns similar to what you would see in thread in yarns with a larger hook for a better drape).
The book opens with an introduction where Doris shares her passion for crochet. This is followed by a How to Use This Book page.
The next 3 sections, Broomstick Lace, Hairpin Lace, and Tunisian Lace, include an overview of the crochet lace technique along with a written and illustrated tutorial and a list of tips for success. The next 3 sections focus on variations of exploded lace: Exploded Motifs, Exploded Doily Lace, and Exploded Lace Trim. The book closes with a section called Garment 101, where Doris shares detailed annotated patterns for Jacket 101 and Skirt 101. Finally, there is a resources section which includes a guide to crochet stitch symbols and abbreviations, and links to yarns, tools, and crochet websites.
- Skill level: This book is geared towards an intermediate to advanced crocheter. There are 8 easy patterns, 6 intermediate patterns, and 7 experienced patterns.
- Techniques: There are 3 broomstick lace patterns, 3 hairpin lace patterns, 4 Tunisian crochet patterns, and 11 exploded lace patterns.
- Project types: There are 8 top patterns (including jackets, vests, sleeved tops, and a poncho), 4 skirt patterns, 4 wraps/stoles/scarves, 2 belts, 1 dress, and 1 collar.
What I like about this book:
- Doris has a conversational style but isn’t too chatty.
- The designs are striking and the photos make you want to pick up your hook and start crocheting!
- There are schematics including for the garments and there are stitch symbols for most patterns in addition to US pattern abbreviations.
- This book allows you to explore several different crochet techniques while making women’s garments and accessories.
Some challenges about this book:
- A true beginner to some of the special techniques may find the illustrations difficult to use as a primary learning resource. Luckily, there are many online tutorials for broomstick lace (you can find a roundup here), hairpin lace (a beginner’s roundup here), and Tunisian crochet.
- There isn’t much discussion about under layering. It would be great if Doris would have shared more ideas about how to layer to wear these designs in real life.
- Like all mostly pattern books, your enjoyment will be based on how many of the patterns you want to make. Check out the Ravelry source page for the book here to see thumbnails of all designs included in the book.
Overall, I would recommend this book to an intermediate to advanced crocheter (or an adventurous, confident, and patient beginner!) who enjoys crocheted women’s garments and accessories. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
So, has this review left you itching for your own copy of Crochet Lace Innovations? To enter, visit the Ravelry source page here and leave a comment letting me know which pattern you would crochet first. This giveaway is open to U.S. readers only. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, June 2, 2015! Please note that only entries in the Rafflecopter widget will be counted, so be sure to log your entries there.