Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Crochet Workshop by James Walters

VintageNPotW 400

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This week’s pick: Crochet Workshop by James Walters.

Source:  Amazon.com

Publication date: 1983 reprint of a 1979 publication.

Status: Out of print, but available online (sometimes, for exorbitant prices)  Update: Thanks to PlanetJune for letting me know that Crochet Workshop will be republished by Dover next year.  You can order it on Amazon here.

Condition: Good.

Craft: Crochet.

Crochet Workshop cover

I first learned about this delightful book from Crochetbug.  (You can learn more about James Walters in this post on Crochet Concupiscence.)  Unfortunately, the book’s condition is such that it is difficult to enjoy.  You see, it reeks of smoke.  One day, I hope to air it out enough for me to actually want to read through it, but until then, I am limited to brief moments of picking it up until the smell is unbearable, and then washing my hands profusely.

I did take some time to photograph it so I could share some of it with you.

Crochet Workshop 8 suit
A freeform crochet body suit.

You can almost immediately feel the sense of whimsy, creativity, and joy that Walters has to offer.

Crochet Workshop 67 shaping

The book includes all kinds of information that you would rarely see in a crochet book today.  As a freeform pioneer, Walters shows you how to create your own projects, rather than rely solely on patterns.

Crochet Workshop 105 swirls

There are many great illustrations, and I can’t tell if these are by Walters or someone else.  Here is one showing the progression of various spiral crochet pieces

Crochet Workshop 156 motif2Crochet Workshop 157 motif1

These are part of a section that explains how to construct motifs of different kinds.

Crochet Workshop 207 freeform

There are examples of several freeform garments included in the book…

Crochet Workshop 214 hairpin

as well as explorations of specialized techniques, like hairpin lace.

Crochet Workshop 215 hairpin lace risque

Most of the projects are displayed artfully, rather than functionally.

Crochet Workshop 248 thigh highs

I really wish I could bear to read through this book, because I am sure I would learn a lot and be completely inspired.

Crochet Workshop 225 gown

Hopefully, one day it will come back into print (or be available as an ebook) and I will have the chance to read it cover to cover.  Until then, does anyone have any tips for removing foul odors from books?

Favorite Online Crochet Resources: Project Inspiration at Crochetbug

Every Saturday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be highlighting one of my favorite online crochet resources. Today’s featured site is Crochetbug.

This post contains affiliate links.

There are many great blogs that I follow.  Crochetbug, written by Leslie Stahlhut, is unique among them.  Crochetbug is Leslie’s personal crochet odyssey.  Her posts read like a personal journey or diary of her crochet life.  At the same time, crocheters everywhere can relate to the experiences she shares through her compelling writing and photos: the challenges of managing stash, finishing projects for deadlines, dealing with creative blocks, and the joys of finding new patterns and projects.

I always find inspiration in her posts, even when she is using patterns or colors that I’m not necessarily attracted to.  If you’re looking for some political inspiration, check out her Crochet Manifesto.  And, if you like suspense, following the progress of Leslie’s annual crochet entry into the county fair is a guaranteed nail biter.  (Spoiler alert: She’ll finish on time, and her project will be awesome.  But you’ll still be on the edge of your seat!)

Leslie also loves vintage books, and introduced me to three that I now own: Magic Motif Crochet (her posts about the textured square), Crochet Workshop (her post), and Better Homes and Gardens Crocheting & Knitting (her posts on the sampler blanket).

You can also find Leslie on Ravelry as crochetbug13.  I hope you’ll check out Crochetbug if you haven’t already!