Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tunisian Crochet: The Look of Knitting With the Ease of Crochet

Most folks know that I have researched Tunisian Crochet for close to 20 years, both in modern and historical resources. I have lamented about the lack of information, and everyone has lamented about the lack of patterns available.

It is my great pleasure to tell you about a new book: Tunisian Crochet: The Look of Knitting with the Ease of Crochet, by Sharon Hernes Silverman. This 115 page large paperback is a welcomed addition to my own Tunisian Crochet Library, and I gladly recommend it.

Employing line drawings, detailed photographs, and step by step instructions, Ms. Silverman provides an excellent overview of the mechanics of Tunisian Crochet to help the beginner; plus new stitch combinations and project patterns that will thrill the experienced crocheter. The 16 patterns include a wide range of projects: home decor, things for babies, clothing for adults and children; she even includes a felted purse.

My particular favorites were the Sweet Baby Dreams Blanket- which combines Front Crossed Simple Stitches with Knit Stitches to create wonderful texture; and the Frosted Stitch Afghan, which uses ‘Shells and Columns’ or what the Victorian’s called The Double Gobelin Stitch.

I truly appreciated the ‘extras’ that Ms. Silverman included: schematics with every clothing project, several pages of body sizing and general measurements for patterns, and a yarn weights table.

The drawbacks in the book are minor: the adult clothing patterns go only to a size Large (No Plus Sizes); and some of the stitch names she uses are different. Most Tunisian Crochet enthusiasts won’t find this a major issue, because we are accustomed to different names for stitches, and she clearly defines the mechanics for all of the stitches she uses. An example: the Tunisian Full Stitch (worked between the stitches) is what she calls the Net Stitch.

Ms. Silverman states that Tunisian Crochet is "designed more for the experienced crocheter," and that is the only statement that I took exception with. From my own experience teaching both classic crochet and Tunisian Crochet, Tunisian Crochet is much easier to learn and master. When I have students who struggle with classic crochet, I can put a long hook in their hands and in two hours they are happily stitching. So, if you find this book in a bookstore near you, and you don’t know how to do Tunisian Crochet, don’t be afraid to try. This book can get you started and provide you with enough projects to get you 'hooked.'

Read more about the book at Sharon's Site:

1 comment:

Sharon Silverman said...

Hi ARNie--

Many thanks for reviewing my book! I hope it will introduce people to Tunisian crochet. Anyone who looks into the craft will certainly discover you as a top resource.

Designing for more sizes is on my list--in fact, I was just on a Ravelry forum today where that very subject is being discussed. A good excuse to do a follow-up volume.

As for the net/full stitch, I used "The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches" as the tie-breaker. It would have been a good idea to say that it is known by both names. Thanks for pointing that out.

I agree completely that Tunisian crochet is not difficult! It's a good idea to get that point across. I did want it to be clear that this book doesn't give basic instructions like how to hold the yarn, how to maintain proper tension, how to make a slip knot, etc. (I cover all that in a previous book, Basic Crocheting.)

Thanks again for taking the time to write about the book, and for the forum, your publications, and your generosity to other crocheters. Here's to Tunisian crochet!

Cheers, Sharon Silverman