Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vintage Crochet: Simply gorgeous

I remember when I first saw Vintage Crochet Back when I considered crochet just a bit déclassé (i.e., knitting's lower-class cousin). Note to crocheters: Since then, I've changed my mind, completely, about this form of artistic expression, so please don't hate me!

The People
Primed by a visit to Posie Gets Cozy, Alicia Paulson's blog, a few weeks earlier, I pulled Susan Cropper's pretty book off the shelf and was immediately lured into its world of elegant brunches, snug little havens, quaint tea parties.

Founder of London's Loop yarn store, Cropper (who also wrote Pretty Knits) is a genius at creating intriguing, lovely scenes. She also knows how to organize designs commissioned from a winning team of designers, including Leigh Radford, Kristeen Griffin-Grimes, Alicia Paulson, and Nicki Trench.

The Patterns
The book's four sections - Boho Babes, Nostalgic Home, Lazy Summers, and Gorgeous Gifts - offer a cohesive collection of gifts, home decor items, toys, accessories, and (of course) garments. All drool-worthy.

From the start, I was delighted by Cropper's modern-yet-vintage inspired aesthetic. Soft pastels mingle with saturated colors. Old-fashioned styles emerge as nostalgic clothing that's eminently wearable. Natural fibers, thank goodness, are used throughout.

What are my favorite Vintage Crochet designs? The easy way out of this question would also be the truth: All of them. But if I HAD to choose, I'd pick:

  • Kate's Breakfast Set (By Kate Samphier; Sorry, the photos currently on Ravelry really don't do it justice.)
(FYI: The pattern links will take you to their Ravelry pages.)

The Lowdown
Beyond its usefulness, however, Vintage Crochet offers the one thing fiber artists/crafters enjoy above all else: Eye candy. Kristin Perers' photography captures the glorious yarns with which the designs have been lovingly crocheted. The lighting is superb, and the styling leaves nothing to be desired.

Should you buy Vintage Crochet? Well, if you enjoy making beautiful, classic clothing and gifts, the answer is: Yes. If you adore all things nostalgic and vintage, the answer is: Yes. If you long for some escapist browsing and/or comfort reading, the answer is: Oh, Yes!

And for those of you who don't know how to crochet? The answer is a resounding: Yes. Because this book will make you want to learn. And hey, who wouldn't want another way to play with yarn? That's what I thought.

The Vitals
Vintage Crochet: 30 Gorgeous Designs for Home - Garden - Fashion - Gifts
By Susan Cropper / Photography by Kristin Perers
Paperback: 144 pages; Publisher: Watson-Guptill (November 13, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0823099768


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