Book Review: Crochet Adorned

I met Linda Permann for the first time at this Summer’s TNNA (National Needle Arts convention.) She was at our Stitch Co-op party and introduced herself to me. When she told me about her book, my eyes really lit up! I’ve been looking for something JUST LIKE THIS.

Crochet Adorned: Reinvent Your Wardrobe with Crocheted Accents, Embellishments, and Trims

As you know, there’s a HUGE surge in crochet right now. Lots of gorgeous patterns have been showing up all over the place from Linda, Robyn Chachula, Amy O’Neil Houck, Julie Holetz, Marly Bird, and longtime designers like Dora Ohrenstein, Doris Chan, Lily Chin, Annie Modesitt, Teva Durham, and many many more. They’re really using crochet in new ways and creating gorgeous garments and accessories.

Seeing all of the new things that crocheters are doing makes ME want to crochet, and I’ve dabbled. A little. Badly:

By the way, what the heck am I doing wearing that thing next to crochet star Kristin Omdahl??

A book like Linda‘s is the perfect resource for someone like me. I already design garments. I already know how to manipulate crochet stitches, I’m just not proficient enough to DESIGN in crochet. Crochet Adorned (Potter Craft, 2009) is full of ways to add a little crochet to another project. Whether that project is a design that I’m working on OR, as in many of the projects in the book, a pre-made dress, jacket, or pair of shoes. Here are all of the projects on Ravelry.

I think that I could handle adding crochet trim to a jacket like this:

And on a good day, I might even be able to muster up enough crochet mojo to accomplish something like this:
sneak peaks from Crochet Adorned

What really makes this book stand out is the fact that all of the crochet instructions are presented in words AND charts. I’m visual. I can crochet from a chart much more easily than I can from a string of abbreviations (remember when you first learned to read patterns…you spend most of the time looking up definitions!)

There are tons of instructions for trims and photos showing how they can be used to decorate LOTS of different things. I like this because it really fuels my own imagination and helps me visualize ways that crochet can be used as an accent. There are also patterns for whole crochet objects, like pillows, table runners, trivets, and more. Linda includes an over-40-page index of stitch patterns for not only lacy trims, but for all-over patterns that could be used for garments, throws, and anything you could imagine.

So, I’m imagining that after working through a few of the add-ons, I might be able to crochet a whole THING!

I know that I will find myself referring to this book a LOT in the course of my own crafting, and definitely will be adding more crochet to my craft arsenal!

Tweed Coat Collar Tutorial: finished

Here’s what the collar looks like when it’s all finished. You can see how it curves around the neckline and even has a little height to the fabric at back neck.

tweed coat collar finished

Sorry if my rugged patio is distracting! I took the photos for today’s post outside because now that it’s nice weather, Mazie wants to be outside ALL THE TIME. I’m encouraging it!

rag rug
AND…Here’s where I am on the crochet rug. It’s only about 2 feet long, so I need to keep going. I’ve got a lot of these fabric strips, but they may not all go together colorwise. We’ll see.

The whole point of crocheting this rug is to get rid of junk lying around (fabric strips) and save $$. BUT. I’m looking at the colors in this rug and wanting a new set of towels for the big bathroom. Hold me back. Maybe I can somehow add some of these colors to the towels we already have?

for some reason we need the splits

It's cloudy here!


…and yes, that deserves a blog post! It’s title-worthy!

We get about 360 days of sun in this part of NM, so I really relish these cool, cloudy days.
I’m making a chicken / black bean / rice / tomato / cilantro / onion / garlic soup in the crock pot and doing laundry. Mazie’s taking a little nap.

It’s quiet, cloudy, cool, and the house smells of soup and clean clothes! I’ve got the windows open and there’s a breeze and lots of birds are chirping. I’m so effing COZY I can’t stand it. It’s cozy with a little tinge of rainy-day melancholy.

bathroom rug closeup

I started working on a new rug for the bathroom. The one we have now is made of recycled saris, and little threads of silk are everywhere. (It’s been through the washing machine many times.) Mazie has been spotted eating these threads…so I’m putting it elsewhere.

The new rug is (going to be) crocheted. I used to make a ton of braided rag rugs, and have lots of strips of fabric. Crocheting seems like a more direct method of construction. No braiding. No sewing huge braids together.

bathroom rug day 1
This is about an hour’s work.

I don’t have a pattern, I just chained about 10 sts, then dc and turn, sc into each st of chain. Then at each end, I do 2sc in every-other ch, to turn the corners smoothly. (In other words, I’m winging it.)

My hands are a mess right now, aren’t they? I’ve been stressing the last few days and my eczema is in full effect. And I’m biting my nails. I can stop biting them for months at a time, then something triggers it again. If I file them down all smooth, I can usually stop. I read someplace the nail biters are perfectionists. Which is why we / they bite. Can’t stand any jagged edges. I think it’s nerves, more than anything.

I want to learn to crochet

…so that I can make things like this. Even though I am nowhere NEAR that level, I’m getting this book (crochet me).

ETA: I also want to make pretty much everything on the preview page here.

Ii know LOTS of the designers in this book! That makes it even more fun to think about making these clothes!! :)