Saturday, March 22, 2008

Vintage Crochet by Susan Cropper

The cover pattern on the hardcover edition of Vintage Crochet has had me salivating for a while now - I think it's a stunner in a book of gorgeous patterns. Until I actually had this book in hand, however, I thought this was simply a collection of lovely old patterns, reconsidered and recreated in fresh yarns, and lovingly photographed. But it is actually a collection of 30 specially-commissioned designs meant to evoke the wistful sense of vintage, and in this mission, it is eminently successful.

Susan Cropper's soft and nostalgic photos complement the designs beautifully. As the owner of Loop, a fashionable yarn shop in fashionable London, she is acutely aware of yarn quality and all the designs are created using top-of-the-line yarns. You can see the quality in how the stitches are rendered and in the drape of the fabrics created.

The book covers wearables, garden items, gifts, and home decor. They are imaginative patterns, too. There is an adorable bunny that is blissfully not an amigurumi design, and a clever canopy using bamboo tape. Several designs use fabric strips instead of yarn to gorgeous effect. And, because this is about vintage, there are no iPod cozies, another plus in my book (am I the only one sick to death of these?). Okay, a couple of the wearables were deemed "matronly" by my 20-something colleague at work - and I have to agree - but overall, this is a fab addition to your crochet library and very highly recommended by the Hooker.

Loop is a shop I will most definitely be visiting next time I'm in London, devalued-dollar-be-damned!
Reviews of Crochet Books, Magazines, and Patterns, new and old.