Waterstones Newsletter:This is a wonderful book! I love the pictorial crochet cover photo, and on first flicking through the pages was disappointed to see a collection of instructions for motifs rather than anything so complex. However, as soon as I sat down to read the book, I was immediately drawn in by the author's friendly, engaging style of writing. She has a wonderfully refreshing attitude: if you're not sure about something, try it anyway! If it doesn't work, try something else! She is not prescriptive in terms of yarns etc, and actively encourages the reader to experiment wih colour, texture, and design.This is a far more intuitive book than Jenny Dowde's books on the same subject. Kirkpatrick provides information in terms of stitches and motifs and how to use them, alongside personal anecdotes and advice, and galleries of completed pieces showing the amazing effects you can achieve. The way she explains as she goes along makes everything seem achievable, no matter your level of experience. The final 20 pages cover the 'beyond' mentioned in the title (although knitting is included with crochet throughout). This section includes wet and dry felting, vilene, embroidery, and a fun few pages about weaving, using various self-constructed small, basic looms. These subjects are obviously not covered comprehensively but give sufficient overview that you can see the different ways they can be utilised to experiment further yourself.If you feel you need more explicit guidance before you begin 'freeforming', try Jenny Dowde's books ('Freeform Knitting and Crochet' and 'Freeformations') which offer a good range of projects to learn the different techniques. They also give a good grounding in colour and basic design theory, along with additional stitches and motifs that you can incorporate into your own pieces, so they make great companions to this book, regardless. However, if I was only going to buy one book on the subject of freeform crochet, Renate Kirkpatrick's would be the one. Although specifically not project-based, it provides all the tools and information you could need to embark on such impressive pieces as the cover design, but also to discover your own style and way of working. In addition to that, I found I simply liked the book, in the same way I might enjoy chatting with an old friend. There should be more books like that on everybody's shelf! Start your freedom journey with this brilliant book, full of friendly advice, inspiration and patterns for motifs. Your personal creativity is encouraged at every step and even beginners will be inspired to make hats, bags, scarves, cushions and much more.-Simply Crochet
About the Author
Born in Germany in 1951, Renata Kirkpatrick grew up in windy Wollongong and in 1974 settled on the Sunshine Coast with her husband Glenn where they operate a small commercial Signwriting and Screenprinting business. Renate has experimented with pottery, exhibited and conducted workshops in papermaking, and has won a Fibre Art Award in rag rugging. Five years ago, as crochet made its huge resurgence, Renate's extensive knowledge in Traditional Tunisian (Tricot), Jacquard, Crochenit (double-ended hook) and more recently Freeform techniques has led to her conducting monthly workshops and weekly classes.