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Customize Your Crochet: Adjust to fit; embellish to taste Paperback – September 15, 2015
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"Margaret Hubert is a fabulous crochet designer, teacher and author of more than one dozen crochet books that provide instructions as well as patterns. Her newest title, Customize Your Crochet, combines her many years of experience into one well-written title that offers advanced crochet instruction broken down into simple steps with easy-to-understand language." - Kathryn, Crochet Concupiscence blog
"The patterns are professionally written and easy to follow, and the cardigans are modeled on women of all sorts of shapes to demonstrate the fit." - Library Journal
About the Author
Margaret Hubert is the author of more than 20 crochet and knitting books, including Plus Size Crochet, Knits for Men, Knit or Crochet--Have It Your Way, The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet, The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting, The Granny Square Book, Lacework for Adventurous Crocheters, Runway Crochet, and Customize Your Knitting. She has enjoyed a lifelong career designing both crochet and knit patterns for yarn companies and book and magazine publishers. Hubert also teaches at yarn shops, retreats, and national gatherings, and rarely misses a national conference in the needle-arts field. She lives in Pawling, New York.
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Unlike knitting, there is very little available on how to alter and customize crocheted garments. Two books that do a much better job are:
Couture Crochet Workshop The information about fitting and shaping is invaluable. The technical material is presented well and is essential for anyone who wants to customize their pattern.
Custom Crocheted Sweaters: Make Garments that Really Fit
Which covers topics such as:
Altering Body and Sleeve Lengths,
Fine-Shaping Necklines and Shoulder Straps,
Blocking to Your Measurements,
Widening the Collar,
Altering Length and Waist Placement,
Master Class in Fitted Armholes,
Adjusting Size by Changing Gauge,
Master Class on Armholes and Sleeve Caps,
Lengthening Sleeves in an Angled Pattern,
Internal Shaping with a Bust Dart,
Widening Sleeves with Internal Shaping,
Master Class in Sleeve Alteration,
Adding Neckline Depth,
Bust Alteration in Top-Down Design,
Length and Waist Alterations, and
Master Class in Bust Alteration.
Oh, and math. It is well known that, in general, many crocheters (and knitters too) believe themselves to be math challenged so tend to avoid it whenever possible. Dora attempts to address this by talking the reader through the math of making changes related to gauge, stitch pattern repeats, etc. If you’re serious about customizing (or designing) your sweaters these concepts cannot be ignored.
Sadly, the topics vital to successfully customizing ANY pattern are not really covered in sufficient detail nor are step by step instructions provided on how to customize patterns (other than the four in the book) in Customize Your Crochet: Adjust to fit; embellish to taste, hence my disappointment.
Margaret's new book offers instructions in a very clear and easy to understand manner. Beginning with identifying body type the book helps us to understand what modifications need to be made in order to create a flattering item.
The area where it excels, is in teaching us how to make the modifications and apply that information to any pattern. The book does contain 4 cardigan patterns and shows how to customize for each body type. So you can start by following one of these and then move onto customizing patterns from your favorite book, blog or designer.
The "Finish Like a Pro" section offers great information on giving your work the polish that it deserves. I especially like the hints on fixing mistakes and working with zippers.
This is definitely a good addition to the library of anyone interested in making crochet garments that really fit and flatter. On a final note, this paperback book has a flexible spine that nicely lays open on the table (I tend to avoid books that don't!). The photography is well done and the clean graphics make it easy to see how things are supposed to look. All things that help make a good book!
The basic premise of the book is that if you have not been happy with how fitted crochet patterns have turned out, you are probably not taking into account your unique body shape. Hubert has step-by-step instructions on how to adapt standard patterns for each of the four main body types. The book includes fully illustrated instructions for four cardigans and a crop top. The reader is shown through clear photos how to adapt and embellish each pattern to accommodate broad shoulders, ample hips or tiny waists. Included are detailed instructions for more than two dozen embellishments such as motifs, edgings, pockets ,button covers and shoulder pads.
In addition to all this, there is a chapter on how to improve your finishing techniques to get results you would love to wear.
The sweater patterns range from easy to experienced, with most in the intermediate category. The patterns are beautiful and are almost all crocheted in DK or light worsted weight yarns. Hubert's designs are inspiring.
This book has found a place on my go-to shelf of crochet reference books. I recommend it unreservedly for crocheters of all levels.