So, earlier today I tweeted that I had found nothing to blog about; a rare event indeed! Upon returning home from the Tuesday library trip, I found this wonderful package awaiting me on the kitchen counter. Oh yes, the book I have eagerly awaited ever since I saw the early advertisement in the Yarn Market News sometime in Dec/Jan. The book? Doris Chan’s Crochet Lace Innovations, 20 Dazzling Designs in Broomstick, Hairpin, Tunisian and Exploded Lace.
Doris Chan has produced a masterful guide to working with broomstick, hairpin lace and of course her wonderful exploded lace technique. Let me have you walk through my review ritual, because yes, I have one even if it is just a personal review for my own use.
First I pick up the book and feel it, I stare at the cover taking in the jacket design, and flip over the back to read reviews (if any), and peruse the back cover. Next, I flip through the book in fits and starts, scanning photos, and looking for anything that just immediately grabs my attention (for good or ill). Then, I put the book down, do dishes, or laundry or some other chore, maybe even weed in the garden. I ruminate on the cursory scan I did on the book, and let what designs caught my attention dominate my thoughts. Once the rumination is complete, which can be as little as twenty minutes or as much as an hour, I make a cup of tea and settle down in a favorite spot and begin reading the book.
Let me tell you this, I didn’t ponder long on this book before I was itching to sit in my favorite spot and pour through the pages. Now, truth be told I’m not a lace wearer, but I am a lace maker. I love making lace, and even though for me personally it’s not a great part of my wardrobe, I love making it for people who do love to wear it. And here is the revelation about this book, there is more than one project in this book that I would make for me to wear and most likely will!
Now to the guts of the review:
Doris had me at “Hello.” I always make an effort to read an author’s introduction, for me it’s vitally important to understanding the purpose of the book. This is the one place in the book, especially in non-fiction, where an author is at their leisure, allowing their philosophy to infuse the experience of the content driven material. I’ve met Doris, I know she is a woman of amazing skill and motivation, I wanted to read what she had to say, and what she says in the introduction made me smile quietly, nod my head and say a mental thank you. I don’t want to ruin your experience by spoiling, I’m just saying after you get done flipping through the beautifully photographed book, make sure you take time to sit down with your beverage of choice and read the prose she composed; it’s more than worth the read.
Even if you do not make lace, get the book. There is invaluable information on the techniques listed in the title, as well as very important information on construction of garments. Even if you have yet to venture further from belts and scarves, you will want this book, after all it has a little of both. Not to mention some gorgeous clothing and low and behold templates for making garments. Yes, you heard me templates!
Whether you are just beginning your forray in crochet or you are an old hand, this book is a treasure. I know that’s trite, but in this case it’s true. This one goes into the hallowed space of my much used books, right next to my highly prized 1962 McCall’s Needlework Magazine (July), and my 1st Edition of The Harmony Guide to Crochet, Vol I. For those of you in the know, that’s a very hallowed place indeed.
Ever the crochet champion I salute Doris Chan, who also champions crochet at ever turn. And did I mention you can expect expertly written and detailed patterns, great illustrations, and marvelously crafted directions? No, I guess I didn’t, well expect them.