Do you know people who think crocheted clothes are frumpy or old-fashioned? Sure, there are plenty of stiff, dense crocheted sweaters and other garments out there — but please don’t automatically conclude that crochet can’t be used for creating wearable clothing.
Crochet can be almost as light-as-air; it can float and fit and drape and flatter.
If so, check out Kristin Omdahl’s book, Crochet So Fine: Exquisite Designs With Fine Yarns.
Author: Kristin Omdahl
Publisher: Interweave Press
Copyright Date: 2010
ISBN 13: 978-1-59668-198-9
- Trade paperback with perfect binding
- Digital PDF ebook
- Amazon Kindle e-book
Number of Pages: 160
Cover Price: $22.95 US dollars
Crochet Projects Included in This Book:
Crochet So Fine features instructions for 21 different projects:
- 7 wraps and shawls
- 3 hats
- 2 scarves
- 1 neck warmer
- 1 bag
- 3 tunics suitable for ladies who wear sizes S – XL
- 3 cardigans suitable for ladies who wear sizes S – XL
- 1 top suitable for ladies who wear sizes S – L
This pattern collection puts an emphasis on distinctively feminine lace designs that would be appropriate for special occasions. There are also some everyday items as well; it’s split about half and half between everyday apparel and things you’d want to wear when you go out for the evening — perhaps to a wedding, party, dinner out, clubbing with your girlfriends or dancing with your sweetheart.
The Crochet Shawl and Wrap Patterns:
- Dragonfly Shawl — This delicate, feminine shawl features a center panel of lacy crocheted motifs that resemble dragonflies. It’s lovely.
- Starry Night Wrap: This is a lacy, romantic one-skein crochet project that utilizes crochet motifs joined using the join-as-you-go technique.
- Orchid Circular Shawl — This shawl resembles a gigantic doily. The design features clones knot stitches and a floral edging that’s added seamlessly onto the shawl. The end result is dramatic and eye-catching.
- Sprout Chains Shawlette — This is a sophisticated design that looks like something you’d break the bank to buy at a trendy, high-end boutique. Of course, you might also break the bank to buy the suggested yarn for this pattern, which is silk.
- Diamonds Shawl — At first glance, this classic lace shawl almost looks knitted.
- Spiral Waves Shawl: This is a unique and dramatic shawl featuring a spiral design as the central motif. The shawl is designed to be a square; with a finished size of 60 inches, it’s gigantic. This is a design that would work well for tall or large-boned women; for a petite figure, I think it would be overwhelming. Personally, if I were going to crochet this, I’d be tempted to use thicker yarn and use it as a blanket.
- Shimmer Beaded Lace Cape — In my opinion, this pattern is a definite winner. The cape is sophisticated, with gorgeous details; the shape will flatter most figures, and the design is versatile enough that it could complement many different ensembles. LI>
Accessories: Crocheted Scarves, Hats and a Bag
- Cables and Lace Broomstick Hat — This hat is worked using the intriguing technique of broomstick lace. The design is both practical and lovely; it looks both warm and wearable. It was also originally made using machine-washable yarn. Unfortunately, the suggested yarn for the pattern (Lion Brand Microspun) has now been discontinued. The Lion Brand website suggests substituting any acrylic yarn with a weight of “3” on the yarnstandards.com weight scale; however, for this particular hat design, I disagree with that substitution suggestion. If I were to make this hat, I definitely wouldn’t use ordinary acrylic; I’d want to try something more luxurious — perhaps a lovely merino wool yarn, like Knitpicks Swish DK. It could also be interesting to try a smooth organic cotton version of the hat using a yarn like Debbie Bliss Eco Baby. I haven’t yet attempted yet to see if I could get the right gauge for this project with either yarn, but it’s on my to-do list to try.
- Amour Sequin Lace Scarf: This narrow scarf is soooo elegant and pretty!
- Skinny Flower Scarf: This is a “sweet nothing” of a little scarf; it’s delicate and dainty, ideal for adding a bit of flair to an otherwise nondescript ensemble.
- Chains Bucket Hat: This is a sophisticated design you could wear everyday, or you could dress it up for evenings out.
- Willow Bag: This is an openwork lace bag, which limits its usefulness a bit; it would work fine for transporting large items like yoga mats and water bottles, but I wouldn’t recommend tossing your sunglasses, pens, lipstick or cell phone in it.
- Honeycomb Neck Warmer: I added this to my “must crochet” list. It’s an amazing project — it manages to be classic and trendy, beautiful and functional, all at once. Love it!
- Visage Lace Beret: This is another one of those chic, trendy designs you’d see available for sale in an upscale boutique with a high price tag attached. The suggested yarn for this pattern was a luxury yarn which unfortunately has now been discontinued. The yarn had little beads throughout the skein, which gave a bit of sparkle to the finished hat. If you want the same look, you could add some beads to whichever yarn you end up substituting in this pattern. However, that’s optional, as the design would also be lovely, and less work to make, without the beads.
- Tranquil Hairpin Lace Tunic: While this project is actually crocheted with medium weight yarn, it appears to be as airy as the other projects in the book which use fine-gauge yarns. The tunic is designed to fit loosely. The design would be overwhelming to a tiny figure, and the smallest bust size measurement for this pattern is 36 inches; the largest is 48 inches (XL.)
- Cascade Pullover Tunic: I love the shapely fit of this tunic, but I think the other details detract from the design overall. The sleeve edging is unique, and looks like it would be interesting to crochet, but it reminds me of a birdcage. The neckline features details that Kristin mentions were inspired by a pair of shoes.
- River Tunic: Depending on how you look at it, this tunic is either a delightful example of hippie-chic, or an outdated disaster. It could go either way, depending on how you style it and what colors you choose to make it in. I think perhaps choosing a different yarn would help tremendously — and you don’t have any choice in that matter anyway, as the original yarn suggested for this pattern has now been discontinued.
Tops and Cardigans
- Pearl’s Cardigan: It’s a good idea to use your imagination when you look at this sweater. At first glance, it seems like perhaps it’s missing something. This elegant sweater is pictured on the fashion model without a belt, which is better from the perspective of someone who’s trying to crochet the design; minus the belt, it’s easier to see the details. However, the pattern designer envisions this sweater being worn with a scarf threaded through the belt loops, which would give it definition at the waist and dress it up. I do wish the stylist and photographer had included at least one photo of this sweater worn with a scarf or belt; It’s hard to tell, but I’m thinking that would improve the look a great deal.
- Serene Box Pleat Top: When you crochet this chic, lovely top, you’ll utilize the join-as-you-go technique for piecing together crochet motifs. The crochet pattern includes a schematic, symbol crochet stitch diagrams and construction diagrams showing you where to place each motif as you join them. If you aren’t used to this technique, it may take you a little thinking to wrap your head around it — but once you’ve figured it out, you’re likely going to love it. This technique means you won’t have to drive yourself batty sewing seams or piecing one zillion little motifs together at the end of the project.
- Petals Wrap Cardigan: This spectacular design, pictured on the book’s front cover, is my favorite project in the entire Crochet So Fine collection. The crochet work is stunning, and I think the gently-draped crossover shape would be flattering to most female figures.
- Enigma Hooded Cardigan: If you cross a granny square and a sweater, this cute hoodie is the result; it’s a pretty design with intriguing details. I’m not crazy about the way the hood and the shoulders are shaped, but I love everything else about this design.
Crochet Instructions Included in This Book:
- Hairpin Lace — You get one full page of hairpin lace instructions, including pictures and a step-by-step tutorial.
- Clones Knot Stitch Tutorial — The orchid circular shawl features clones knot stitches that are explained in detail, with pictures, in this book.
- Crochet Glossary — You get a list of the abbreviations included in the book, plus the important terms like “gauge” and “blocking” are also defined and explained.
- Basic Crochet Stitches and Techniques — There’s a brief illustrated guide to the basic stitches like the chain, slip stitch, etc.
- Special Stitches — The special stitches used in this book are briefly explained; no photos or illustrations are included in this section.
The Best Things About This Book
- This is really a pretty book. I found it fun and inspiring to look through.
- The styling is exceptional. The models are all dressed in clothing that enhances the crochet projects; they’re also accessorized appropriately. The backgrounds used do not detract from the crochet projects.
- This book includes international symbol crochet stitch diagrams in addition to written instructions for each design.
- Schematics are also included for some of the patterns.
- The book features multiple color photographs of each project.
- There are a variety of interesting crochet techniques included: crochet motifs that are joined as you go, a broomstick lace pattern, a hairpin lace pattern, a chevron design, a beaded design, lots of interesting lace patterns and more. If you get bored easily, there’s plenty of variety here to help keep the boredom at bay.
Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy This Book
If you’re interested in making projects to keep you warm during winter in a harsh and cold climate, this book might not be the best choice. There are a few projects that look like they’d be pretty warm, like the honeycomb neck warmer, the visage lace beret and the cables and lace broomstick hat. However, the majority of these shawls and other projects are light and airy. They’d add a bit of warmth on chilly evenings, but they won’t keep you from freezing when it’s really cold out.
As mentioned, some of the suggested yarns for these patterns have been discontinued. Additionally, many of the recommended yarns are expensive luxury yarns — which is fantastic if money is no object for you, but not so great if you’re on a tight budget. Yarn substitutions are going to be necessary for quite a few of these patterns.
Whether or not you buy this book, you’re really going to want to achieve success with yarn substitution. If yarn substitutions aren’t something you’re already good at, Interweave Press makes a workshop available that is likely to help you. I haven’t had a chance to view it to know exactly how helpful it is, but I’m guessing it’s probably worthwhile. You can click here to check it out at the Interweave Store.
This book has some mistakes you should be aware of. If you buy your own copy of Crochet So Fine,, make sure to download the errata before crocheting any of the projects.
Where to Buy This Book:
- Click here to shop for this book at the Interweave Store.
- Click here to download the PDF Ebook at the Interweave Store.
- Click here to shop for this book at Amazon.com.