That's the premise behind Modular Crochet by Judith Copeland.
Less instructions, less shaping, and more fun with pattern and stitch.
Copeland's designs are done vertically instead of horizontally: They give you lots of room for designing tops, tunics, dresses, coats with width and pattern in mind. This type of crocheting is called modular because articles are put together from four to six rectangular crocheted fabric pieces.
The first four pieces are the front and back and are worked off center chains down the front and back. They are joined with chains to desired depth of neckline, or boatneck, and therest of the garment is worked from front hem to back hem to desired width,usually the bust size or the hip size. Sleeves, if desired, are worked in the round on the sleeve opening.
The wider the garment, the more drape effect: the narrower the garment, the more it clings to the body. And the garment stretches the width and the length. The weight of the fabric does cause the material to stretch, and instructions on how to compensate for this are included.
Copeland's landmark pattern is ridged double crochet, but sc, hdc, regular dc, and some others are also encouraged. This is a book for people who understand the rectangle on the body and wish to play with the yarn types and the stitches. As no shaping is necessary, except for varied necklines,you can concentrate on pattern and color.
Vertical stripes are often more flattering to the body. Copeland suggests worsted weight for tunics, but also plays with mohair, heavy cotton, and exotic yarns, which makes for fascinating textures and colors. Scarves, worked the length instead of back and forth, add appealing accents to neckline, hips, headpieces.
Amusingly, her patterns are designed for 5'6", 34-24-34 models. Yeah right! This method of design, of course gets around that, because you are working for width, after length has been established.
The instructions are step-by-step, try-on-the-body photographs, and the diagrams are draft quality. There are colored pictures in the middle of the book, typical of the late 70's in neutrals, and yellow-toned colors. There are some men and a child's pattern- dig the bellbottoms on the guys. (And I wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley, either <G>)
I highly recommend this book for crocheters who enjoy designing their own garments, like to be creative and develop new ideas. Beginners could enjoy this simple to understand book as well.
Reviewed by Gail Rabb (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for Crochet Partners Posted 8/98
Judith Copeland is one of the designers in Design Crochet. Her design here is also modular crochet, only done horizontally. This is not indicated in her own book, but it is the same concept of rectangular, modular construction.
I love this book and have made several ankle length dresses.
I buy sweaters at thrift stores of the colors and texture and lighter weight than worsted, frog them and use the yarn to make these dresses. They are light and simple for this desert and very comfy inside a temperature controlled library. And I get lots of compliments from teachers on these.
Reviewed by Gail Rabb(email@example.com ) for Crochet Partners Posted 8/98
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