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BOOK Review: Custom Crocheted Sweaters by Dora Ohrenstein

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#1 Amy


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Posted 28 January 2012 - 03:51 PM

Custom Crocheted Sweaters: Make Garments that Really Fit, by Dora Ohrenstein (Username: Crochet Insider; Crochet Insider website)
Click here to buy paperback version: $15.95 ($22.95 list price)
(Link to the book goes through Crochetville's Amazon Associates program.)
Published by Lark Crafts


All photos © 2012 Lark Crafts and photographer Scott Jones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

My designer friend Dora Ohrenstein has come up with another fabulous book jammed full of fashionable clothing designs. Take a look with me at some of the fabulous projects you can find in this book.

The Uptown short-sleeve pullover sweater features top-down raglan construction with a small stitch pattern to create an interesting texture with bold vertical lines. This particular design comes complete with a mini-lesson on how to alter the pattern to increase the neckline depth. Dora walks you through the hows and whys of the alterations that are needed. Her instructions will help you drop the neckling by 1-1/4", but you'll have all the information you need to make your own adjustments if you want to drop the neckline even further.


The Eleganza long-sleeve pullover sweater also features raglan construction but this time from the bottom up. This design comes with a master class in sleeve alteration, with everything you need to know about lengthening and/or widing the sleeve.

Eleganza Raglan.jpg

The Fiji Cardi uses fitted sleeve construction and is worked from the bottom up. This pattern features two lessons: adjusting size by changing gauge and a master class on armholes and sleeve caps.

Fiji Cardi.jpg

The Floating Tee features a dropped-shoulder construction method and a beautiful pineapple stitch pattern. This garment achieves a very fluid drape as a result of the stitch pattern and hook size used with the yarn. This design features a class on altering the lengths of the sweater body and the sleeves.

Floating Tee.jpg

The wonderful Shawled Collar Tunic (shown in a gorgeous purple, my favorite color!) features vertical construction, which allows for several alteration possibilities. This design features lessons on altering length and widening collars.

Shawled Collar Tunic.jpg

Have you always wanted to take the leap into making garments for yourself, but you've been terrified you won't be able to achieve a good fit? Be afraid no more! Dora will walk you through all you need to be able to take any garment pattern and adapt it to fit your unique figure needs.

The reference material in the beginning of the book covers such topics as an overview of sweater construction, measuring your body, understanding fit, shaping and alteration 101, and finishing with care. Dora also helps you understand how to read and work with garment patterns, how to read schematics, and how to choose the best yarns for your projects.

Dora offers up 10 different sweater patterns featuring a variety of construction methods: dropped-shoulder, rectangle, vertical, raglan, fitted set-in sleeves, circular yoke, top-down, and bottom-up.

She also provides 17 different lessons that can be used with any garment in the book and any garment pattern you may ever want to use:

  • Altering Body and Sleeve Lengths
  • Fine-Shaping Necklines and Shoulder Slope
  • Blocking to Your Measurements
  • Altering Length
  • 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
  • Master Class in Bust Alteration

For each pattern in the book you will find detailed written instructions along with schematics (with measurements for every size) and stitch pattern diagrams. You will also see close-up photos of different parts of garments in addition to different views of the whole garment. Dora also provides information on construction details and suggestions for substituting yarn.

Uptown Crochet-Along: I think I'll be making several garments from this book to wear at crochet conferences this year. I'm going to start with the Uptown pullover sweater. I'll be making the following adjustments: lowering the neckline depth by about 3" and increasing the width of the garment front (but not the back) to accommodate my bust. If you'd like to work on this sweater alongside me, come on over to the Crochet-Along thread. Link to Crochet-Along (for making any pattern from the book).

Amy Shelton
Crochetville Co-Owner and Social Media Director


Crochetville Blog | Free Crochet Pattern Directory | Facebook Page | Twitter | Pinterest

#2 RoseRed


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Posted 28 January 2012 - 05:00 PM

This book is AMAZING!!!!!

#3 Amy


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Posted 28 January 2012 - 05:35 PM

I've added the link to the Crochet-Along thread at the end of the first post. It will be a CAL for making any pattern from the book.

Amy Shelton
Crochetville Co-Owner and Social Media Director


Crochetville Blog | Free Crochet Pattern Directory | Facebook Page | Twitter | Pinterest