Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

AUSTENtatious Crochet book review

on January 20, 2012

AUSTENtatious Crochet by Melissa Horozewski contains 36 designs, inspired by the world of Jane Austen but with a modern twist.

The designs are rated in difficulty from one to three crochet hooks and are stitched using a variety of yarns and hook sizes.

Being an American book, the terminology is different than UK readers are used to but once you get used to it, it’s not much of an issue.

Most of the designs are really beautiful and you can almost picture them on the set of a Regency period drama.

Some of the designs, however, are a bit too modern. The Regency Hat and Handbag, for example, aren’t really like anything that Jane Austen would have been familiar with.

I’ve tried out three designs from the book and had problems with all of them. I’ve written about my issues with the jacket, called Anne’s Spencer (see Current projects; Problems, problems, problems; And more problems!)

Before that, I stitched the Regency Handbag. It all went smoothly until it was fully stitched and I was trying to work out the pleating. The schematic shows the bag after the pleats have been put in but the pattern contains little help for actually doing it.

Now all I need to do is sew the lining and put it all together!

The first pattern I tried was one of the main reasons I bought the book – Emma’s Hood.

I mentioned before about being disappointed and eventually giving up (I tried the stitch again last night but even the tension swatch comes out wonky) but here’s the full story.

I think, to begin with, I was working the stitch wrong but I watched the online video and tried again and it worked a little better.

Unfortunately, after this, the work was still ending up the wrong shape! The first few rows are okay because there is limited shaping but when it comes to the edge shaping, one side appears to be fine while the other is sloping in the wrong direction.

I contacted Melissa and she was really very helpful to start with and even uploaded a new video about the stitch pattern and sent me link. Considering the time difference, as well, she got back to me really quickly and even half suggested we meet up to fix it (such a shame I’m across the pond)

But when I told her I was in the UK, she seemed to lose interest in my problem, stopped e-mailing and seemingly gave up.

I was so disappointed.

There are so many other designs in the book that I would like to make, for myself and as gifts, but I’m reluctant to try any of them now. I even considered selling the book on to save myself the stress…

Unfortunately, I’m rather stubborn so I’m hatching a plan to make myself the hood after all!

So, all in all, I found the book very much of a mixed bag. I wouldn’t recommend it to those new to the craft and would advise experienced stitchers to choose their patterns wisely.


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