Guest Author - Kate Pullen
Anyone who knows of Nicky Epstein's work will be familiar with the sense of style and flair that appear in her designs. Her recent book, Nicky Epstein's Crocheted Flowers is a follow up to Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers which has been a firm favorite with people looking to create their own flower embellishments from yarn. Nicky Epstein's Crocheted Flowers contains a mix of crochet flower designs and crochet projects that have been created to display the flowers.
The book is visually attractive with a lot of attention going into the photographs and layout. This makes it a great book for browsing when seeking inspiration.
There are over 50 different flowers featured in the book, ranging from designs with their roots firmly in crochet history, such as pansies and poppies that were so popular in many vintage designs, through to contemporary ideas such as felted flowers. The flowers are broken down into groups including layered petal flowers, one-piece flowers , twisted technique flowers, felted flowers, chain stitch and ball flowers, and leaves.
In addition to the flowers featured in Nicky Epstein's Crocheted Flowers there are also some crochet projects that have been designed to use the flowers. These include a bag, hat and wedding attire. This will offer inspiration for crocheters who are wondering how to use their crocheted flowers.
The instructions are provided in text and in chart form. The charts, in particular, are useful for explaining how the flowers are formed and many crocheters will find this helpful. Some of the techniques, for instance felting, have very brief instructions – however there is a lot of detailed information freely available on the Internet which will help people unfamiliar with different techniques.
Flowers are ideal projects for crocheters of all levels. They are great for beginners as they are quick and easy to do, and are a good way to learn new techniques. More experienced crocheters will enjoy adapting and varying the designs or trying new techniques such as felting. It should be noted, however, that many experienced crocheters will be familiar with the basics of many of these flower designs.
Many different yarns are used in the book, including some more unusual yarns and specialist yarns. The flowers worked in these yarns are a treat to look at, however it would have been useful for better information to be given to allow crocheters to substitute yarns. There is no tension or gauge information offered and the yarn weights are also not available. Therefore unless a crocheter was familiar with a brand of yarn or prepared to research the different weights, substituting yarns will be difficult.
This is a very attractive book and is extremely well laid out. This is the sort of book that many crocheters will enjoy browsing. The photography of the finished flowers is wonderful and will inspire many crocheters to pick up their hooks! The book is ideal for beginner crocheters or crocheters new to three dimensional works and who are looking to try something new. This book would also be the ideal way to introduce knitters to crochet. Experienced crocheters will be familiar with many of the designs and the principles of creating flowers and therefore may find the book more inspirational than instructional.