I was sorely disappointed. I couldn't understand what had happened. Then I read the introduction.
Teva speaks about her grandmothers and mentions researching crochet patterns...
I suppose that's the problem then. She has learned to see knitting as just a tool, but she doesn't know enough crochet to understand the possibilities.
It becomes painfully obvious as I read on the introduction.
"the lacy stitches lending themselves to a vintage feel", "crochet possesses an air of domesticity"... "looking at doilies, gloves and tablecloths for inspiration..." Oh my.
Does she look at knitted doilies, gloves and tablecloths for inspiration for her knitted items? I strongly doubt that.
There is an ocean of crochet techniques created to produce material suitable for bags, sweaters and rugs, decades and dozens of cultures using crochet to produce things, but for some reason she didn't find that interesting enough to "inspire" her...
Perhaps the antimacassar she was referring to looked a bit like this?
"I confess that for a long time, I was a knit snob who viewed crochet as a lesser craft, the poor stepsister to knitting".
Yeah... it shows, Teva.
"I needed enough facility to my crochet designs to possess the same character as my knit designs - not to imitate my knitted fabric, but to exhibit the same signature qualities."
Oh. Now, THAT doesn't show. I suppose she is too afraid of "imitating her knitted fabric", then. Pity.
Medallion cardigan from Loop-d-loop Crochet
"I have somewhat "ouside-the-box" approach to design... ...it takes old-fashioned techniques and styles out of context and into the hip-hop age."
I couldn't help but laugh when I read this... Hubris, much?
Sure Teva is a talented and unique designer, thinks differently from most, and finds interesting and new solutions, but so does most designers.
Solomon knot flower shawl from Loop-d-loop Crochet
"After exploring crochet in depth, I have an equal love and respect for it and knitting. Some of my knit-blogging friends will have fits of the vapors upon reading this. Yet, still more are simultaneously joining the crochet cognozcenti in droves. I hope my perspective will be enjoyed by knitters who are delving into crochet as well as by crafters for whom crochet is their forte".
I'm sorry, but that sounds like egocentric, sanctimonious crap to me.
(And why not say "crocheters" instead of "crafters for whom crochet is their forte", as she repeatedly says "knitters"?)
Knotwork Socks from Loop-d-loop CrochetI think about Maria Gullberg, who published a book "Time to Crochet" (tid att virka) 1998. She studied crochet also with the purpose of renewing the technique and bringing it to date with the rest of the world. She went to grandmother's grandmother and created lovely, modern patterns.
I could continue to amigurumis, but that's a bit different. Nevertheless, amigurumi crocheting has lead dozens of crafters into free crochet, which in itself is a wonderful, inspiring and modern artform.
I think about Danielle Kassner, who also went further back in history to find inspiration, and brought with her very nice modern designs. Now, Danielle designs colorwork which Teva doesn't much do.
I think of Nicky Epstein and her Medallion Medley and Temair Throw...
I like Mandy Moore's hoodie vest (2009), Mary Jane Hall's cap sleeve top (2008), Doris Chan's Lace bolero (2010), Annie Modesitt's pretty pleats skirt (2009)... simple enough designs, and every one much more modern, "out-of-the-box" and inspiring than anything Teva published in her book...
Her "medallion cardigan" is right out SCARY!
I think of Jane Snedden Peever's crocheted aran sweaters, and the Cathy Merrick, mother of Babette (2006) and Boteh scarf...
If Teva Durham did something like THAT, THEN she might be able to utter the last words of her introduction. The truth is that when she wrote the book, she was still a beginner, and had no "perspective" to talk about. I haven't seen much development since then. Drops has better crochet patterns than Teva Durham does.
Nevertheless, some people disagree strongly with me, so look for yourself. (Interestingly enough, she's a knitter, not a crocheter, so what does she know?)
(And I have to admit that she did manage to get in a little nice details, like the back of Lazy Wheels Coat, or the angle on the hip-slung belt.
P.S: Look what Burberry Prorsum did:
P.P.S "You shouldn't be so quick to judge!" said someone, after reading the review.
I sat down and designed a collection I would have wanted to see.
I copied her quite heavily, after all, my intention was to see what I could expect of her. If *I* can do it - and who am I? - then she most certainly should be able to, at least as well as I did.
I wanted to see how disappointed I have the "right" to be. (Naturally, I have right to be as disappointed as I am, but I might be unfair to her.)
I managed to "design" 48 pieces in two hours. I'm pretty sure that if I had her assets, I'd be able to get the pieces into publishable form within a couple of months.
I assume Teva Durham is in "design mood" more than I am, after all, she lives on this, I don't. Also, she "copies" herself as much as I do, in fact, she does it automatically, as ANYTHING she does is hers.
Naturally, I think I know a bit more on crochet than she does. It shouldn't be that way, as by publishing a book of crochet designs she has opened herself up to being judged with the best of crochet designers. No-one forced her to publish anything.
So, I did that and now I'm even more disappointed AND slightly disdainful.
She published the book too early. She should have crocheted more, and she should definitely have looked at CONTEMPORARY design as she was trying to renew crochet, and not to what her grandmothers did in last century.
Am I being too harsh? After all, she's not as experienced in crochet as in knitting, and haven't done that much yet...
BUT THAT'S JUST THE POINT!
She acts as if she was just as good with crochet as she is with knitting, and she is not.
She waltzes in and claims to be a new wind in crochet, and she's not.
Perhaps she will be, in some 10 or 20 years, but this book is a great disappointment.