Top-Down Crochet Sweaters with Dora Ohrenstein was our October Opener of the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.
Dora Ohrenstein says she began crocheting ‘as a crazy hippie teenager’ for a few months while living on a houseboat. She learned from a book and took her garments and sold them through a boutique in Amsterdam. She studied and pursued a career in music, then later on when she was not performing so much anymore, she began to create some sweaters. In 2004, she attended the CGOA conference and met Jean Leinhauser who admired her garments and became Dora’s mentor.
It took a while to become established, Dora says, trying to keep up with her day job, teaching and with social media, trying to design and continuing to learn, yet with all of that, she has written her sixth book.
Dora method of designing is to design with her own body. She begins with a swatch and doing the math to figure out the number of stitches and things, based on her target dimensions and the flow of a stitch pattern she wants to create with. Making a drapey fabric and exposing to others has been a favorite thing for Dora to share.
Marly and Dora compared notes about the discovery many crocheters make about creating that drapey fabric. A lot of what both ladies have experienced as crochet designers has been an adventure of using knitting designs as a map but having to convert the math for crochet. Many feel that crochet has to be tightly made to be ‘neat’ looking, but unfortunately it creates a stiff uncomfortable garment. Encouraging others to look at a more loosely created garment is creating an excitement with their students, which is attracting knitters to crochet as well.
Dora says her ‘New York life’ has influenced her design toward the pretty, fashionable garments. Having been on stage, and loving fashion, she still had the concern that she could make a career in the yarn industry. Her new book Top-Down Crochet Sweaters, Fabulous Patterns with Perfect Fit shares her love of pretty garments that need to be seen! She wanted her ideas to go beyond the basics, explore flattering shaping with unusual stitch patterns and yet be different from what others are creating. The book has 14 patterns that range from simpler to slightly complicated designs, each shown on a smaller and a larger sized model, using lighter weight yarns so that there is drape and can be worn from season-to-season.
Dora Ohrenstein can be followed through her website, www.CrochetInsider.com and she also has a designer page in Ravelry, and a Pinterest page. There is a Ravelry Group that is doing a Crochet A-Long (CAL) of the ideas from this book, CLICK HERE. Dora’s book can be purchased with Marly’s affiliate code at Amazon.
If you missed getting to hear this visit live, you can listen to the visit as an archived episode where it aired originally https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/10/04/top-down-crochet-sweaters-with-dora-ohrenstein or you can listen with your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Watch for Marly’s behind-the-scenes video from her Facebook page.