Astute commenter “ddkayton” tracked down an old post of mine today from 2006 (!) to let me know that Judith Copeland’s wonderful 1978 book “Modular Crochet” is back in print. When I started designing, I began to accumulate a small collection of inspirational crochet books from the 70s, and Modular Crochet is one of my favorites.
Like Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmerman with their knitting, Judith Copeland was interested in teaching crocheters how to invent their own things in addition to being able follow patterns. The result is a book full of beautiful photos, schematics, and very little text or line-by-line instructions. I love this. It’s easy to follow and it stirs creativity.
Modular crochet is a method, and one that I’ve used a lot over the years in my own designs. It’s unique in that it begins at the center of the garment and works outward in both directions. It takes advantage of turning crochet stitches on their side to maximize stretchiness, and it leaves lots of room for interpretation. Here are a few of my patterns where you can try modular crochet.
Dusk is a design I did for Interweave Crochet in 2008. It’s not straight-up modular technique but incorporates many of the ideas from the book.
Ribs and Mesh is worked in a luxurious silk and wool yarn from Tilli Tomas, but would look beautiful in any DK yarn. This sweater follows the basic modular technique, but changes up the stitch patterns adding lace and beads.
This Babydoll Dress uses classic modular technique for the bodice, and then adds a skirt worked in the round. The pattern is available only in the book “Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution,” edited by Kim Werker. I will be so pleased if this re-issue means we’re headed towards a resurgence in modular designs.