Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Review: Crochet Pink ~ 26 Patterns to Crochet for Comfort, Gratitude & Charity by Janet Rehfeldt

January 31, 2014

Crochet Pink: 26 Patterns to Crochet for Comfort, Gratitude and Charity by Janet Rehfeldt


I am honored to have been asked to review Janet’s book because its concept touches a common thread that we share. In another life, I was a registered nurse and I specialized in public health and patient education. For this reason, I am particularly interested in anything that pairs health and crochet. I also believe that the three words used in the title, “comfort, gratitude and charity,” are words that most crocheters relate to. Crochet brings us comfort; we show gratitude to the special person that taught us how; and we believe in sharing our talents by crocheting for the many charitable organizations that appreciate our beautiful contributions!

The twenty-six accessories in Crochet Pink are meant to be treasures for loved ones going through breast cancer and to be given as a show of support. Each project is done in a different shade of pink, the breast cancer awareness color; and the great variety of yarns used for the projects were chosen because they are soothing against the skin and comfortable to wear. Janet has so graciously included a list of all the “cancer awareness” colors so that crocheters affected by other types of cancer can do these same projects in alternate colors. Woven throughout the book are quotes from cancer patients and caregivers whom Janet has personally known, and they offer inspiration and guidance for continuing to move forward.


The feeling one gets from this book is that it comes from someone who is sincerely dedicated to the cause of breast cancer awareness and eradication. When I asked Janet if she had ever had a diagnosis of breast cancer or was affected by it in some way, she answered, "I am at very high risk for breast cancer along with my mother and sister; and I have been followed closely since my early thirties as a preventive measure. I have been so very lucky that so far the results of my screening exams have all come back benign. However, I have too many friends that have not been so lucky...and it breaks my heart."

Janet also shared that she has wanted to do a book like this for a  long time; and because it is a very personal issue for her, it is her way of giving back by doing something positive. "I wanted to design items that make you feel really good by either making them for yourself or for someone else who's dealing with cancer. So many people don't realize that when you are going through chemo and radiation, your skin gets so sensitive and things feel so harsh; that's why I incorporated the many skin-friendly yarns in the designs. 

Janet is a capable and talented crochet designer who has brought these exciting designs to crocheters through a unique niche: breast cancer awareness. Whether the cancer patient herself or her loved ones are crocheting in waiting rooms, everyone will enjoy the fashion forward projects done in luscious yarns such as alpaca, silk and cashmere, that just beg to be touched. I love the clever names that were chosen for the projects, such as Divine Comfort Throw, My Indoor Hat, Petals of Hope Shawl and Another Beautiful Sunrise Shawl. While crocheting, whomever is making the project will be thinking of the recipient with hope and determination that they will have a long life ahead of them, post cancer.

I like all the projects in Janet’s book but my favorites are the Pineapples in Silk Scarf, Striped Tote and Versatile Chemo Shrug. 


Pineapples in Silk Scarf
I enjoy wearing crochet most every day and I love a summer scarf. There is always a need to keep the neck warm, especially in malls and restaurants during summer time. The pineapple pattern has long been a symbol of “welcome” and “friendship” which means hope. 


Striped Tote contributed by Lorna Miser
The striped tote is unique because of its use of suede tote handles and bottom from Somerset Designs. Complete details on where to purchase these are included. 


Versatile Chemo Shrug
While wrapped in the Versatile Chemo Shrug, you’ll surely feel supported because it will feel warm like a “hug!”

Many tips and tricks of crochet are included in this book along with very detailed instructions. Besides being a source of inspiration, Crochet Pink is an excellent guide book for any crocheter who is ready to tackle learning new skills.

Next month, it will be one year since I started a “Cancer & Crochet Support Group” at my local hospital. In this volunteer effort, I have led between 8 and 10 women recovering from cancer through the steps of learning to crochet. We meet twice a month in the oncology area of the hospital, a place they are quite familiar with; and we are supported by the oncology social worker. This past year the group has made great strides as they learned crochet skills and techniques, and their enthusiasm has grown along with their skills. They have also created quite a bond. Sharing the understanding with each other about what it's like to go through cancer, no matter what type it may be, is a club no one wants to join. However, the mutual support that they share is what they treasure about  this group. I will definitely recommend Crochet Pink to them!

Recently published by Martingale Crochet Pink is in soft cover format in size 8.5" x 11".  Its 96 pages are are loaded with full color beautiful images of the projects. It is also available as an ebook for $16.99; combine the print version with the ebook for just $24.99.





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2 comments:

sunwyn said...

I bought this book recently and love the patterns!

Deb Burger said...

Thanks for this great review! Janet Rehfeldt is one of my favorite designers for both crochet and knit projects; and this is really a worthy example of her heart and skill. I recently had the privilege to crochet a shawl for a friend who is battling cancer again after several years in remission, so this issue strikes close to home for me, as it does for so many of us!