Designer Spotlight

Dora Ohrenstein

Top-Down Tunic
Dora Ohrenstein

I began crocheting while living in Amsterdam on a houseboat during the "Age of Aquarius."" After that came my career as a professional singer and voice teacher. In 2004, I took up the hook again after many decades and found I had a knack for garment making. I've been very fortunate in developing a second career as a designer, with my work featured in many magazines. I've written seven books on crochet, the most recent being Crochet Every Way Stitch Dictionary, showing 125 stitches and how to shape them in pattern. My previous book, Top-Down Crochet Sweaters, has taught crocheters all over the world how to create beautiful sweaters that fit well. I'm fascinated by crochet history and have written extensively about it, from its beginnings in the 19th century to its use by contemporary fine artists today. You can see more of my work on Ravelry and on my website,

Good advice from Dora:
When making a top-down sweater there are several points at which it's wise to try it on to check for a good fit. The first is after working the first 4 rounds or so, as that will give you a good sense of whether the neckline suits your body. You don't want the sweater to fall off your shoulders or come up too high on your neck. The second place is once you've completed the yoke and have worked a few rounds of the body. Here you can judge whether the bust circumference works for you—in this design, it should be quite roomy! Try it on again when you get to the Body Divide. This occurs several inches below the waist. The front will gain about 4 more inches after this divide, so you can judge whether the finished length is what you have in mind. To change the length, simply remove or add rows here, then follow the instructions after Body Divide.
Prefer longer sleeves? Just continue working even in pattern until you reached the desired length.

Top-Down Tunic
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