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Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques Paperback – June 26, 2012

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Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques + Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs: 144 circles, hexagons, triangles, squares, and other unexpected shapes + Around the Corner Crochet Borders: 150 Colorful, Creative Edging Designs with Charts and Instructions for Turning the Corner Perfectly Every Time
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159668299X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596682993
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Robyn Chachula's previous title, "Baby Blueprint Crochet" Flamie Award Winner 2011 for best designer, children.Nominated as Best Book of 2010 by Crochet Liberation Front. "I hope you'll take a look at "Baby Blueprint Crochet" and that you'll enjoy it as much as I do. For you new crocheters, Robyn is a genius and experienced teacher. She is known for breaking down instructions clearly and for visual crochet, which is the use of charts. Robyn's instructional section in the book is like none-other. I will use it for a reference from here on out. For experienced crocheters, you will love the ease and sophistication of these projects." - "Spudandchloe.com/blog" "As with her other books, Chachula pays special attention to detail in her patterns and finishing. There's plenty of help in this book to get you through each project. Beginners and more experienced crocheters will benefit equally from the details Chachula includes." - "CraftGossip.com" "Robyn is innovative in her construction and designs, while still down to earth and realistic about what little kids will wear. This book is a must-have." - "PetitePurls.com" "Irresistible, Darling, & Super Cute are what I would describe when surfing through this Fabulous Book." - "Michael Sellick, The Crochet Crowd" "We've all seen thousands of baby wearables, cute as can be, but Robyn has a very original approach." - "Crochet Insider" "Modern, Cheery, Useful Designs" - "Annie's Attic" Praise for Robyn Chachula's previous title, "Blueprint Crochet" "Recommended for public libraries." -- "Library Journal" "One of the most educational (and inspirational) crochet books I've read...[the] quick introduction on the basics of crochet symbols and charts completely blew me away." -- "Classic Elite Web-Letter" "Chachula, a self-described visual crocheter, here marries her crafty innovation with her background as a structural engineer...She's able t

About the Author

Robyn Chachula is the author of Blueprint Crochet (Interweave), Baby Blueprint Crochet (Interweave), and Mission Falls Goes Crochet. She has been published in a number of magazines, including Interweave Crochet and Crochet Today! She has appeared on Knit and Crochet Today and as a guest on Knitting Daily TV. Robyn's patterns have appeared in books, including Interweave Presents Crochet Gifts, Sensual Crochet, Not Your Mamma's Crochet, Catwalk Crochet, Vogue on the Go: Crocheted Shawls, Crochet Me, and Stitch & Bitch: Men. She has also designed for yarn companies, including JCA Crafts, SWTC, Mission Falls, and Artful Yarns.

More About the Author

Robyn Chachula's winding path to a crochet career began as a structural engineer with a specialty in historic preservation and renovation, which uses her ability to take big projects and break them into little items anyone can understand.

You can watch Robyn in action on Knit and Crochet Now on PBS where she is a crochet expert. She can also be seen on Knitting Daily TV on PBS showing off some of her favorite designs. Her first crochet book, Blueprint Crochet: Modern Designs for the Visual Crocheter, Interweave Press Fall 2008, uses her engineering background to bring crochet symbols to everyone. Her second book, Mission Falls Goes Crochet, uses Mission Falls 1824 Wool and Cotton for the whole family. Her latest book, Baby Blueprint Crochet, marries her love of crochet symbols with adorable baby projects. Her designs have been published in Interweave Crochet, Crochet Today!, and Knitscene; as well as in other books, including Not Your Mama's Crochet, Catwalk Crochet, Vogue on the Go: Crocheted Shawls, Crochet Me, Son of Stitch & Bitch, Sensual Crochet, Crocheted Gifts and more. You can see all of her architecturally inspired pieces at www.crochetbyfaye.com.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to both beginners and experienced crocheters.
I think this book balances the two approaches and I can recommend it to anyone looking for a slightly different approach to the usual afghans.
Rudy Fan
The instructions are great and easy to follow and it's a pretty good selection of patterns from the top designers.
Birdie Gee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Fan on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a different type of crochet book still with some of the traditional designs, but with some added zing. These designs are all done with attention to detail. These are not just thrown together and are not boring. They are truly artistic works done by top designers. Here are the main contents of the items in the book:

Tuxedo Pillow + Cable Tips
Eloise Baby
Artesia Zigzag
Croises Cable
Veledilo Cable

Hatsukoi Pillow + Granny Motif Tips
Dots + Poppies Baby
Mod Retro
Cabine de Dentelle

Elan Waves Pillow + Color Tips
Peerie Baby
Behrens Color Block
Desert Sunrise
Moroccan Circles
Bethlehem Star

Vigne Pillow + Lace Tips
Amada Baby
Sunken Treasure
Damask Lace
Exploded Pineapple

Nauha Pillow + Tunisian Tips
Smocked Elegance Baby
Mission Cabled
Aryanah Sampler
Van Gogh Waves
Starburst Entrelac

Even the names are works of art! And as you can see, each section has specific tips concerning that particular type of crochet work. Each chapter has a mini-workshop to help the crocheter succeed with each pattern.

The mixing of lace and single crochet struck me as quite different in Cabine de Dentelle. This would be best used as a decorative piece, not for warmth. One piece I particularly like is Van Gogh Waves; it is just gorgeous and lush looking. I love the colors and the wave design does indeed remind me of Van Gogh's art. Also, I usually don't like cables in crochet, but these are better looking than most and used to full advantage in these afghans.

The yarn requirements are clearly stated.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Lynne E. TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In compiling this collection of traditional but thoroughly modern afghans, crochet designer Robin Chachula asked other well-known designers "to use the afghan as a vehicle to showcase their favorite aspect of crochet." The designers responded with afghans using crochet cables, colorwork, lace, granny motifs, and Tunisian crochet.

In purchasing this book, I was hoping for more of the "unexpected". Thus I was somewhat disappointed by the "traditional" look of most of the afghan designs. Two of the most intriguing designs are Vika (Celtic cables and knots) and Bethlehem Star (inspired by the Bethlehem Star quilt pattern). However, Vika's central Celtic knot is accomplished with applied I-cord, and Bethlehem Star's motifs are made from small, individually-crocheted pieces (the rays of the stars) that must be sewn together. Thus I can't see myself making either afghan, although both are quite pretty.

However, you can't go wrong with a pattern collection published by Interweave Press! The crochet instructions are given in both written-out and charted form, and the full-color photographs of the afghans (including closeups showing important details) are beautiful. The individual patterns include quotations from the designers, plus tips for making the particular afghan look its best. For example, the Vika tip explains how to avoid catching your stitches on other stitches when you're working post stitches behind stitches already worked; the Cabine de Dentelle tip explains the importance of blocking the squares by carefully ironing them.

Many of the designers have contributed short motivational "Beginner Tips" in the book's introduction. The cable designs are by Robyn Chachula, Marty Miller, Drew Emborsky, Annie Modesitt, Jill Wright, and Simona Merchant-Dest.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By M. Poller VINE VOICE on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with both of the other reviewers that this is quite a special afghan book and will be appreciated by the advanced crocheter looking for something unusual. The first section of cables is for me the most difficult one. I like the Tunisian crochet and the lace and granny sections. The afghans I'd most like to make are the Tunisian crochet sampler by Ohrenstein, Van Gogh waves by Guzman and Starburst entrelac afghan by Granholm. This book doesn't have a lot of information on doing the cable stitches. with all of the regular type afghan books it's good to have one that is definitely original by lots of well known designers working today.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kendra F. C. Smith on April 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This instructional crochet book has some creative afghan ideas and their projects are often shown in colors I wouldn't expect, but that come together amazingly well. The problem is in the written instructions. It is doubtful the author had a test group attempt the projects without pictoral aid, as I've attempted three projects thus far and all three have had inconsistencies between the written instructions and the symbolized pattern. If not for said pattern, I would have given up. Use your own judgment and skill level in considering this book. I would not recommend it for beginners.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautiful and well explained. Did I mention beautiful? It has been awhile since I have crocheted. And from the little I remember, I understood the instructions clearly enough to make these amazing stitches. All I did was tweak the colors and the size. And Walla .....comfy cozies for all.
This book will guide you well.
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