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Blueprint Crochet Sweaters: Techniques for Custom Construction Paperback – April 9, 2013
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"This book is full with modern, beautiful sweater patterns, it's hard to choose which one to start first. The sweaters are also constructed using different methods, so there is a lot to learn about sweater construction! If you're interested in crocheting different types of sweaters, this book is definitely for you." --CrochetSpot.com
"Blueprint Crochet Sweaters by Robyn Chachula is a great introduction to crocheting sweaters and other fashionable garments. In this collection of sixteen patterns, you'll not only learn the basics of sweater construction, but you will also learn how to create better fitting garments in general." --AllFreeCrochet
"Blueprint Crochet Sweaters is a tremendous resource--filled with essential design knowledge and tips. Whether you are learning to design, or you are only interested in crocheting garments which fit you--you will find something in this publication to help you meet you goals." --Oombawka Design Crochet
About the Author
Robyn Chachula began her career 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. She is the author of Blueprint Crochet: Modern Designs for the Visual Crocheter (Interweave, 2008). Visit her blog, crochetbyfaye.com.
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Tips throughout, symbols, abbreviations and illustrations, written stitch directions all handily placed at the book. It is so well put together, but then what would you expect from a structural engineer?
Check out http://crochetbyfaye to see what's tickling her hooks now.
As always, I took the book to my fiber fun group which mostly consists of beginning crocheters. They loved many of the items but felt the projects were way above their skill level, even with assistance. So possibly the book would be best for advanced beginners, but mainly intermediate and advanced crocheters would love it.
My personal favorites are: Cranberry Cardigan by Robyn Chachula on page 12, Foliage Shrug by Simona Merchant-Dest on page 30, Veronica Pullover (the book cover sweater and a real winner) by Kristin Omdahl on page 138 and the Smoky Cropped Top by Drew Emborsky on page 60.
If you are up to the challenge of crocheting a sweater (maybe for the first time), this is the book for you.
Cranberry Cardigan (uses a diamond lattice stitch pattern, cute and well, classic!)
Summer Sky Vest (done in beautiful blue, professional looking trim)
Foliage Shrug (really like this one, beautiful cables on the front, could easily be lengthened to be more of a cardigan)
Burnt Plaid Dress (this is actually very cool, the 'plaid' look is functional as it holds the dress's shape)
TOP-DOWN AND IN-THE-ROUND CONSTRUCTION
Magnolia Tank (Egyptian looking around the collar, not flowery like magnolias, uses bamboo yarn for the fabric's drape)
Smoky Cropped Top (shell pattern and front post stitches create shapely lines, lower part of sleeves and top frill out)
Rose Quartz Pullover (lovely, delicate looking, yet something one could wear any day of the year)
Structured Cardigan (this is cool, done with pretty flowers on one side of the front edge)
GRANNY MOTIF CONSTRUCTION
Harvest Cowl Shift (interesting top with a cowl neck, along with very open motifs)
Shiitake Tunic (more open motifs in a snowflake design)
Ruby Cropped Cardi (open work again in a short design)
Calypso Kimono (this isn't a kimono, it's more of a tunic with a strange band along the upper waist and a matching band around the neckline)
Clover Car coat (this looks more like a short sleeve aryan sweater to me, lots of cable work)
Stormy Lace Tunic (very pretty crossover tunic, lace stitch)
Veronica Pullover (cover sweater, combination of stitches shapes lower torso well)
Walnut Berry V-Neck (classic cardigan look, open lace work, all done in one piece)
These are some serious patterns, some up to 12 pages long (the top down ones are around 6 pages). They do contain many lovely photos, sizes up to 2X, stitch charts, and very detailed schematics, all of which contribute to the length. True to a creative crochet endeavor, many different types of stitches are used throughout, not just double crochet. The author used a good variety of accessible yarn and lists all the yardage so you can easily substitute. I do wish the book would lay flat though. With time and use, that should change.
This book isn't about creating your own design from scratch (although after making a few of these items, you certainly could run with the concepts). It IS about the creativity 'within' the pattern itself. Each finished product surely does have a custom look about it. This isn't a book for beginners or for someone wanting a quick project. These will take time, but the effort will be rewarded with some lovely results.
I'm working on one cardigan and will probably also make one or two others.
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