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

4.3 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.

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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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:

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

GRANNY MOTIFS
Hatsukoi Pillow + Granny Motif Tips
Dots + Poppies Baby
Peacock
Mod Retro
Cabine de Dentelle
Kaleidoscope

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

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

TUNISIAN
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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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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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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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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I made the Exploded Pineapple and Smocked Elegance blankets from this book. I'm new to crocheting and this book provides a variety of blankets and crocheting methods that help me grow as a crocheter. The blankets range from heavy to lace, striped to granny motifs and provides great tips for each project.

I want to make the Starburst Entrelac and Mission Cable blankets but will have to wait until I have more time to commit to these projects. I would recommend this book to both beginners and experienced crocheters.
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