Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review - 50 Sensational Crochet Afghans and Throws

by Kelly

While Dawn may get a little weak in the knees when confronted with a wall of yarn skeins, I have a different addiction - books.

Now, an additional difference is that I don't just love crafty books - I love all books. But I am going to spare your sanity and limit myself here to the topic of craft books, and in particular to only one of my favorites - 50 Sensational Crochet Afghans and Throws. Just check out that image on the cover. The look of stained glass achieved with crochet. Stunning.

And it gets even better inside. Page after page of beautiful afghans, with every stitch and technique fully explained, and even intricate patterns involving clusters, shells, and cables reduced to a level that a beginner like me can understand.
Dreamy, lacy creations like the one above, snuggly baby blankets, intricate throws made with rich colors of yarn that I have never heard of...what's not to like?

The patterns range from easy to a third level intermediate. To give you some perspective, the stained glass blanket on the cover has the highest difficulty level. It's made of single squares, joined together, with a border added at the end, and the hardest stitch used is a cluster. Of course, three pages are dedicated to the squares themselves, not to mention assembly and the border. Even I wasn't tempted to rush into this one.

So I started with something simpler - the Peaceful Harmony pattern. Ahhh, that sounds nice and soothing, doesn't it? And look, it's one step above beginner - perfect.

And how glad I am that I started with this one! The pattern itself was only a two row repeat, but there was some jiggery required at the edges to make things line up. So I learned a bit there, and at the same time used up a heap of my stash and got a quick, warm afghan that our cat loves to sleep on. It would be nice if I got to use it sometimes too, but hey, anything to keep peace in the family. Below is a picture of my version of the pattern, using stray skeins that I had on hand.

It has kind of a vintage, southwest feel. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that almost every skein of yarn used to make it had a crumbling label from the seventies. If you look closely, you may see two rows of a color the yarn company called 'harvest gold'. I would have labeled it 'baby poop brown' myself. So why did I use it? Well, honestly, where else could I have ever used that yarn? It's only two rows. Besides, after a certain point, stash busting becomes addictive.

All in all, I am very pleased with this book. Four out of five stars for this one, my only reservation being that even with a weight to hold the book open, it had a tendency to spring shut at inopportune moments. If you see this book in a spiral-bound version, by all means pick it up. Or buy yourself a book stand.


  1. That looks like a pretty cool book. I tend to always go for the books that are for granny squares and then use the pattern for blankets. The books are usually cheaper for the smaller patterns. Plus, I always feel guilty buying expensive stuff for my crafting habit. :)

    I'll have to keep an eye out for that one though because that stained glass afghan on the cover looks beautiful. But I'd probably too scared to ever actually try it. :)

  2. I'm working my way up to that one. Once I found out that making afghans was a great stash buster, I was hooked :)


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