Blog Tour: Go Crochet Afghan Design Workbook
If you’re someone who pieces together their crochet time from 15 minutes in the carpool line, 10 minutes at the grocery store, and a couple of hours at your kids’ sporting event, you’re probably a lover of motifs. I like making motifs for lots of reasons:
-easily memorizeable patterns (once you’ve made a few)
-portable, and you can even break them down round by round so you only need to carry 1 color of yarn at at time (i.e. make all of the motifs through round 1, 2, etc)
-great way to use scraps and play with color combinations
-good “in-between” project for when you don’t feel like thinking too much about what you want to make next.
If you like making motifs, you’ll definitely want to check out Ellen Gormley’s new book, Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workshop. Ellen asked me to participate in her blog tour, and Iwas excited to dive into this–her first book! In it, she presents 50 original motif designs (squares, circles, rectangles, hexagons, octagons and triangles) and shows you how to put them together to create unique blankets.
I was pleased to find a unique chapter on rectangles, as I can’t even remember when–if ever–I last saw a rectangular motif. All of the shapes have their own chapter, so if you are looking for a particular shape you can specialize. And, Ellen designed all of the motifs to have the same number of stitches along each edge, so that, for the most part, they are easy to mix and match. Each chapter also opens with a line drawing of possible layouts using just one shape, which is helpful if you plan to summon your inner designer. In the beginning section (which is full of useful refresher type info), Ellen suggests using your digital camera to help you design your afghan, and I want to add that you could also photocopy (or scan) the motifs you are considering, cut out the shapes and play around before you do a whole lot of stitching. I do this often when I am designing with motifs–usually I’ll make one in every color combination that I want to use and then digitally arrange them to get an idea of how it will all work out.
A clear photo of each motif is accompanied by easy to read stitch diagrams and written instructions. She also lists the yarn (and colors) used for every motif, staying practical with many of the featured yarns being available at craft chains. At the bottom of each page are photos of some of the suggested motifs to mix and match with the hilighted motif, which is a fun touch.
Next, Ellen presents 10 finished blankets. I love that she has included complete projects for several reasons–one, it will help you to estimate the amount of yarn you might need to make a blanket. This is always a question at the LYS and I generally pull the pattern for a similar kind of project to get an idea. I also think it’s important that she provided diagrammed edging patterns, as well as a general layout for each blanket design, as otherwise it’s up to you to figure out how you want to join one motif to the next. Since each motif has the same number of stitches, I think you could easily sub in the motifs you wanted for these blankets, assuming you have a wild hair to make yours different–I know I do! You’ll want to note that most of the motifs must be sewn or crocheted together, although there are a few “join as you go” motifs thrown in for good measure.