Sunday, July 8, 2012

Winner of Unexpected Afghans
The Random Number Generator I used picked a winner for a copy of the ebook of Unexpected Afghans - and it's Craftylady953. Thank you to all who entered - and I hope that you check out the other blogs from the designers in this book, and then, look for the book at the Interweave on-line store, or at your local bookstore or yarn shop. It's a book you don't want to miss!!!

In case you forgot - here's my afghan from the book:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Unexpected Afghans

If you read my previous post, you will know that my mother was the "official" baby afghan crocheter for our family and friends. Well, she's no longer around, and it seems like I have inherited the position. My family has had a population explosion in the past few years. I have new nieces and nephews, and their older brothers and sisters, and their even older cousins, and, of course, my grandchildren. And I'm not even mentioning our good friends who are becoming grandparents right and left. That adds up to a lot of afghans - baby size and larger.  When I make an afghan for a present, I like to make one of my patterns, whether it's been published or not. The first one I made for my great-niece, the one I wrote about in the previous post, was one of my original designs. I had made one for me years before, and just changed the colors to pink and white. When I started designing for publications, I proposed the pattern to an editor, and it was published in a book. Then, I started working smaller baby-sized afghans, using another pattern, and when I submitted the proposal, it also was published. And ditto for a third afghan. I knew these patterns were good - they were easy for me to work quickly, and the new mothers loved them. Eventually, though, I ran out of previous designs, and now, anytime I'm asked to design an afghan for a publication, I have to put on my thinking cap, and do some work. I have some basic criteria for afghans that I crochet for presents. I like them to be quick (I don't have much time to spend on each afghan - see "population explosion" above.) I like to be able to remember the stitch pattern and not have to look at the directions many times in each row or round to see what to do next.  I like to be able to make the pattern in all sorts of yarns. And, I like to be able to make the afghan larger or smaller, depending on the recipient. A small one for a baby. A larger one for a child. An even larger one for a grown-up. With all these criteria in place, I made umpteen afghans this past year for my family and friends. (When you make one for a new baby, you have to make another one for the older sibling.) I also made some for publications - one for a book that was just published: Unexpected Afghans by Robyn Chachula. 

Unexpected Afghans is a book of 24 afghans, and  pillows to match, all innovative crochet designs with traditional techniques. Each afghan is designed by a different designer, and there are hints and tips throughout the book, to make your crocheting experience easier. There are 5 different styles of afghans - cables, granny motifs, color, lace, and tunisian. It's a great way to learn how to work these different techniques if you're not familiar with them. And it's a great way to practice them if you are familiar with them. My afghan (the first in the book) is called Eloise Baby Blanket. It has easy cables and lacy shells. So if you're not used to working cables, or have never worked cables, or just find cables impossible to do, this would be an excellent blanket to crochet. Did I say the cables are easy? Very easy! And remember my basic criteria for making afghans for presents? Quick, easy-to-remember stitch pattern, able to be crocheted in all sorts of yarns, and easy to change the size. This blanket meets all these criteria - so I'm going to make this one for the next baby that shows up. Or the next wedding. Or just because!

If you are interested in the book, here's where you can find more info:
Unexpected Afghans

And, if you want to read the blogs of the other designers in the book, here is that info:

Meet the Author: Robyn Chachula - Crochet By Faye

Meet the Designers (in alphabetical order):
Annette Petavy - Annette Petavy Design
Annie Modesitt - Modeknit
Carol Ventura – Tapestry Crochet
Diane Halpern -Three Rivers Crochet
Dora Ohrenstein - Crochet Insider Newsletter
Doris Chan - Everyday Crochet
Drew Emborsky - The Crochet Dude
Edie Eckman – Edie Eckman   
Ellen Gormley - Go Crochet        
Jill Wright – Wool Crafting   
Kim Guzman - Wips N Chains
Kristin Omdahl - Styled By Kristin
Linda Permann - Lindamade         
Mary Beth Temple - Addicted to Alpaca 
Megan Granholm - Loop de doo
Simona Merchant-Dest - Stylish Knits
Tracie Barrett – Tracie Barrett

Finally, I am giving away one free e-book copy. All you have to do is leave a comment - what kind of afghans do you like to make? Or what are your "go to" afghans? And please be sure to leave your email address, so I can get in touch with you when you win! I'll be picking the number by a random number generator, this coming Sunday, July 8. All comments made before midnight, eastern time, on Saturday, July 7, will be eligible. Good luck!!!