Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Chickee Made and Book Review

It's a scarf for her Webkin! Chickee started out making an afghan for Charlie. Though, she seems to be just as patient as I am, and quickly changed her plans. She sewed the scarf together at the neck with needle and thread.

Here she is starting her next project, It ended up being a hat for her stuffed bunny. Mostly because she forgot to turn at the end of a row and ending up going up the sides of the small rectangle and all the way around, making a bowl shape. If she's happy, I'm happy. :) At this point, I am most thrilled that she is able to hold the working yarn and hook at the same time. For a few months, I had to hold the yarn while she used the hook, and now she is doing both. (I'm very proud)

Now, have we talked enough about my kids? Do you want a book review?

This is "200 Crochet Blocks, for blankets, throws, and afghans" by Jan Eaton. First, what's the difference between a blanket, a throw, and an afghan? Size? Anyway, this is a 2004 Quarto book, a division of Interweave.

I admit, I have seen this book several times at the store, at the library, on the internet, and I have always passed it by. I don't know why, mostly because I design my own squares I guess. But when I opened it up, there were some very appealing qualities about it. I love the Contents page with all the thumbnail photos of each square that goes along with each name. It almost looks like a crochet version of hieroglyphics. Jan's introductory chapters are very good about how to use the book, mixing and matching blocks, and mixing textures. I love how turning the motifs change the illusion you get for the overall product. Jan describes this well on pages 18 and 19. The block directory itself is nice, it's best features are the gorgeous colors and if you look close, they are little "samplers" of many different crochet techniques, filet, tapestry, intarsia, rows and in the round. Overall, I found it to be entertaining to read. I thought she "fudged" a little, it seemed some of the squares were the same only with a slight change from a previous one, but she included 209 squares instead of 200, so I guess she makes up for it with the bonus blocks. Still, 200 is a huge number of squares to come up with that all end up the same size and can be mixed and matched with any of the others in the book. That in itself is quite a feat! If you love to make squares for charity, you need this book! I would most likely use this book as a reference for "inspiration" the colors, the techniques can be translated into bigger pieces. For example, the "row" blocks and be made into full afghans themselves! Just look outside the square!

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