Book Review: Blueprint CrochetBy Claire Ortega-Reyes – 4 Comments
|For me, Robyn Chachula’s book Blueprint Crochet: Modern Designs for the Visual Crocheter is a game-changer. I learned how to crochet with written patterns, so it never occurred to me that I might be a visual crocheter (I didn’t even know there was such a thing as visual crochet). Because of this book, I learned how to understand crochet diagrams and how to make join-as-you-go motifs. Suddenly, those beautiful Japanese patterns are doable, and motif projects aren’t as daunting. Preview the book on Amazon and read on for my full review to see whether or not you’ll like it.|
First Impressions: The Look
A glance at the front and back covers gives a decidedly feminine collection of projects–two sweaters, a jacket, a motif bag, and a wrap. I like that the book summary at the back gives a pretty accurate description of the book. The project photos in the book are beautiful, and would inspire many crocheters to get out their hooks and work.
I’ll admit that I usually skip reading the introduction of the books I read. I’m glad I made the exception this time, because it put the rest of the book (and my mindset) in the proper context. I love that Robyn explained everything based on what she experienced while learning and creating crochet pieces. Plus, all the projects have a little story: each pattern’s design is inspired by a special woman in her life. All in all, I like her writing style because it feels intimate, like I was getting to know her personally.
Crochet Instructions: How-To’s and Patterns
This book isn’t exactly for beginners (something I like, but makes the book a bit disheartening for newbies). There’s a glossary of stitches and crochet terms in the back, though. That said, the book explains everything about reading crochet symbols and interpreting diagrams. More tips and explanations about this are learned while making the projects that follow.
All of the patterns have both written and charted patterns, aside from project schematics and layouts. I like the diversity of patterns: about half of them are for wearables, and the rest are for accessories (a belt, a scarf, a bag, 3 shawls/wraps). If you’re looking for something masculine though, you won’t find it here. Here are some of my favorite patterns from the book:
- RaeAnne Shawl Sweater – my absolute favorite in the book: it doesn’t look it, but it’s made up of motifs!
- Rebecca Vest – this is the perfect vest to top off any preppy look
- Madison Scarf – I love the construction of the scarf, crocheting one half of each motif first, and then going around to complete the other side: yay, no sewing!
- Isabella Wrap – a geometric edging makes this classic wrap definitely not boring
- Heather Earrings and Necklace – I’m always a sucker for accessories, and this makes quick gifts for girly-girls
- Rachel Swing Jacket – the jacket has adjustable bands in the back, so it can be worn loose or fitted
The only thing I don’t like about the patterns is the yarn recommendations. There isn’t enough explanation about yarn substitution. The weight of the yarn is there, but the specific wraps per inch (wpi) measurement isn’t, forcing readers to do more research if they want to use another yarn, or if the recommended yarn has been discontinued.
The Long and Short of It
If you don’t already know how to read crochet diagrams, then this is the perfect book to introduce you to a whole new world of crochet patterns. The biggest criticism I have for the book is that it doesn’t have patterns for males. Sure, crocheters are mostly female, but more and more guys are starting to appreciate and to learn how to crochet.
Still undecided? Take advantage of Amazon’s Look Inside feature to get a little preview of the book.
What about you? Do you have a copy of this book? Do you think this is a must-have for every crocheter?