Happy Clappy Crochet

Celebrating Crochet with a Positive Spin

Book Review – Blueprint Crochet Sweaters

on December 4, 2014

I had been a fan of Robyn Chachula’s crochet designs way before I was aware of WHO she was as a designer. The first design I ever owned by Robyn was the Zen scarf pattern in my Crochet page a day calendar. She started popping up as a guest on crochet podcasts, and then I found the program “Knit and Crochet Today!” on my local PBS station and there was Robyn Chachula as the crochet expert! I was encouraged to find out more about her, which lead me to my first Robyn Chachula book purchase – Blueprint Crochet. Soon after, several more books made their way to my crochet bookshelf, including Simply CrochetCrochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia,  and Unexpected Afghans.

In May of 2013, this beautiful book joined the others on my shelf.

Blueprint Crochet Sweaters: Techniques for Custom Construction

Published by Interweave Press, and available both online and in local bookstores and craft stores, Robyn’s book takes the crocheter through four different styles of sweater construction – Classic, Top-Down, Motif, and Unique.  In each section, Robyn has 4 sweater patterns that she has designed (for a total of 16 patterns) that highlight the particular construction techniques she is teaching you within the pages of the book.  For example, the first section of the book tackles Classic sweater construction, and the 4 patterns teach crocheters how armhole shaping can impact the look of your sweater, whether it be raglan, cap sleeve, or side-saddle sleeves. Several of the patterns also include asides, such as “Shaping with Symbols,” and “Increase Your Comfort Level,” where Robyn highlights how the crocheter can customize the pattern so that you are wearing the sweater, rather than the sweater wearing you.

Along with the 16 sweater patterns, there is a must-read introduction where Robyn explains the need for customizing your sweater to fit you, and she includes “Top 10 Tips for Mastering Your Crochet Design.” The patterns themselves include complete written directions, pattern schematics showing finished (blocked gauge) for all sizes, and multiple two color charts, which are excellent guides for the multiple shaping options discussed within the patterns. The Glossary section of the book includes a quick introduction to symbol crochet, a symbol key, a list of abbreviations used throughout the book, and an explanation of all the stitches used within the patterns.  Also included are designer bio’s, additional stitch diagrams, and a resource list for the various yarns used for the sweaters.

So, why did I buy this book? Because I’m guilty of first sweater syndrome – I made a sweater that wore me rather than the other way around. I loved how the model sweater looked, and faithfully crocheted it exactly as the pattern said I should. Then I put it on. It wasn’t pretty. It was too snug in an area of my body that I try not to highlight, yet this sweater felt like a spotlight right to that area. I only ever wore it once, and then it was folded up and put in the back of a drawer. A couple months later, I came across Robyn’s book, and bells went off. I could use what I learned in this book to keep me from making the same mistake twice.  It helped teach me the skills needed to not only help choose sweater patterns that flatter my shape, but to also customize those patterns so that the sweater fits me perfectly.

 

Now I’d like to share that opportunity to learn with you.  I have a second copy of the book Blueprint Crochet Sweaters: Techniques for Custom Construction by Robyn Chachula that I will be giving away to one lucky reader of this blog post.  Due to crazy international shipping costs and VAT taxes, this giveaway is only open to residents of the United States (sorry international readers, but I just can’t afford the additional shipping costs right now).  In order to qualify for the give away, leave a comment with your NAME, STATE, and what you hope to learn from this book.  Only one comment per person, please. All comments must be submitted by 12:01 AM CST on January 1, 2015. The winner will be chosen by random number generator and will be contacted on January 3, 2015. Good luck!

 

Can’t wait to see if you win a copy of the book?  Don’t fret – you can get your own copy through one of the following:

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blueprint-crochet-sweaters-robyn-chachula/1112492256?ean=9781596688285

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Blueprint-Crochet-Sweaters-Techniques-Construction/dp/1596688289/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417732264&sr=1-1&keywords=blueprint+crochet+sweaters

Interweave Press http://www.interweavestore.com/blueprint-crochet-sweaters-techniques-for-custom-construction

Also available is a video class taught by Robyn Chachula, which I also own and highly recommend. The class compliments the information in the book and is a great visual resource. You can purchase the digital download video from Interweave Press at http://www.interweavestore.com/designing-garments-that-suit-your-shape-with-robyn-chachula-video-download

I look forward to reading your comments!

 

 

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