Book Review: Unexpected Afghans

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Title: Unexpected Afghans, Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques
Author: Robyn Chachula

Book Review by Jennifer J. Cirka (

Robyn Chachula, along with a team of amazing crocheters, has captured my attention with her newest book, Unexpected Afghans. I immediately fell in love with all the beautiful designs featured in this book. Afghans are my favorite way to decorate my home because I love how just a little color or some striking lace or textures can turn my simple brown couch into something you'd find in a decorating magazine.

This book features 29 beautiful designs perfectly suited to fit your skill level and taste. Traditional granny squares, lots of colors, and even Tunisian crochet are all included in this book. Robyn begins each chapter with a stunning pillow design of her own as a great start to the techniques you will be using in the rest of the chapter. She writes wonderful introductions that make you feel like she is talking directly to you while sharing a cup of coffee.

The chapters in this book include Cables, Granny Motifs, Color, Lace, and Tunisian Crochet. Each chapter consists of one pillow design and 4 or 5 different blanket designs by other famous authors such as Drew Emborsky, Ellen Gormley, Carol Ventura, Marly Bird, and Kim Guzman. Also included in the introduction is Advice and Tips from each of the contributing designers. The standard Symbol Basics, Glossary, and Yarn Resources are also included. You'll find diagrams and charts that accompany the designs.

So, if you know me by now, you should know that I always try to make something from each of the books I review. This time is no exception. I happily whipped up a small version of Cabine de Dentelle Afghan by Annette Petavy. This is a lace design from the Granny Motif section. The full size afghan requires 16 motifs, but I made only 4 and turned them into a beautiful, and colorful, blanket for the newest addition to our family, a retired racing Greyhound we are calling Sheba. She is going to love snuggling up in this beauty!

If you like making afghans, than this is definitely a book you should add to your library. Robyn Chachula and her collection of designer friends have created another winner. Unexpected Afghans is an excellent book and wonderful resource.

(Interweave Press, 2012, 159 Pages, $22.95, ISBN-13: 978-59668-299-3)

Full disclosure: A free review copy of  Unexpected Afghans was provided by Interweave Press. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

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