Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby Blueprint Crochet

I love crochet books. I collect crochet books. Old ones, new ones, stitch dictionaries, books with patterns, almost any kind of crochet book I can get my hands on. Sometimes, I'll even buy two copies of a book, either because I forgot I had one copy, or I see an older book at a used book sale and have to provide it with a good home!  :-) I am always looking for new books, books that will soon be published, and haunt the bookstores, both on-line and "real" ones, to see if a new book is out yet. So I knew that Robyn Chachula was going to have a new book out soon - Baby Blueprint Crochet. I liked the previews that I saw, and judging by her previous book, and her knowledge of stitch diagrams, I knew that this book would be a winner. And I would probably have to have it. I really couldn't wait until it came out.

And then Robyn asked me to be a part of the blog tour for the book, and I didn't have to think twice about it. Of course I would do it, because 1. I knew it was going to be a winner, 2. I know and like Robyn, and 3. I'd get to see the book before it became available in the stores.
Well, I did get to see the book before it got to the stores. And I still like Robyn. So, is #1 still true? You bet!
Why? Well, the photography is great. The kid models are so cute! And this book is more than just patterns for babies and toddlers. So much more. So even though I don't have many babies in my family to crochet for (in fact, only one new great-nephew) and only one toddler (my great-niece), I still want this book in my collection. Robyn has included stitch symbol diagrams with all the designs. And these diagrams map out the stitch patterns, including increases and decreases, so that if I want to use the stitch pattern in one of my designs, I could see how it would look, and I wouldn't have to figure out increasing/decreasing details. It's there! But not only does she include the stitch symbol diagrams, she actually gives instructions on how to use them effectively. So if you have never used stitch symbols or stitch symbol diagrams (and they are such a great tool to have in your crochet skills set) Robyn's instructions will teach you just what you need to know to use them. Also, each project in the book includes all the info you'll need to know about that project: what yarn you'll need, special stitches you'll need to know, how it's constructed, and how to finish it. Robyn also gives you ideas on how to make a baby project - what kinds of yarns to use, what colors you should use, what you should leave off of a baby project, and how to baby-proof your work. These are things that you may not realize if you are making these projects as a gift for a new mother. But these are all things that Robyn has learned, first hand, because she is a new mother herself. And she wants to share them with you, so your new-baby gifts will be well-used, and loved!
Robyn also uses different stitches and stitch patterns in her designs - ones that you may not know or may not have used. So you can learn some new stitch patterns, and some new stitches. She uses post stitches (both front post and back post dc), front loop only and back loop only stitches, extended stitches, different versions of double crochet and single crochet stitches (including reverse single crochet),  and Tunisian stitches. So even if you don't have a baby or toddler to crochet for, Baby Blueprint Crochet is a wonderful resource to have. It's a pattern book, stitch dictionary, and how-to book all in one! Can't get any better than that!
For an example of what there is in the book, other than baby clothes, here's a picture of a baby washcloth that Robyn includes. It would make a great dishcloth if you don't know a baby to crochet for. Or make it a little bigger, and use it yourself. It comes with written directions, and a great stitch pattern diagram that is clear to read, and would be easy to enlarge.

If you want a sneak preview of the rest of the projects in Robyn's book, check out her flicker album here.


Rebekah and Mike said...

Hi. I don't know if you can help me. I've been working on a blanket and have finally finished the body. I am now ready to start on the edging. These are the instructions for that is given before the instructions for the edging: "Repeat Row 2 for the pattern until Afghan body measures approximately 50" from beginning ch, ending by working a wrong side row; do not finish off." My problem is that I'm not sure if the wrong side row should be the same stitches as the row before or if it should be something else.

The pattern I'm using is 'Luxurious Afghans' by Leisure Arts pattern # 3. Peaceful Interval

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Marty Miller said...

I don't have the book, but from what you've told me, just follow the pattern as established - it looks like Row 2 is the pattern. Just keep doing it until you have 50" from the beginning. End on a wrong side row. The rows at the beginning should be marked which is the wrong side and which is the right side. There should be a "WS" or a "RS" near the beginning of a row direction. If "WS" is on an even numbered row, then all even numbered rows are wrong side rows. If WS is on an odd numbered row, then all odd numbered rows are wrong side rows. So that's all you do before you start the edging - continue in the pattern until you have approximately 50", and end on a wrong side row. Hope this helps you, Marty

Stacey said...

Hi - I'm hoping you can help I just started crocheting the "callum" sweater from Baby Blueprint and I am dumbfounded by what "hdc bet next 2 hdc" - how do I crochet BETWEEN two half double crochets? Where is the in between? Thanks - love your blog. Stacey

Marty Miller said...

Instead of going into the stitches, you work in between the stitches. So, don't crochet into the first hdc, don't crochet into the second hdc, but crochet into the area between the first and second hdc. Almost like you're crocheting into a space formed by a chain, but there's no chain.
If these were the 2 hdc (T T), then you would crochet your stitch in between the two Ts - let's see if I can show you:

I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Language is definitely changing:

"... It would make a great dishcloth if you don't know a baby to crochet for..."

When I was in elementary school is was a real no-no to end a sentence with a preposition.

All my life since I mentally correct such sentences.

'It would make a great dishcloth if you don't know a baby for whom to crochet.'

Alas, my English teacher still haunts me. LOL

Marty Miller said...

You are right! I do the same thing!

Whitney said...

I'm sorry this is about a year late but I have spent a week trying to figure out the explanation for her stitch diagrams in the front of the book. My husband has spent the last couple days with me trying to figure it out also.

P. 10 she shows an equation to find the number of chains to start the body... but I am stupefied trying to understand it... would you know how to help or another place that explains the math. I bought this book for so many reasons and now I can't do anything with it.

Marty Miller said...

It can seem complicated, but it isn't really.
First, look at the diagram and see how many chains are before the diagram for the stitch repeat and how many are after the diagram. Include the turning chains. Add those numbers together. Put them "aside" to be used later. Then, figure out, or read, how many chains are used for one stitch repeat. Then multiply that number by the number of stitch repeats in the row. Then add to that the number of extra chains - that number that you put aside. That's how many chains you need for your foundation chain.
Suppose you have a total of 5 chains before and after the diagram for the stitch repeat. And then you have 2 chains used in each stitch pattern repeat. You want to have 47 stitch patten repeats. 47 times 2 chains is 94 chains you need. But then, add the 5 extra ones - you need 99 chains to start.
Hope this makes sense.