Book Review & Giveaway: Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans
April 22, 2010
I have a large craft book library. It's split pretty evenly between sewing books and knitting books. It seems like a whole slew of books come out each season, and just like everyone else, I need to be selective about which books end up lining my shelves.
In that vein, I have come to appreciate craft books that focus on one area - maybe a technique like reverse applique or a theme like knitting for men. The newest title in the STC Craft knitting library, Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans by Norah Gaughan continues this trend. Using one kind of yarn, Berroco Comfort, Gaughan and her team came up with over 50 patterns for blankets and afghans. The patterns vary in colors and technique. Want to knit a solid throw with cables? Or maybe lace is more your speed? You can find patterns that fit the bill. How about simple stripes? Squares knit individually and sewn together? Colorwork? Those are there too. Crochet is more your speed, you say? You'll find some simple patterns and some more challenging. Basically, there is something for everyone in this book.
This garter stitch throw is among my favorites. Simple and still interesting, it looks like the kind of project I could get into.
I also really like the fish ripple crocheted blanket. Its small size (30" x 36") makes it a perfect baby gift.
There are so many more patterns (50+!!!) that I can't even begin to do the book justice. The directions appear to be well written and easy to follow. Additionally, the specified yarn, Berroco Comfort is machine washable and available in over ninety colors. You can truly take any of these patterns and make it just like you see them or in the colors of your choice without having to worry about gauge. I like that.
* * * * *
If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans, tell me about your favorite blanket or throw. I will pick a winner tomorrow, Friday, April 23, using the random number generator.
I'll be back tomorrow with shop news!
I have two favorite afghans. One is from Grandmother that was knit for me more than 15 years ago and it means the world to me. My Grandmother taught me how to knit. The second is a crocheted afghan that Mother-in-law made for when we were first married. It has special place in my heart since she recently passed away from cancer. Sometimes the old blankets are the best!
Posted by: Jen Gough | April 22, 2010 at 02:01 PM
Afghans with history have such power. I want to create powerful links to the past for my children. Oh, random number generator, please pick me!
Posted by: Tara | April 22, 2010 at 02:22 PM
My favorite blanket is the quilt my grandmother made specifically for me. It's main color is a bright grass-green (I just had to mention that, since we're both big fans of that particular color). I also have the yarn for 2 blankets. One is a one color log-cabin I'm knitting for my mother. The other is an Elizabeth Zimmerman mitered square blanket I'm going to make for me. Notice I said I only have the yarn; neither qualify as blankets yet, but they're great longterm projects. And since I also have a pattern for a crocheted blanket, when I don't know (yet) how to crochet, it's clear I'm drawn to blanket patterns and would probably *love* this book!
Posted by: erica | April 22, 2010 at 02:25 PM
I don't have any knitted or crocheted throws! Only quilts for me currently. To remedy that I started knitting a throw a few nights ago. I have already ripped it out and started over 3 times (hopefully third and LAST time)!!! I sure could use a book with patterns and inspiration. I do hope I win, but if not I think I am going to run out and buy this, it's right up my alley!
Posted by: Sarah | April 22, 2010 at 02:38 PM
I began a knit blanket while very pregnant with my second daughter. It was my first project and it was the most therapeutic thing I could have ever done in the midst of the January cold just waiting. It is done now and in her crib!
Would be so happy to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance.
Posted by: Katie | April 22, 2010 at 02:53 PM
My husband often laughs at me when I buy throws or blankets. It's kind of an addiction. I love all the colors and patterns when they are folded nicely and stacked in a big basket. And my favorites change with my mood (and the weather). Currently, I'm loving small quilts as throws. They feel cool when you first curl up with them, but they still keep you warm.
Posted by: jen | April 22, 2010 at 03:00 PM
The mother of my sons godmother (godgrandmother?) made him a babyblanket in the nicest 50ish style and colors. I love it! Now he is most definetely grown out of it, and when I am on the couch I find my self wishing I could stretch it to cover more than my feet. Still love it. Saving it for (don't I wish) the next generation.
The book looks lovely. Maybe I can make one in my size to like as much. Thanks for the opportunity.
Posted by: mette | April 22, 2010 at 03:03 PM
you've peeked my interest! working on an undyed, natural cable throw from our own sheep. need to shear them for some more wool!
Posted by: sarah | April 22, 2010 at 03:10 PM
I made a few blankets myself.
And the one that I might like the most is this ripple one:
And this one too, which was meant to be a shawl, and also is:
Posted by: Julie Alvarez | April 22, 2010 at 03:12 PM
My 'go to' baby blanket has been the Big Bad Baby Blanket from the original Stitch n Bitch. It has served me well, but I quite like the look of that Fish Ripple blankie so perhaps I am meant to make a switch?!?
Posted by: Jen W. | April 22, 2010 at 03:25 PM
I'm pretty in love with the patchwork quilt I made that is on my bed, but for sheer delicious coziness, it's this down-filled fleece-backed laura ashley throw that was a gift. My sweetie and I have taken to calling it the carnivorous blanket because of the way one inevitably falls asleep if you curl up with it. We think it releases some kind of sedative and then nibbles on you while you sleep.
Posted by: Allison | April 22, 2010 at 03:34 PM
I am making my very first crochet project right now, it's a simple never-ending granny square style blanket with different colours. I'm really loving it but I'd love to learn more because the only thing I know how to make is a granny square. Thanks for the giveaway!
Posted by: Tong | April 22, 2010 at 03:39 PM
My family's favorite is a log cabin quilt my mom made me in 1976....it has been put away and replaced with a new quilt she made my husband several years ago - but it's not the same as the original!!!!
Posted by: tammy | April 22, 2010 at 03:43 PM
My favorite blanket is an ivory afghan that my grandmother gave to me when I moved into my first home. It's nothing fancy, but it means the world to me now that she is gone. Thanks for the giveaway. I love Norah Gaughan patterns, and, I agree, the simple garter stripes blanket is awesome!
Posted by: Missy | April 22, 2010 at 03:44 PM
I don't have a fav knitted afghan - just quilts. I recently caught the knitting bug and i'm hoping a in-the-near future project will be a throw! :o)
Posted by: Kylie | April 22, 2010 at 03:46 PM
I don't own my favorite, but I love afghans with large cables. I can't wait to begin some projects of my own!
Posted by: Jocelyn | April 22, 2010 at 03:47 PM
This looks like a great book!
My favorite blankets/throws right now are quilts but I would love to knit one.
Crossing my fingers...
Posted by: anina | April 22, 2010 at 03:50 PM
My favorite throw is one my grandmother made me when I was eight. At the time, I wanted a pink room: pink carpet, pink walls, pink bedspread, pink curtains . . . but I shared a room with my sister, who was decidedly not a pink girl. My grandmother made the throw, with just enough pink to show she had been listening, and not so much pink as to make my sister throw up. I still cherish it.
That garter blanket tempts me, too. Count me in for the drawing!
Posted by: Linda Urban | April 22, 2010 at 03:51 PM
I've been learning to crochet (I'm a well-seasoned knitter but wanted to learn some new tricks) by making the Tiramisu Baby Blanket on Ravelry. It's amazing how much faster it is to crochet blankets than to knit them!
Posted by: Maggie | April 22, 2010 at 03:52 PM
The afghan I want to make is the one seen in the park sequence of "Ballet Shoes", but I'd love this book too!
Posted by: Molly W. | April 22, 2010 at 03:53 PM
I have never knitted a blanket before. My FAVORITE quilt is one that my husbands Grandma made. So many fabrics went in to that quilt. I only bring it out to our bed a few times a yr. I dont EVER want it to get ruined. LOL
Posted by: Kashoan | April 22, 2010 at 03:54 PM
I really love granny square blankets... I would love to win this book to give to my MIL for Mother's Day!
Posted by: ~Michelle~ | April 22, 2010 at 03:59 PM
I love to knit baby blankets as gifts, but have yet to find a 'go-to' favorite. My personal favorite blanket is a quilt that my sister made for me. :)
Posted by: Kim | April 22, 2010 at 04:04 PM
My favorite afghan is one that my grandmother crocheted many years ago. The stripes are all different bright colors, and the blanket is bordered in black. It's so funky!
Posted by: Kristi | April 22, 2010 at 04:12 PM
When I think of crocheted blankets, my "blankie" growing up always comes to mind. A simple ripple pattern made by my grandma in pink, white, and light blue. Obviously my parents didn't know in advance if they were having a boy or girl!
Posted by: Jennifer | April 22, 2010 at 04:12 PM
I won my favorite afghan at a church camp raffle - it was made by an elderly woman who obviously loved her craft. It has a lacy knitted panel in the center and a crocheted shell border, all in creamy white. I was amazed that she was donating it, and really couldn't believe it when I won it! It has a permanent place of honor over the back of my knitting chair when it's not on my lap. :)
Posted by: Jani | April 22, 2010 at 04:13 PM
I made the Great American Aran afghan for my parents for their wedding anniversary. It was really beautiful. I knew it would be perfect in their tv room and big enough for snuggling. In other words, the perfect anniversary gift!
Instead, my mother framed it! ( :
She's always been supportive of my knitting habit, but framing a finished product takes supportive to a whole new level!
(BTW, love your blog. Why o why am I always too late to buy a camera strap???)
Posted by: Carolyn | April 22, 2010 at 04:15 PM
My favorite was a green blanket knitted to welcome my nephew into the world. It has since welcomed his little brother too :)
Posted by: Sunny | April 22, 2010 at 04:18 PM
For every baby that has been born in our family (11 so far...) I have crocheted a baby blanket as a "Welcome to the World" gift. I don't think I could choose just one, but the three that I've made for my own girls are, by far, my favourites.
Posted by: Sarah | April 22, 2010 at 04:20 PM
I have to admit that I don't yet know how to crochet. I really want to, but haven't mastered it yet. But my mom on the other hand is a pro and she makes a blessing blanket for all of my children when they are newborn and they are just beautiful. I think this amazing book would be such a great Mothers Day gift for her and I know she would just cherish it!!
Thanks for the chance to win.
Posted by: Jaime | April 22, 2010 at 04:23 PM
My favorite blanket is a hairpin lace crocheted blanket I made in college. I fashioned it after one my parents were given that we always had sitting out at my house. It was not the easiest thing to make, as the only instructions I had were from the original blanket and I was a beginning crocheter. In the end it turned out great, and I really love it!
Posted by: kimberly | April 22, 2010 at 04:25 PM
My favorite afghan I have ever made is an Indian Head Afghan which is done in Afghan stitch with the design embroidered on it. This is the ravelry link--http://www.ravelry.com/projects/luvtoknit/indian-head-afghan--I made 3 of these. 2 for my son--he wore out the first one and the second one is in his casket. One for my Dad--my Mom gave me this one back when my Dad died. I will probably never make another one.
Posted by: Chris | April 22, 2010 at 04:27 PM
Some dear friends gave me a handmade quilt when my daughter was born. They purchased it at a silent auction to benefit a Suicide Awareness Non-Profit. The very talented woman who created it made it shortly after her son committed suicide. It comforted her during her time of need. My friends didn't know that shortly before they gave me the quilt, an important person in my life had attempted suicide. This person is doing very well now and the quilt will always remind me that life is precious.
Posted by: jenn | April 22, 2010 at 04:28 PM
Here is ravelry link for that Indian Head Afghan I commented about above--for some reason it didn't work
Posted by: Chris | April 22, 2010 at 04:29 PM
My favorite blanket has to be the ugliest zig zag blanket I made for my husband and I to cover ourselves on the couch while movies. Still going strong!
Posted by: Grace | April 22, 2010 at 04:32 PM
I think that right now, I like the Lizard Ridge afghan that everyone is making from Knitty...
Posted by: Susan | April 22, 2010 at 04:33 PM
My favorite blanket is a hex quilt made by my grandmother. It is starting to show a lot of wear though and I've been considering attempting to patch it up myself. I'm just not ready for it to move on!
I am planning on crocheting another throw for our couch using the sunburst granny square, just ordered the yarn a few days ago! I also love the look of zigzag afghans.
Posted by: Annie | April 22, 2010 at 04:45 PM
I knitted an afghan with cables for my daughter and son-inlaw - no pattern, just made it up as I went along. They liked it so much that they requested another. I am currently recreating the first one in a different color. It would be great to be inspired by the patterns in this book.
Posted by: Lindsey | April 22, 2010 at 04:50 PM
i am working on a giant granny square blanket right now to give to a friend, and i think it is my favorite blanket i've ever made. i kind of want to make one for me when i finish!
Posted by: whitney | April 22, 2010 at 04:51 PM
Right now my favorite cover is a cheap down throw that's sueded on one side, and cotton on the other. That's not to say, however, that I couldn't have a NEW favorite blanket if I won this great book! I LOVE afghans!
Posted by: Amy B. | April 22, 2010 at 04:53 PM
We had this super '70s brown afghan that a family friend made. It was huge so my 6'3" dad could fit under it. We'd all huddle around and watch football!
Posted by: minnesota:madre | Sarah Jane | April 22, 2010 at 04:54 PM
Hmm, my favorite blanket would be my childhood blanket made by my mom. But my favorite throw would be just a simple soft green one I bought, that is so soft and warm!
Posted by: treeathie | April 22, 2010 at 05:01 PM
I need to mention how much I enjoy your blog. First found it when I was looking to make a sundress for my daughter, and saw your sunny day dress.
My favorite blanket is one that my grandmother made me. Its actually a full-sized bedspread. Each row is single crocheted, with a treble into the row below and set intervals. Each row is a different color, with no repeats in the color scheme. Its only as I've gotten older that I truly appreciate the time that went into this :)
Posted by: Amy J | April 22, 2010 at 05:02 PM
Pick me, random number generator, pick me!
It's cold here in the winter and we only have two cherished family afghans. Now that we have a third family member, we're going to need another afghan!
Posted by: [email protected] | April 22, 2010 at 05:03 PM
We have two beautiful crocheted afghans in my family that my grandmother made for us. My mom has them still, and just seeing them when I visit her reminds me of my childhood and my late Nana.
Posted by: Beth | April 22, 2010 at 05:03 PM
My favorite is the first one I completed for my youngest daughter from Bernat baby yarn in pink, blue, yellow and white, granny squares on point. Not perfect, but it's hers.
Posted by: Myra | April 22, 2010 at 05:05 PM
My favorite is from my grandmother over 30 years ago. It holds many great memories.
Posted by: jane | April 22, 2010 at 05:15 PM
I've seen this book and have been dying to get a copy of it. Too many other bills keep getting in the way. My favorite afghan is one my great grandmother made for me. A simple jacob's latter afghan, but after attempting to make one on my own, I realize now how much time this afghan took her. I love it all the more.
Posted by: Cami | April 22, 2010 at 05:36 PM
I just learned to crochet a few months ago, starting out with dishcloths and more dishcloths. Last month, I started my first blanket, a baby blanket for a long-awaited niece or nephew due late this year. I hope my sister-in-law doesn't realize it's just a huge dishcloth...if I win this book I'll do another, fancier blanket she might like more!
Posted by: Kat | April 22, 2010 at 05:40 PM
What a wonderful book Erin! It sounds like your craft library is a little like mine. Hard to choose from all those books sometimes! My favourite knitted throw is one that I bought in Maine 15 years ago. It's a beautiful dusky dark blue that reminds me of beach houses and is a gorgous chunky cable knit. It's hand knitted and has travelled with me, both physically and emotionally, an awful long way. I bought it when visiting a great friend in America and it went home with me to London. It saw me through break ups with boyfriends, bad jobs and cold English winters and then moved with me to New Zealand. It kept me warm when I fed my babies at 3am and keeps those babies (now 6 and 3) warm every morning when they snuggle on the couch to watch tv together. I hate to admit it but it's starting to look worse for wear now so I'd love this book to start making a new one to replace our old favourite!
Posted by: Sarah @ Cotton Kiwi | April 22, 2010 at 05:44 PM