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Book Review


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  100 Afghan Squares to Knit
by Debbie Abrahams
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Afghans are like puzzles, with each square fitting perfectly into the project as a whole. And unlike puzzles, each square can also have a life of its own.

In her first book, Debbie Abrahams -- a successful designer for Rowan -- expands on the puzzle piece concept with 100 unique squares. Technically they're intended to be used in the book's 12 afghan patterns, but each one can also easily stand on its own or within a combination of your choice.

The styles suit all knitting tastes, from beads to bobbles, sailboats to stripes and squares, and beads to buttons, to name a few. The skill level is beginner to intermediate.

User-Friendly Format
The book's hard, glossy cover conceals a spiral binding that lets you leave the book open on a table without worrying that it'll flop closed and you'll lose your place. It also means you need to be a little more careful when turning pages so you don't mistakenly tear out an entire page.

The Patterns
Each of the 12 patterns begins with a brief explanation of the design's history and how you can modify it to suit your taste. A schematic then shows the ultimate placement of all squares in the finished project.

The number of squares varies with each pattern. One has 47 squares, for example, while another is composed of 117.

Then Abrahams gives instructions -- either written, charted, or both -- for every single square. She illustrates each square with at least one picture, although some have several pictures illustrating possible colorways.

All patterns call for Rowan yarns, which isn't surprising considering Abrahams' affiliation with the yarn company. Rowan yarns lend themselves well to this type of project, and the ones Abrahams uses are easy to substitute if you prefer another brand.

Sourcebook for Squares
Knitters are always looking for things to do with small amounts of leftover yarns. I often use mine to knit small pillows or squares for crazy quilts, especially ones in which each square is made by a different knitter.

Abrahams' book gives creative inspiration that goes far beyond the mere notion of a throw. Many of the design motifs would translate perfectly to the center of a sweater, scarf, or hat, for example.

If you have the skill and patience to complete one of the afghan patterns in this book, you'll have an exquisite work of art on your hands. But even if you just refer to the book for pattern motifs and color inspiration for other projects, your money will still be well-spent.

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