Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Book Revew: The Art of Crochet Blankets by Rachele Carmona

Happy New Year readers and listeners!

I'm back with a book review of a new crochet pattern book - The Art of Crochet Blankets by Rachele Carmona, of Cypress Textiles. Even though I've moved back to the UK this summer, Interweave continues to send me a list of publications to pick from to review on my blog. I only pick the ones that I know that I will love and I write the review in exchange for a free copy of the book. Hurray for Interweave!! 

Back in September, several of the Sheepjes bloggers at Yarndale told me about the most amazing crochet blanket book one of their fellow bloggers Rachele Carmona had coming out soon. So when Interweave asked if I would like to review this book I was keen to find out what these amazing blankets looked like!

Rachele lives in Houston, Texas where I also lived for six years! Why didn't we meet? And I missed her at Yarndale in Skipton, Yorkshire this September, in attendance with all the Sheepjes bloggers. 

Rachele's amazing blanket designs are inspired by other art forms. They are fusion works of art themselves. She has selected influencers in six art fields (weaving, digital art, fabric design, paper cutting, cement tile and quilting) and drawn her inspiration from three works by each artist. And the resulting blankets look quite different.

The book consists of mainly written instructions and helpfully some of the more complicated motifs and borders are charted. There are also colour chart schematics too.  There are plenty of techniques to keep you entertained - puff and bobble stitches with great textures, corner to corner technique and a whole host of different clever joining techniques. But what stands out most for me from this book is the fabulous use of colour - in both the colourwork of individual motifs but also the way the colours are put together. I also very much appreciate that Rachele has included a techniques section where she shares her tips, sometimes nonstandard, for making stitches as neat as possible. This is invaluable information from a guru of crochet blankets - she has made over 300!! And she started out like many of us did with granny square blankets!

My three top picks from the 18 fantastic blankets are: 

  • Color Garden - This blanket features amazing paper cut flower petals crocheted in stacked layers. They are then randomly placed (but Rachele tells you how many to make, how and where to join them together!) This design inspired by Flora by paper cutting artist Maud Vantours
  • Moroccan Tile - I just love the fresh blue and cream geometric squares inspired by cement tiles by designer Caitlin Dowe-Sandes.
  • Ombré Stripe This design is inspired by Tula Pink's Shoreline quilt with monochrome long colour changing yarn.  I can imagine having so much fun cutting up yarn to achieve this effect. 
All of the patterns are up as projects on Ravelry here and Ombré Stripe is coming out top right now as Rachele's most favourited blanket. If you're looking for a more unique blanket design look no further than one of these works of fusion art.

I do apologise for being so intermittent in posting but you can find me more regularly on all the social media Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and also on Ravelry as Crafty Escapism

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Ma Dashper said...

Happy Hogmanay Tamara! This book looks like it is full of lovely blanket designs.

Crafty Escapism said...

Thank you Fay!! To you too!! It is indeed a lovely book!

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