Book Details and Overview:
Book Title: Baby Blueprint Crochet: Irresistible Projects for Little Ones
Author: Robyn Chachula
Publisher: Interweave Press
Copyright Date: Copyright 2010; release date was December 2010
Format: Softcover / Trade Paperback
Number of Pages: 152
Cover Price: $21.95 US dollars
There are two main themes in this book:
- All the crochet patterns presented in the book are suitable for babies and children;
- All Robyn's pattern instructions incorporate symbol crochet charts as a tool to help you visualize and easily re-create the design.
One other thing I picked up on that might or might not have been intentional on the designer's part: the majority of these patterns are slightly retro, with colors, details and design themes vaguely reminiscent of the 1970s and early 1980s. There are a few patterns in the book that don't fit with that look, but overall it's a pretty cohesive theme throughout.
Crochet Projects Included in This Book
There are 19 total crochet projects included in this book. All of them are designed for babies and toddlers. The clothing patterns are sized for babies and toddlers from approximately six months old through two years old. Some of the wearable accessories are sized for newborns as well as babies and toddlers. There are also several patterns for projects that don't need to fit anybody, such as stuffed toys, blankets, a washcloth, etc.
There are two patterns for baby blankets included in this book. These are creative and pretty different from a lot of other baby blanket styles you see around.
- Kyla Mod Stroller Blanket: This is a patchwork-style blanket that incorporates granny square variations plus other textural crocheted squares. Apart from the small made-for-a-stroller sizing, there's nothing overly "babyish" about this design; it's sophisticated, stylish and classic all at once. The pattern includes instructions for ties which allow you to easily tie it onto a stroller as pictured in the book, but you could omit the ties and use the blanket as an ordinary baby blanket if you prefer that option.
The colorway shown is "girly," with deep pinks and rose tones, complemented by orange and an unexpected pale yellow-y green. The design could be re-colored for baby boys without any major problems. Personally, I'd recolor this even if making it for baby girls, but that's me. Your opinion may vary.
- Froggie Blanket: This boy-friendly baby afghan is made using Tunisian crochet. It features a frog-shaped applique; complete instructions are included for crocheting the frog, which is great because you can make as many frogs as you like, adding them to other things such as purchased sweatshirts or whatever else strikes your fancy.
The sample blanket is crocheted in bright shades of blue and green with a vibrant orange border. The whole thing works for me except for the orange border; I think I'd like the border better in navy blue, or perhaps a deep olive or forest green. That aside, it's a creative design that looks interesting to crochet, and a great pattern to have on hand if you like crocheting interesting baby shower gifts.
For me, it's the accessories that really sway me into thinking this book would be a worthwhile investment for prolific crocheters. There are several creative accessories patterns that I could see making many times over, possibly even several times for each new arrival.
- Snuggly Socks: These are so cute! There are a couple different variations in how you could make this sock pattern. There's a two-color version, which is made up and photographed in blue and green; it's nice as-is, but could easily be re-colored if you'd prefer a different colorway. There's also a solid green version.
- Pea Pod Slider Slippers
- Popsicle Boots: These just couldn't possibly be any cuter. They're a little like a crocheted Uggh boot. The version shown is styled for baby girls, but the design could easily be re-colored for baby boys too.
- Greenie Diaper Cover: an endlessly useful pattern to have on hand
- Andie Cap: This cute little visor beanie looks like a fun crochet project.
Baby Sweaters and Baby Clothes:
- Joni Jumper: There are a couple of ways the word "jumper" could be used; it's a "jumper" as Americans would use the word, and not so much as the British would. This jumper is a cute sundress-style jumper designed for little girls. It features a lacy crocheted motif appliqued onto the front.
- Callum Pullover: a boy-friendly unisex style pullover sweater featuring a dinosaur applique.
- Stella Jacket: This little girls' jacket features eye-catching contrasting and trim, which contrast with the body of the jacket. The style is very grown-up.
- Hank Vest: A sporty zip-front vest styled for little boys
- Leah Pullover: a tunic-style pullover sweater styled for little girls
- Charlie Vest: A zip-front vest with an interesting textured stitch pattern, styled for little boys
- Rosa Car Coat: This is a multicolored cardigan featuring granny squares; it's styled for little girls, although in my opinion it looks pretty "grown-uppish."
- Hunter Pullover: This tiny pullover resembles a classic ski sweater; it features multicolored snowflakes, with retro-style coloring and details.
- Upcycled Washcloth: This is one of my favorite patterns in the book; it's an eye-catching design with broad appeal, and who couldn't use a few more washcloths?
- Burp Cloth Bib: This is a practical pattern that I think would be a great addition to any crocheter's pattern stash; if you crochet your baby shower gifts for friends and colleagues, you're likely get a lot of use out of this bib pattern. The instructions include two different variations for coloring the design, one solid and one multicolored. Both versions are nice.
Soft Toys / "Plushies" / Stuffed Animals:
- Stuffed Toy Robot: They named him "Robot Burt."
- Stuffed Toy Elephant: The official name of this design is "Ellie on Parade."
Comparing Costs on This Book vs Pattern Downloads From the Interweave Store
The patterns include text instructions, symbol charts, diagrams, and photos; they are clear and easy to follow. I get many, many requests for symbol crochet patterns, and I'd recommend this book to anyone who shows interest in having that type of pattern.
The styling and photography enhance the projects. The projects are presented in a realistic way, making it easy for crocheters to assess each design. With the more complex patterns, they've given you several different photos from different angles, which will help you to visualize all the little details necessary for making each project a success.
Downsides to This Book:
This is a great book, but for me, it has two major downsides:
- One is that many of the color choices just don't work for me. My overall perception is that the fantastic design work in this book is often camouflaged by poor color choices. Your mileage may vary here. Color is really a personal thing, and any of these patterns could so easily be re-colored. Maybe you'll love the colors and maybe you won't; either way, don't hesitate to recolor any of these designs if the colors don't work for you. Robyn's clear instructions and symbol crochet diagrams have made it really easy for you to do this.
- Some of the apparel designs look so grown-up and sophisticated that it's hard for me to envision dressing a baby in them.
One other minor drawback: No skill level ratings are included.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic book, and I am happy to recommend it to other crocheters.
Do you have a copy of this book in hand? If so, you're invited to submit a review and share your opinion of it too!References and External Links:
I considered the following sources when writing this book review:
- I visited Robyn Chachula's blog and viewed her blog post about the Rosa car coat.
- Obviously, I looked at the book I am reviewing: Baby Blueprint Crochet
- I visited the Interweave Store, to find out about the availability of pattern downloads.
- I also looked at Interweave Crochet's press release announcing the arrival of the book.