Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: Afghan Stitch Sampler

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Afghan Stitch Sampler
Author: Dolores Franks
Date: 1993
Publisher: Leisure Arts
ISBN: none, but click here to see the cover on Amazon
Length: 34 pages
Quote: “Tunisian Crochet has been used for centuries to produce a material offering the intricacy of knit with the stability of crochet.”
Afghan stitch” is one rather vague name for crocheting done on an “Afghan hook,” a long hook with a knob at one end. “Tunisian Crochet” is probably a better name for the technique, since it is crochet and it is associated with cultures where rugs and slippers, not clothing, were hand-stitched. It is, of course, a good technique for making afghans.
From a distance the 48 patches used in the afghan, the 4 used in the matching pillow, and the scalloped borders around both, look like knitting. From a distance an Afghan hook looks like a knitting needle.
The Afghan hook can, of course, be used for ordinary crocheting, but its length allows it to be used to make these 53 decorative stitch patterns, which are worked in rows like knitting. Rows are worked in pairs; first you leave all the loops on the hook, then you work off all but one loop.
To make the single afghan and pillow shown, you will need about 66 ounces of what U.S. manufacturers confusingly call “worsted weight” yarn (blanket yarn, the kind sold in discount department stores everywhere, knits up to 4-5 stitches per inch) and a 16x16” square pillow form. Each stitch will be used to make one square. You will then be familiar with a wide variety of techniques and will be able to make all sorts of rugs, blankets, pillows, cushions, slippers...even caps, if you want a stiff heavy cap.

Originally a cheap little paperback, this book has soared into the collector's price range. To buy it as a Fair Trade Book, send salolianigodagewi @ yahoo $40 for the book + $5 for shipping. (That's $5 per package; you can get at least two more books into the package with Afghan Stitch Sampler.) We will then send Franks or a charity of her choice $4.50.