She crocheted them while pregnant with me.
That's right. There is a bag of 36-year-old unjoined afghan squares in my mom's closet. She learned to crochet and wanted to make an afghan while she was pregnant and bored. She got all the squares made, but she didn't know how to join them and in 1975 there was no YouTube, no Google, and she didn't know anyone else who crocheted. So she stuck them in a bag in the closet, and there they remain to this day.
I wish I could travel back in time and give her Kristin Omdahl's wonderful new book, Seamless Crochet!
In her new book, Kristin brilliantly creates a way to avoid having to weave in all the ends and sew together a huge stack of crochet motifs when you're done with a project. When you're done, you're done! I love crochet motifs, I think they are so pretty and offer an opportunity for endless creativity. I hate weaving in ends and sewing pieces together, though, both in crochet and knitting. This is why I knit in the round whenever possible!
The technique that Kristin has created is innovative and easy to understand. Not only is the book full of beautiful seamless shawls, accessories and home decor items, at the end of the book, she describes how to apply the technique to any crochet motif, and this is great, because it just might prevent someone from having a 36-year-old bag of unjoined afghan squares.
After reading this book, my Ravelry queue grew by quite a bit! There are so many gorgeous projects. For instance, I am in love with this shawl, the Blue Lagoon Swirling Hexagon Shawl:
I think the Blue Skies Chunky Cowl is so cute!
The pattern calls for two balls of Lion Brand Hometown USA, making it a really inexpensive project and a great gift for wool-allergic people or for charity projects. I am dreaming of making a super luxe one out of Misti Alpaca Chunky, which I've been drooling over at my LYS for a while.
It's hard to say which project I'll make first from this book, since they're all fantastic, but I'm leaning towards the Moroccan Tile blanket:
It's gorgeous and calls for 8 balls of Red Heart Eco-Ways, and I calculated the project cost to be less than $30. That fits my current budget perfectly!
The variety of yarns used in the projects is another thing I love about this book. There are inexpensive, acrylic yarns used in many of the home decor items, and that's where I think acrylic is best: items that are going to get heavy use and frequent washing. I have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, so all blankets have to be machine washable and dryable! Everything from the least expensive acrylic yarns to the most luxurious, natural fiber boutique yarns are featured in this book, so there is something for everyone. It's not one of those books where every project calls for some yarn that costs $75 per ball, and you have to make yarn substitutions for everything you actually want to make. In fact, the one very expensive yarn called for is used in a 1-ball project, making even that one accessible to everyone:
The Radiance Sparkling Skinny Scarf calls for one ball of Tilli Tomas Symphony Lace. I've been dying to try a Tilli Tomas yarn, but hadn't yet found a good one-ball project (and with two kids, one ball is all I can afford!). This scarf, though, would make one awesome Mother's Day gift... for my mom or myself!
Each pattern has both written instructions as well as stitch diagrams, and an instructional DVD is also included, so the book is accessible for all types of learning styles. Hopefully this innovative technique can prevent tragedies like 36-year-old UFOs. I keep trying to get my mom to send me those afghan squares so I can join them and finish the afghan, but I can't say I'm looking forward to all that sewing! I guess I'll have to find a time machine...