Well, here I am recommending another knitting book without having done any of the projects myself! This begs the question: does a good knitting book necessitate clear, correct patterns, or it it just enough to have great projects that the reader can enjoy perusing through and be inspired by? Hmm, I think maybe the answer is a little bit of both. But that still won't stop me from telling you all about this book!
In Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans by Norah Gaughan & Margery Winter (and the Berroco Design team), there are 51 afghan projects, and they are all beautiful. I love that the authors make a point to put in a variety of styles to suite every type of person and their type of household. There's also a wide range of difficulty, which also makes this an appealing book. Surely, every knitter (or crocheter) can find at least one afghan that would look beautiful in their home and that they have the skills to execute.
So, here are the ones that I wold love to work on, if I had the time & if there weren't already a million projects in my queue: the Basketweave afghan is a very simple basketweave pattern. I love that it's so simple - but it looks so classic. I also like that it fits a double bed. This would be perfect for my 5 year old's room! I also love the Garter Stripes afghan. The colors are great - they remind me of Pottery Barn's stuff. This would be great for our Little Guy's bed, once he outgrows his crib! Meditate is also beautiful, with the complementary shades of mauve. Actually, someone on ravelry did this in blues & it looked awesome. Vintage is really a really cool pattern & I think it would be neat to make it a larger size vs. baby-blanket sized. And I love Sunny Day - these are just the right colors to perk you up on a dreary winter day.
I can't decide whether I like the knitting and crochet format all in one book. I don't know how to crochet, so when I found a couple of afghans that I liked, but were crochet, I was a bit disappointed. I suppose if you like the project enough, you could just learn it, but if it's a more complex design, that could just cause frustration. I wonder if the authors considered just doing 2 books, one for knitting & one for crochet? Or, maybe they could have made the first half of the book knitting projects & the second half of the book crochet - split them up? I also wonder about the yarn featured in every project - Berroco's Comfort. It's an acrylic & nylon blend.....would it be warm? Let's face it, that's why you throw on an afghan, right? I do like that the yarn is inexpensive, especially nice since many of the projects call for a bunch of it (21 skeins!).
The photography is great (you know I had to go there)! I've seen Thayer Allyson Gowdy's photographs before, I believe in Martha Stewart's magazine & they are just right. The photos show the projects well. I also like that the styling is very different for each afghan. It really gives them all their own personality & life, so to speak.
If you are considering starting an afghan, I recommend you check out this book. There's an afghan in here for everyone, and just in time for the cooler days of Fall!