Unexpected Crochet Afghans

Mar 29, 2012

I first caught a glimpse of the amazing projects in Unexpected Afghans the end of last year, just before the photo shoot, and have been anticipating the release of this innovative book of crochet afghans since that day.

There are a large number of crochet afghan patterns in magazines, books, and online to choose from, so when I am looking for my next afghan project, I want something innovative and exciting as well as eye-catching. And because they are generally large unshaped works that spend most of their time neatly folded at the end of a bed (hiding any small flaws), afghans are also a brilliant undertaking on which to learn a new technique. With Unexpected Afghans, my biggest problem is not finding a unique pattern but narrowing down which project to start first.

The twenty-nine pillows and blankets are broken down into five categories: Cables, granny motifs, color, lace, and Tunisian. And at least one afghan in each category is in the running for becoming my next afghan project.

First there is the Croises Cable Afghan by Annie Modesitt. The allover cables make this solid-colored blanket interesting and provide plenty of front post treble crochet practice. The intertwining cable pattern is easy enough to memorize but intricate enough that crocheting this afghan will never be boring. 
The Dots + Poppies Baby Blanket by Linda Permann is a fabulous option for a baby afghan that is not quite typical. It's also a great way to have fun with color and use up leftover yarn. I think this mod blanket would also be a showstopper as a full-size afghan for the living room or bedroom. 
Mary Beth Temple's Bethlehem Star afghan was inspired by the quilt pattern of the same name. The classical warmth of this afghan, worked in individual blocks of color, is a stark contrast to the vibrancy of the Dots + Poppies Baby Blanket, but this afghan makes me want to curl up on the porch on a cold winter evening. 
A great option for spring, the Damask Afghan by Marly Bird encases three panels of delicate lace in bands of cluster stitch. The lace panels are created from lightweight motifs that are joined as you go. This lace afghan is the perfect blanket to work during the warm summer months. 
My final contender is the Starburst Entrelac Afghan by Megan Granholm. This Tunisian crochet afghan is worked in entrelac rows of diamonds in alternating colors to create a brilliant starburst. The resulting octagonal afghan is a showstopper in any room. 

I'd love to know which afghan is your favorite! Let me know which afghan you would start first. And don't forget to pre-order you copy of Unexpected Afghans today.

Best wishes,

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mrr2002 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 7:07 AM

While I'm quite taken by the Croises Cable Afghan, the Damask Afghan ultimately gets my vote - it looks so soft, like you could just snuggle right into the photo! And I'm really going to have to up my Tunisian crochet skill set so I can tackle that Starburst Entrelac some day. Thanks!!

MargoL wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 7:22 AM

I definitely love Dots + Poppies, as I'm all for colour!

Second choice would be either of the quilt-inspired ones, Bethlehem Star or Starburst Entrelac.

Rhonda@2 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 7:26 AM

I just love the Dots & Poppies ... and that must be the one I'd do first!

Marilyn Simm wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 7:31 AM

I absolutely love the Bethlehem Star.

Beautiful colors and nice design.

Yosefa wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 7:54 AM

I like the Starburst Entrelac Afghan by Megan Granholm. I love working small pieces of Tunisian, and I love the way it lays. I think the Croises Cable Afghan by Annie Modesitt would be a great baby blanket, especially in a self striping yarn with very long colorways that shift gently. It looks so snuggly. The colors in the Dots + Poppies Baby Blanket remind me of my grandparents' basement.

1Dragones wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 7:57 AM

I've started approximately one afghan for every year I've been crocheting (more than 30) but only finished two... and one of those was a baby afghan, so doesn't really count - Or does it?  Anyway, this tells you what a big finisher of afghans I'm not!

Of the five shown here, I like two, Bethlehem Star and Starburst Entrelac.  I'm  most likely not to start either one... since, based on my track record, I would probably not finish what I started, if I got that far.  However, assuming I did start one, it would probably be Bethelhem Star.

dbriese wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 8:23 AM

I would definatley start the croises cable. Love that. My second favorite is Starburst Entrelac Afghan.  I need to order this book!

on Mar 29, 2012 8:25 AM

I like them all but my favorite is the starburst interlac.

Sharonls wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 8:36 AM

I love the Bethlehem Star and the Starburst--both would get my crochet hook going!!


yarnitect wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 8:48 AM

Love all the afghans. But I think I would start with the Demask! I love a project that has an interesting stitch in add to being beautiful from a large scale.

becky.hughes wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 9:39 AM

Would love to try the Starburst Entrelac.  Beautiful

Patty S wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 9:41 AM

My favorite is the Damask Afghan.  I also like the Starburst Entrelac because of the burst of colors!

twinks wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 9:59 AM

I love all the afghans but to start I think I'd start with the Bethlehem afghan, next the lace one.  thank you for the ideas.

Sue@276 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 10:06 AM

You  have to make us choose? I like the Starburst, but the Dots and Poppies is a close second. I like it because it's rather retro looking and for me it's all about vintage/retro things at the moment. All are worthy of making of course! Thanks for sharing.

AnnieR@5 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 10:09 AM

Starburst Entrelac Afghan is my favorite. Love anything with stars!

jmwoolfolk wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 10:21 AM

Definitely, I would leap into making the Damask Afghan.  Indeed, I'd love to buy a download of this particular pattern.


steph71 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 10:22 AM

Dots + Poppies is my favorite, but I think I'd like to make it bigger than a baby blanket.  But, I love the colors too, for a baby blanket, because it is non-traditional.  :)

ElizabethY@7 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 10:31 AM

Ooh, I think the Starburst Entrelac might be my favorite! All of these are lovely though, and I can hardly wait to see the other projects in the book!

JMKMG wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 10:34 AM

Most definately would do the Starburst Entrelac... what a marvelous way to use up the stash in an interesting and fashionable way!  

on Mar 29, 2012 10:54 AM

Starburst Entrelac Afghan

MarenM@2 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 11:03 AM

My favorite is the Croises Cable, but I also like the Damask.  I like my afghans to be thick and warm, and I think cables add a lot of great interest to something that otherwise would be plain.

on Mar 29, 2012 11:30 AM

Definitely the Dots and Poppies. I can just see one of my grands cuddled up in it.


thebrowns96 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 12:58 PM

Definitely Dots & Poppies - it's gorgeous!!

MikkiMe wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 1:00 PM

The Damask Afgan is the piece I would most like in my home and it looks fairly fast to work.  The Bethlehem Star is very practical looking and warm afgan that would last through generations.

Kankiewicz wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 3:11 PM

The Starburst Entrelac Afghan gets my vote. I'm collecting tunisian crochet stitch instructions, but I've never come across a entrelac stitch for tunisian crochet until now.

jencollect wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 3:34 PM

Definitely the Star of Bethlehem! !

SamanthaB@2 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 5:01 PM

I absolutely love the Damask Afghan. I'm not always crazy about afghans that are all lacework, so I like that the lacework panels here is combined with the solid border.

AdeleM@2 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 6:36 PM

Wow! The Starburst Entrelac Afghan is definitely a showstopper. Beautiful.

I love the colours and shapes.

It's my favourite but the others are all quite special too.


knutsonj7 wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 7:36 PM

The Damask is so lovely. My favorite.

InkPattie wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 8:53 PM

I'm constantly looking for easy, fast patterns to make baby blankets for charity.  I love the Dots + Poppies blanket--very colorful and it looks 3D with all the different styles of hexagons.  Really, though, they are all beautiful.  That damask one looks so soft and nice...

Motrin wrote
on Mar 29, 2012 9:11 PM

Croises Cable Afghan is the winner in my book. Guess I need to get the book.

JoyB wrote
on Mar 30, 2012 10:02 AM

Toss-up between Starburst and Croises. I would probably do Starburst first because its so spectacular, but I can see Croises becoming my favorite to snuggle under.

Rebecca Rae wrote
on Mar 31, 2012 10:15 AM

I really like the Dots + Poppies Afghan by Linda Permann. It was also be great for teens and grown ups. I also like the Starburst Entrelac Afghan by Megan Granholm, but probably in different colors.

cdubyakiwi wrote
on Mar 31, 2012 10:05 PM

Starburst Entrelac Afghan is my favourite, but I would do it in random colours to make it more exciting.

pattyb1 wrote
on Apr 1, 2012 7:09 AM

Like them all, but partial to the Starburst tunisian. Perhaps when I have more confidence in that technique..... Also like the suggestion to use a striping yarn on the daisies & dots.  Bethlehem Star is also nice, oh well can't make up my mind.......