Are you delighted by the look of Fair Isle knitting patterns? Would you like to create a spectacular, colorful Fair Isle blanket — without having to knit it? If you already know how to crochet, you can! There’s a crochet technique called tapestry crochet that enables you to mimic the look of Fair Isle knitting. There are also bunches of gorgeous tapestry crochet pattern books available that give you wonderful project ideas and instructions to try. One of my favorite crochet books is a collection of gorgeous baby blankets and larger blanket patterns you can crochet for the whole family. It is called Fair Isle to Crochet: 5 Afghans for the Family. Karen Ratto-Whooley is the author of this book.
What You Need to Know About This Crochet Pattern Book:
Book Title: Fair Isle to Crochet: 5 Afghans for the Family.
Author: Karen Ratto Whooley
Publisher: Leisure Arts
Copyright Date: 2010
ISBN 13: 978-1-601405265
This book was originally published as a softcover leaflet style book with stapled binding. It is now out of print, but you can click here to check Amazon for used copies of the book.
Number of Pages: 20, not counting the covers
Cover Price: $7.95 US dollars
Skill Level: This book is best-suited for crochet enthusiasts who have achieved at least an intermediate skill level rating with crochet; these crochet blanket patterns all have a skill level rating of “intermediate”.
The Focus of This Book:
Fair Isle crochet blanket patterns are the star of the show in this tapestry crochet pattern book. When you look at the finished blankets, you see an overall effect that’s stunning and colorful — but if you examine each design closely, you’ll notice something interesting. Each row includes only two yarn colors, which makes the tapestry crochet technique manageable and fun.
Each blanket design features a color photograph with chart and complete instructions for crocheting.
Crochet Skills and Techniques You’ll Need for Working These Fair Isle Blanket Patterns
There are several different techniques that crafters have given a label of “Fair Isle”. The most well-known and most correct use of the “Fair Isle” label, of course, is the Fair Isle knitting technique. There’s a Tunisian crochet technique that closely mimics the look of Fair Isle knitting; that’s the technique that Brenda Bourg uses in her book called Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet. That, however, is not the technique used here in these crochet patterns.
These designs are all tapestry crochet projects. Tapestry crochet is one of the best techniques for crocheting with color changes. Unlike the technique you use for crocheting stripes, you can do mid-row color changes in tapestry crochet, resulting in a variety of possibilities that include intricate pictorial or geometric patterns. You can create colorful designs that really do resemble Fair Isle knitting using this technique.
Tapestry crochet is the only crochet technique you’ll need to know for working the patterns in this book. If you aren’t already familiar with the tapestry crochet technique, this book gives you a fantastic opportunity to learn it and perfect it.
Crochet Projects Included in This Book:
There are five crochet blanket patterns included in the book. Two of these patterns are baby blanket patterns; two are blankets to crochet for children; one is for grown-ups, and it is suitable to use for a man’s crochet blanket.
Southwest Warmth— If you find that you’re chronically in search of high-quality men’s crochet blanket patterns, this design is a fantastic guy-friendly design you’ll probably want to add to your pattern stash.
While this pattern is fantastic for crafting men’s crochet blankets, it also works well for making attractive blankets suitable for gifts to give to couples as well.
It’s a good all-around basic Southwestern style design. The motifs are abstract geometric shapes like diamonds and zigzags. There are 4 colors all together, making for a project that’s enticing and colorful –yet there are only two colors per row, resulting in a design that is not overwhelming to crochet.
Girl’s Cozy Afghan — You can crochet this blanket in a palette of bright, girl-friendly colors including pink, purple, green and blue. Again, the design only requires you to use two colors per row. The result: You get the benefit of a colorful overall impact, but you only need to deal with two colors at a time, making for an easily manageable tapestry crochet project.
Kid’s Winter Warmer— This playful, colorful design works well for crocheting afghans for kids of either gender. The fun orange, yellow, blue and green design shown on the book cover is ideal for little boys. You could switch out the orange or blue and subtitute pink for a fun girl’s blanket — or re-color the entire project to match the recipient’s room décor.
Baby Snowflakes— To crochet this lovely afghan, you combine traditional Scandinavian snowflake motifs with interesting geometric diamond shapes.
This is an ideal design for using to crochet a boy’s baby blanket. The background color on the sample blanket is a lovely baby blue color, and the snowflakes are white. The two-color design is distinctive and interesting to crochet, but it’s nice that you only have two yarn colors to keep track of the whole time you’re working on this blanket.
Baby Hearts— You crochet a fun mix of heart shapes, squiggles and hexagons with strong diagonal elements to make this pretty afghan. This design is ideal for creating a girl’s baby blanket.
The sample afghan is worked in two yarn colors: a pretty bright pink yarn and a white yarn. Again, it’s an interesting pattern to crochet, but you only have to keep track of two yarns, so it isn’t an overwhelming number of colors to deal with.
The Best Things About This Book
- You get a variety of crochet Fair Isle blanket patterns in this book that are all suitable to use for gift giving.
- You won’t have to spend much time on finishing these Fair Isle crochet blankets. These projects are all designed so that you can crochet them without having to weave in any ends. Instead, you’ll use the ends on each row to create lovely fringe at the edges of your blanket. Just tie knots to make the fringe and you’re finished!
- The Fair Isle baby blankets included in this book make fantastic baby shower gifts. If you’re in need of shower gifts but you’re on a tight budget, this book could be a good alternative to buy instead of baby pattern books, because it has two really fantastic baby blanket patterns plus it also offers you patterns you can make for other family members too.
- Each blanket features a unique and distinctive colorway, and the team at Leisure Arts has made excellent color choices for each pattern. You’re likely to find the original blanket colorways appealing, but if you don’t, these designs are extremely easy to personalize with your own color choices.
- This book includes full-color photography and professional photo styling; each photograph in the book is helpful and inspiring.
- The book includes large, clear, intuitive color charts and instructions that are easy to follow.
- These patterns feature yarns that are widely available in the USA and will be easy for most USA-based crafters to find. If you’re outside the USA, you might or might not be able to find the yarns locally, but you can either substitute yarns or mail order the suggested yarns from a variety of US-based online retailers.
I’m delighted to recommend this book to other crochet enthusiasts, particularly crochet enthusiasts who have reached a skill level of intermediate (or are willing to either plunge in beyond their current skill level or do the work necessary to achieve an intermediate skill level.)
I thought the softcover version of the book was a really good value at its original cover price of $7.95 US dollars — however, it can be a challenge to find the softcover version of the book marked at a reasonable price these days. If you want this book and you can find a used copy of the book in decent condition for sale under $10, I’d suggest buying it, because most of the used copies of the book I’ve seen for sale have been marked at much higher prices.
Where to Buy This Book:
Similar Fair Isle Knitting Books, Crochet Books and Related Resources
is used to be included on our list of best crochet blanket patterns, until it went out of print and got much harder to find. I’ve moved it to our list of out of print crochet books. It’s still a great book — it’s just a little harder to find now than it was when I originally reviewed it. It remains one of my all time favorite crochet blanket pattern books.
More Crochet Baby Blanket Patterns
If it’s baby blanket patterns you’re looking for, this book is a great buy, but there are some other wonderful possibilities you might want to check out in addition to this book:
- Best Crochet Baby Pattern Books
- Dressing Up Baby Book
- Tunisian Crochet for Baby Book
- Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets Book
Where to Find Outstanding Fair Isle Knitting Patterns
Want to find book reviews of a few of our favorite Fair Isle knitting books? Check out these titles:
- Easy Fair Isle Knitting Patterns by Martin Storey: Find excellent, easy Fair Isle knit blanket patterns plus easy knitting patterns for cushions, pillows, socks, hats, scarves, vests and more.
- Knit Yourself In: This book focuses on giving you spectacular sweater patterns for the entire family — men, women and children of both genders.
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This page was last updated on 8-23-2019.