50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims, published by Annie's.
50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims, published by Annie’s.

Do you enjoy crocheting afghans, throws, baby blankets and other projects? Are you constantly on the hunt for interesting new stitches to use for customizing your blankets? Would you enjoy having access to a collection of 50 spectacular stitch patterns that would be ideal for making blankets? If so, there’s a fantastic stitch dictionary you’ll want to take a look at. It’s called 50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims.


I’m personally a HUGE fan of Darla’s. She is a prolific crochet pattern designer who has authored somewhere in the realm of one zillion different pattern books and stitch dictionaries.


OK, maybe one zillion is a slight exaggeration. But I’m not kidding, this woman has written a whole bunch of lovely crochet pattern books, including some of my favorites. When my daughter was a baby, I dressed her in layettes I made using Darla’s patterns. I can TOTALLY vouch for Darla’s work — and this book is one of her nicest stitch collections yet, if you want my honest opinion.


What makes this particular book so remarkable? Well, one of the best things about it is the cohesive theme: ALL these stitches work well for crocheting afghans. If you own some other stitch dictionaries, no doubt you’ve come across some impractical crochet stitches that are hard to find a use for — perhaps because they have open areas so large you could almost fly a space shuttle through them, or they’re so rigid you’d maybe want to use them for making carpeting instead of afghans.


In contrast, this particular collection includes a lovely mix of stitch patterns that are not too weird, not too open, not too dense — they are just right for crocheting blankets and afghans. You’ll find a mix of crochet clusters, puff stitches, post stitches, ripple and chevron patterns, open weave patterns, crochet shell stitches, texture patterns and more. The lace patterns in the collection have just the right amount of lacy-ness. The lace holes aren’t too big to be practical for use in making blankets.

More Details About This Crochet Stitch Dictionary:


Author: Darla Sims


Publisher: Annie’s


Copyright Date: I am reviewing the latest 2019 edition of this book. There was apparently also an earlier edition of it from 2010.


ISBN: 978-1-59635-302-2


Book Formats:


This book is available in the following format(s):


Number of Pages: 32

Crochet Stitches Included in This Book:

Check out a few pictures of the stitches you’ll find in this collection:

Here you can see one of the lovely crochet stitches featured in 50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims, published by Annie's.
Here you can see one of the lovely crochet stitches featured in 50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims, published by Annie’s.

Here you can see another one of the crochet stitch patterns included in 50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims, published by Annie's.
Here you can see another one of the crochet stitch patterns included in 50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims, published by Annie’s.

Here you can see another one of the lovely crochet stitches featured in 50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims, published by Annie's.
Here you can see another one of the lovely crochet stitches featured in 50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims, published by Annie’s.

These are just a few of the stitches included in the book. There are 50 stitch patterns all together.

The Best Things About This Book

You get clear, full-color photographs of each of the marvelous crochet stitch patterns included in the book plus written instructions for each stitch.


One thing I really LOVE about the photography in this book: You get to see a photograph of an entire swatch. In some competing crochet stitch dictionaries, you get to see a cropped photograph that doesn’t show you any of the edges. But in this book, you get to see every edge — the upper and lower edges, plus both sides.


Why is this something you should care about?


Well, because when you’re making a blanket or afghan, you’d want to know ahead of time if the stitch you’re planning to work has totally straight edges, or if it has bumpy, curvy ones. That could potentially make a significant difference in how you’d want to approach the task of adding an edging to your blanket (or whatever other project you want to make — because, of course, you could use these stitches to make other types of projects besides just blankets).


Shell stitches, for example, are notorious for having wavy, scalloped edges — and you can plainly see in these pictures how the edges on the shell stitches look, without having to work up your own swatch of each stitch pattern before you decide whether you want to use it or not. That saves you some time, and possibly also some headaches, in planning out your edgings or other finishing strategies.

So far, I’ve worked several swatches using the instructions in this book. I found the instructions clear and easy to follow, and the swatches turned out like I was expecting them to based on the book’s pictures.

The fonts used in this book are clear and readable — and I can say this despite the fact that my eyesight is getting worse, and I’m wearing a glasses prescription that is several years out of date.

This book’s format is classic and totally timeless. There is nothing faddish about it — which is ideal for a reference book like this that is intended to remain useful indefinitely. If you choose to buy yourself a copy of this book, I’m betting you’ll still be using it and enjoying it decades from now.

The book has a helpful stitch guide featuring brief line art tutorials for the basic crochet stitches and techniques — so if you haven’t crocheted in awhile, you will be able to brush up on all your basic stitches easily without having to hunt around for another book or tutorial.


There is also a helpful list of crochet abbreviations you can refer to.

Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy This Book

International symbol crochet charts ARE NOT included in this book.


This book DOES NOT include complete step-by-step instructions for crocheting finished blankets. What you have here is a stitch dictionary that includes stitch instructions you can use for designing your own blankets and afghans. You will have to do a little bit of easy math to arrive at a strategy for crocheting a finished blanket. It isn’t hard to do at all; the book includes information about stitch multiples — which gives you the freedom to design a blanket in any size you want. Once you understand how it works, you’re likely to agree with me that this is far, far superior to using ready-made patterns — because it empowers you to make exactly the blanket you want, in exactly the size you want.


If you’re new to designing your own projects, and hesitant to jump into the design process, you might wish to consider buying a book of actual finished blanket patterns instead of, or in addition to, this book. If you decide you’d prefer to buy a book of afghan patterns rather than messing around with designing your own blankets, I highly recommend Unexpected Afghans by Robyn Chachula. It’s my favorite compilation of crochet blanket and afghan patterns. I also invite you to check out my recommendations for the best crochet blanket pattern books. If you want to make a baby blanket, check out this list list of my top picks for the best crochet baby blanket books.


BUT, if you’re even a little bit interested in the possibility of designing your own blankets, I want to encourage you to give it a try. Don’t let the word “math” scare you. If you can multiply and add (or use a calculator!) you can do the math needed for designing blankets.


And if you foresee any blanket designing activities in your future, definitely consider getting a copy of 50 Stitches for Afghans. The book is an excellent value for its asking price, and it includes some truly lovely stitch patterns that you’re sure to enjoy using.

Conclusion

50 Stitches for Afghans is a delightful book. I recommend this excellent stitch dictionary to other crochet enthusiasts of all skill levels, from beginners through advanced crocheters. I think every crochet enthusiast would be likely to find this book useful.

Where to Buy This Book:

50 Stitches for Afghans, a Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Darla Sims, Published by Annie's
50 Stitches for Afghans, a Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Darla Sims, Published by Annie’s

More Crochet Stitch Dictionaries by Darla Sims

More Wonderful Crochet Pattern Books Published by Annie’s:

Crochet Corner-to-Corner Lap Throws for the Family, a Crochet Pattern Book by Sarah Zimmerman -- Published by Annie's
Corner-to-Corner Lap Throws for the Family, a Crochet Pattern Book by Sarah Zimmerman — Published by Annie’s

Similar Crochet Books and Related Resources

This book is included on our list of best crochet stitch dictionaries. Click here to see the entire list.

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About Your Book Reviewer: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. She earned a degree in textile design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 1997. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, ArtsWithCrafts.com and KnittingandCrochet.net.

This page was last updated on 11-30-2019.

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