Would you like to knit some stylish, colorful new projects for your home — no matter what your knitting skill level? If you’re interested in using knitting needles and yarn to make sophisticated blankets, pillows, table runners, table mats or tray mats, Martin Storey’s Afghan Knits: 18 Contemporary Designs for Throws, Runners and Pillows is a book you’re going to want to have in your knitting pattern library.
This book is filled with truly exquisite knitting patterns that I’m positive you’re going to love. Read on to find pictures of these projects, along with additional information and observations about them. That way, you can make a better informed decision about whether this is a book you’d want to own.
What You Need to Know About This Knitting Pattern Book:
Author: Martin Storey
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books
Copyright Date: 2017
ISBN 13: 978-1-57076-862-0
Book Format: Softcover / Trade Paperback
Number of Pages: 96
The Focus of This Book:
Home décor projects are the exclusive focus of this book. You won’t find any wearables included in the collection — which is nice, because it entirely eliminates the stress of having to make a project that fits somebody.
Knitting Projects Included in This Book:
All together, the book includes knitting patterns for 9 different blankets, 7 pillows, 1 table runner and 1 tray mat or table mat. The patterns included in the book are as follows:
Color Blocks Blanket
Color Blocks Pillow
Creative Cables Throw
This is the colorful blanket pattern that’s pictured on the front of the book.
Simply Stripes Pillow
Simply Stripes Blanket
This blanket perfectly complements the Simply Stripes Pillow pictured above.
Little Folk Pillow
Little Folk Knitted Baby Blanket
This chic baby blanket matches the lovely pillow you see pictured above. It’s a crib blanket size, measuring 23 1/2″ by 32 1/2″. There are 9 motifs pictured on the blanket — heart, bug, elephant, bunny rabbit and others.
Modern Art Blanket
This blanket matches the Springtime Pillow pictured above.
Winter Trees Pillow
This pillow is similar to the Springtime pillow pictured above. The main differences: The pillows are knit using different yarns. They are different sizes. The winter trees pillow features lace-knit tree motifs with beads.
Beach Stripes Mat
Beach Stripes Blanket
This is an easy blanket similar in design to the “Beach Stripes Mat” pictured above. The blanket is larger, measuring 27 1/2″ x 145 1/2″.
Autumn Leaves Throw
Autumn Leaves Runner
This runner is similar to the Autumn Leaves throw pictured above. The main differences are the size and the border around the edges. The border around the runner is plainer.
Topics Covered in This Book:
In addition to the knitting patterns mentioned above, Martin Storey covers the following topics in this book:
- Knitting gauge
- Cable knitting patterns
- Fair isle knitting patterns
- Intarsia knitting patterns
- Finishing methods for knitting projects: pressing, stitching seams, etc.
The Best Things About This Book
These projects would all make impressive gifts to give to your inner circle. The baby blanket and pillow would make especially lovely baby shower gifts. If you’re in need of a wedding gift, any of the larger, adult-sized blankets would be suitable. These projects would also be fabulous Christmas gifts.
A masterful and highly experienced designer created all of these patterns. The designs are all polished and sophisticated.
This book gives you a wonderful variety of knitting techniques to try. It includes simple garter stitch patterns, stranded colorwork knitting patterns, cable knitting patterns, lace knitting patterns and even a pattern that incorporates a bit of beadwork.
The book includes an abundance of appropriate knitting charts and diagrams that will help you understand how to create each project.
I found the styling in this book to be both beautiful and inspiring. The projects are all presented well. The photography also seems straightforward and honest.
The environments used for photographing each project are attractive without being overly distracting. This is ideal for helping you decide whether a particular project is one that would work well in your own home. I was able to look at each project in the book and easily determine whether it’s one I’d want to work on.
Other Observations About This Book:
Knitting Skill Levels:
Skill level ratings are not included in this book. But guess what? No matter what your knitting skill level is, if you put your mind to knitting these patterns, you can do it! Knitting is not rocket science. Even the most complex of knitting patterns is doable if you have enough patience to sit still and work your way through it.
If you were to ask me my opinion about the skill level ratings for the patterns included in this book, I would say that they range from ultra-easy, beginner-friendly to advanced.
This is definitely a book I would recommend to knitting beginners. Although not all the patterns in this book are beginner friendly, there are enough easy patterns that I think the book is a good purchase for novice knitters.
If you’re new to knitting, start off with a project like the Modern Art blanket. Then try the Beach Stripes blanket or mat. The Simply Stripes blanket and pillow are other good choices for knitters who want to start off by working easy projects. You won’t stay at beginner level for long. Working through these projects will give you some truly lovely home décor items to use in your home or give as gifts, and it will also provide you with the skills and confidence necessary to move on to working more advanced knitting projects.
Rowan is the manufacturer of all the yarns suggested in this book.
Rowan is a British manufacturer. If you live in either Europe or the United States, the yarns are easily available to you via online sources and local yarn stores (if you are blessed to have a local yarn store nearby). They ARE NOT available through “Big Box” stores like JoAnn and Walmart.
To US buyers, Rowan yarns can seem pricey; this is because they are made of high-quality fibers, and also because there are significant costs associated with importing the yarns from the UK.
My opinion is that the yarns are generally worth the asking price if high-quality yarn is within your budget. If not, substituting different yarns is an excellent option. If you need to make more affordable yarn substitutions, I highly recommend both Cascade Yarns and Knitpicks yarns. Both brands make yarns that are affordable, of lovely quality, and delightful to work with.
I’m delighted to recommend this book to other knitting enthusiasts of all skill levels. I think this book offers something wonderful for every knitter, from beginner through advanced.
Where to Buy Martin Storey’s Afghan Knits:
- Click here to shop for Martin Storey’s Afghan Knits at Knitpicks.
- Click here to shop for this book at Amazon.com.
- Click here to shop for this book at the publisher’s website.
Similar Knitting Books and Related Resources
Martin Storey is a prolific knitting pattern designer who has authored numerous other craft books. I had the pleasure of reviewing another one of the titles he wrote, also published by Trafalgar Square Books, called Easy Fair Isle Knitting.
If you like the stranded colorwork patterns included in this book, I think you’re going to LOVE that book, too. It’s really a treat for knitters who enjoy knitting with color. Easy Fair Isle Knitting includes patterns for adult-sized sweaters, wearable accessories like scarves, cowls, socks and gloves, plus home décor items such as pillows and blankets. It’s an outstanding collection that you’ll really want to get your hands on. I think it makes an excellent companion to this book — both are truly wonderful resources for the frequent knitter.
If the cable knitting patterns are what you find most compelling about this book, there’s another book you’ll also want to consider buying. It’s called the Cable Knitter’s Guide by Denise Sampson. It’s one of the best resources I’ve ever come across on the topic of cable knitting.
I’m so impressed with it for several reasons. First of all, its intuitive format makes it a pleasure to work from. The book starts off resembling a knitting stitch dictionary, with an impressive grouping of cable knitting stitches that you can use for designing whatever types of projects you want. Each stitch pattern includes a QR code that you can scan with your mobile phone; that will take you right to Youtube, where you can see an instructional video for each cable pattern. Amazing, right? So if you’ve never actually knitted cables before, or if you’re having a hard time mastering cable knitting, this book is going to be a huge help.
The book also includes patterns for bunches of lovely finished projects that incorporate the cable patterns featured in the front of the book. So it’s not a concern at all if you are not really sure how to design your own cable knitting projects. You’ll have plenty of patterns to work from.
All of these are books I highly recommend! Each one of them is an excellent value for the asking price.
I invite you to click here and check out my list of best knitting pattern books for even more suggestions. I’ve reviewed a whole bunch of different knitting pattern books, giving you my honest opinion about every aspect of each book that I think would be important for you to know.
If crochet books are of interest to you, please do check out our crochet book reviews as well.
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This page was last updated on 9/3/2018.