Book review: 12 months of crochet with RedAGape by Mandy O'Sullivan
12 Months Of Crochet With RedAGape is designed by Mandy O’Sullivan and includes 15 colourful and bright designs. If you love Mandy’s previous work you will surely not be disappointed. It is her through and through. She has had her hands on every little detail and it’s pure magic.
A colourful designer called Mandy...
One of the first accounts I followed when entering the world of crochet and Instagram is Mandy from @crochetbyredagape. I was, and still is, mesmerised by the absolute joy her makes and pictures radiate. The colours, the styling and those inspiring captions of hers..
“I believe crochet should always be fun and my aim is to inspire you to crochet pieces that will bring a smile to your face and are enjoyable to make.” – Mandy
This is a little quote from the introduction of 12 Months Of Crochet With RedAGape and I believe it perfectly sums it up of what she and her book is all about; colours and joyful makings the year throughout.
My first ever Mandy-make
The first project of Mandy’s that went on my hook was the ever so joyful Gelato Pop Crochet Cushion. A fun and quite quick make that just put a smile on my face for each and every round. That cushion is still one of my absolute favourite makes and is a centrepiece on our couch. So when I heard that she was releasing a book I just had to jump on the train quicker than quickest. I bought a copy on the very first day of the pre sales and loved it at the first glance of the pdf-version. It was stunning and I couldn’t wait to get the printed book in my hands (which arrived a few little weeks later).
My first impression is that it truly is Mandy. Everything about it is just HER. The vibrant colors, her signature designs and the fun lightness that surrounds her, absolutely spot on.
As an hard core Instagram lover I just have to address the pictures first before digging into the projects themselves. From the colorful drop down blanket on the cover to the smallest pics of stitches and techniques, they are amazing and so thought through. I love her attention to details and the consistency of how she works with colors, placements and light. For instance; how she has chosen to demonstrate her working round in a vibrant pink contrasting the base made in a popping teal blue. And don’t get me started on those floral staged hearts that demonstrates different colour schemes, totally adorable and at the same time; they really work!
The colour course
If you feel like you struggle a bit with color choices, or maybe just needs a push to go outside your “typical go-to” colors this one’s for you. Mandy provides a lovely chapter that demonstrates and teaches color theory for 4 different color combinations: monochromatic, related, triadic and neutrals. It helps you break it down, both theoretically and visually, and encourages you to have fun and play around with them!
One of the books many strengths are that it reuses the designs in different ways. The flowers made for the summer wreath combines and becomes part of a baby mobile. The starlight blanket pieces turns into a Christmas three cushion and simple beautiful ornaments. So clever and useful.
All in all, 12 Months Of Crochet With RedAGape includes 15 designs – from small flower wreaths to larger loving blankets, that are divided throughout the four seasons and is a hefty size with 128 pages, and each of the designs includes both the written instructions (US-terms) and clear, step by step pictures and well laid-out crochet diagram charts.
My choice of makes
As a coaster loving mandala maniac with a soft spot for florals I opted for a little bit of everything. So I started out with the little flowers from the Spring Wreath (page 44-49). It’s a total of 5 different designs and I tried a few of each in the thicker yarn Muskat by Drops. My favourite of them all is hands down the gorgeously layered Full Bloom. Super cute and so much fun.
My dream make of this book is the cover girl herself; Hexagon Starlight Dancer Blanket. A gorgeous pattern that I wish to make someday when I find that oh so perfect yarn, and time. Since I’ve already have several larger ongoing WIPs (Work In Progress) a little hexagon had to do for now. I tried it out with Tilda Eco from Start Fåret and it truly looks like summer.
Lastly I just had to try out the little Flower Coaster (page 92-95) in an all cotton yarn called Emma by Falkgarn. Such a fun, simple and quick make. Perfect for gifts and those well needed stash bustings.
The only downside is that not all makes shown is in the book. The very first thing that I wanted to make was this gorgeously textured floral mandala coaster on page 104, which also is the front pic for winter (see picture below). However, it’s nowhere to be found.
I kept on flipping through the pages back and forward but it’s simply not included with the other amazing designs. Maybe it was intended to but got cut? I have no idea. And this is the same for some of the florals and leafs shown in the “mood pics”. So this it was a little downer for me who really really loves mandalas and flowers.
To sum it up
12 Months Of Crochet With RedAGape is a great book with amazingly inspirational pictures and designs for every season. It really delivers on its statement to be your creative planner for a year-round crocheting; providing you with a helpful guide from start to finish, from skeins to FOs (Finished Objects).
If you are looking for colours, joy and clever makes; this one’s for you!
You can find 12 Months Of Crochet With RedAGape on Allcrochetpatterns.net.