Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein offers 150 different styles of blocks, divided into six categories: Basic, Applique, Colorwork, Special Techniques and Cables/Counterpanes. That’s a lot of blocks!
As soon as I saw this beautiful hardcover book, I couldn’t wait to read it and start on some projects. Each section shows a full or half-page color photo of the block, and indicates the page number for the instructions.
The first block I tried was from the Special Techniques chapter. I chose the Angel Blossom design because it looked so pretty and I’d never done bobbles before, so I wanted to learn something new.
The crystal clear instructions made it very easy to successfully knit my first bobbles perfectly!
Next I tested out a couple of the basic blocks from the first chapter, the Classic Diamond and the Classic Decrease, and then jumped ahead to the cables chapter for the Rolling Cables pattern.
All instructions are clear and easy to understand. Abbreviations are listed at the back of the book if you need a refresher on what a SK2P is, for example.
But the book is much more than just instructions for different blocks. The opening sections include a discussion on gauge and how to keep your block size consistent (the affects of needle and yarn weight, etc.), information on using blocks to construct different types of garments and accessories, and gorgeous full-page color photographs of 13 items you can fashion from the blocks right now!
The back section of the book includes those 13 project patterns, plus a thumbnail gallery of all the blocks to help you mix and match them for your own designs.
This I is a great book for inspiration, not only with block construction, but also for items you can make with a single block with just a little alteration.
For example, I noticed as I was knitting the Angel Blossom block that it was just as pretty when held sideways, so I didn’t stop at the block end. I kept going, created a rectangle, and when I joined the starting row to the last row, it became a lovely cowl.
I took the Rolling Cable block pattern, kept it to one repeat across the row instead of two and created a scarf from it.
There are so many possibilities with the blocks and also beyond the blocks that you will get a lot of use out of this book.
My only complaint (and it’s a minor one, really), is that I would have liked to have seen more special technique type blocks and less applique. The applique blocks generally consist of a basic stockinette stitch block as the base with I-cord, flowers or other embellishments sewn on top.
For me personally, knitting stockinette stitch blocks are a little boring, but on the flip side, I can see that they are also very easy to finish. and the applique patterns here do give you some great ideas on how to jazz up a boring stockinette stitch block. I just wanted more Angel Blossom type blocks because I like to try new stitches but would rather avoid sewing. 😀
Overall, I think this is a great book for knitters of all skill levels. I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Nice variety of patterns, nice variety of skill techniques addressed, clear instructions and gorgeous color photographs. I can’t express enough now beautiful this book is to hold and look at.
It’s also a book I feel I will get good use out of, since I’ve only completed a fraction of the blocks included and there are many more that caught my eye.
❤ Knitting fans, you will not be disappointed! ❤
(FTC Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.)