Tangle: to bring together into a mass of confusedly interlaced or intertwisted threads, strands, or other like parts

February 5, 2015

Knitting Book Review: Nicky Epstein's Knitting Block by Block

Disclosure: I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to leave a positive review. 

When I first saw the title of this book I passed it over. I don't knit blankets that require blocks and that is what I thought these would be for. Then I went back and read the title again. Hmmm, sweaters, scarves, bags, and toys from blocks? That piqued my interest. What kind of sweaters could be made from blocks? Toys? How could you make a toy out of a block, that wasn't a block itself?

From the Creative Colorwork chapter
So I chose this book to review, then waited impatiently for it to arrive. As soon as it hit my doorstep, I ripped open the package and dove in. Well, I posted a picture of it on instagram first as I am wont to do, then I dove in.

The book starts out with an introduction by the author, Nicky Epstein, followed by a paragraph about gauge, and a page about designing with blocks. Then follows a section called the Gallery of Block Projects that showcases the projects that are in the book. Then come the six chapters with the block patterns. Following the blocks are the project patterns which include such items as a hat, toys, a shrug, afghans, a tote bag, and more. At the end of the book there are sections for Edgings, Joinings, Mix-and-Match Blocks, Abbreviations and Techniques, Resources, Charities to Knit for, Acknowledgments, About the Author, and an Index.

From the Special Techniques chapter

The 150 blocks in this book are separated into categories like Creative Colorwork, Ornate Applique, or my favorite, Eclectic Style. Each block has an easy to follow pattern. They are either charted, written out, or a mixture of the two. So many of them look like such fun to knit. With so many choices, one could probably knit afghans, blankets, and the like for years to come and not run out of combinations!

From the Eclectic Style chapter
My impressions of the book:

First of all, I was really impressed with the photography. Each picture really captured the stitch definition perfectly. I actually looked to see who had done the photography for the book, which is rare for me! There were two photographers for this book. One for the swatches and one for the fashion. I think both women did an excellent job.

More from the Eclectic Style chapter
Next are Nicky's patterns. I really like the both the variety of skill level and textures. The patterns for the blocks are easy to follow. They range from very simple to pretty complex, so there are blocks in the book that are great for a wide range of skill levels. There are many types of patterns for the blocks so anyone should find something they like. Do you like skulls? How about panda bears? Flowers? Maybe you are looking for a great texture or an eye catching pattern. Maybe you want knights or a dinosour for a blanket. There are many exciting blocks to choose from.

From the Mix-and-Match block section. I love how you can see all 150 blocks laid out over the four pages.

As for the projects in the book, they are pretty interesting. They all look like fun to make. I can see myself making several of them in the future. I love the Scarfosaurus pattern and think it would make a great gift. I would probably knit the Winter Solstice hooded scarf or the Cuffed Shawl Sweater for myself. Just sitting here thinking about the different projects makes me want to cast one on right away. If I didn't already have way too many projects going I think I would cast on the Tree-X Tote Bag or maybe one of the toys.

From the Cables and Counterpanes chapter
My Review:

So what rating would I give this knitting book? Well 5 out of 5 stars, of course! The photography is wonderful, the patterns are truly inspiring, and the projects look like a lot of fun.

Would I knit anything from this book? Yes, I would. While not all of the blocks are something I would knit, there are quite a few that I would. As for the projects themselves, I would knit most of them, and probably will at some point.

Is the book worth the price that you pay for it? I think so. You get patterns for 150 fun, unusual, pretty, or pretty spectacular blocks as well as 15 beautiful projects. That seems like an amazing amount of patterns for the price of one book! Nicky also gives you different ways to join your blocks and different edgings for whatever projects you decide to make with the blocks. This book will be a great resource for me for years to come.

Would I recommend this book. Absolutely! I can see everyone, from beginner to advanced knitters, finding something to love in this book. You could probably even help yourself get even better at your craft by knitting your way through this book, from the basic block up to the more advanced blocks.

From the Creative Colorwork chapter

I am happy that I decided to review this book. I feel that, at the very least, it will be a source of inspiration for me for years to come. I hope my review has helped at least one person find this book. Or maybe you'd been looking at it for awhile, not sure if you would use it. I hope I have helped you decide.

Thank you for reading my review!

About the Book:


Create gorgeous sweaters, bags, afghans, and toys just by knitting the simplest of shapes—a square!

No one forgets the sweet victory of completing their first knitted block, but most of us quickly move on to more complex constructions, only making swatches for guage. In this comprehensive volume, celebrated designer and innovator Nicky Epstein reimagines the humble block with 150 new patterns and masterfully demonstrates how to mix, match, and easily combine them into stunning one-of-a-kind garments and accessories.

Inside you will find:

150 original block patterns, from simple textures to embossed pictorials, intricate lace to cables, colorwork, double knit, and more, all with Nicky’s signature wit, verve, and style.
More than ten exclusive project designs that will make you say “I can’t believe that is made out of blocks!”

Detailed guidance for creating exciting pieces out of block knitting, without using increases or decreases.

Exclusive cut-and-paste project design pages. Simply cut out the printed blocks and arrange them to help create your own masterpieces.

Blocks are quick to knit, portable pieces perfect for group and charity projects, and now not limited to just afghans! Knitting Block by Block gives you the tools to unlock a world of creative possibilities and confidently build your own design “blockbusters,” one block at a time.

About the Author:

Beloved knitwear designer NICKY EPSTEIN is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Knitting on Top of the World, Knitting on the Edge, and Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch. Her designs have also been featured in Vogue Knitting magazine and many other knitting publications, on television, and at art exhibitions. She currently resides in New York City and travels extensively, teaching and lecturing.

Until next time..... Happy Crafting!

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