In this post, I am writing a book review of Nicky Epstein’s Knitting Block by Block.
When I browse the knitting books section on Amazon, Nicky Epstein’s books always catch my eye. I know they say never judge a book by its cover, but her covers are oh so appealing! Knitting Block by Block is no exception; as soon as I saw it I knew I had to own it.
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Title: Knitting Block by Block
Subtitle: 150 Blocks for Sweaters, Scarves, Bags, Toys, Afghans, and More
Author: Nicky Epstein
Publisher: Potter Craft
Nicky Epstein is a prolific and innovative knit designer, who has authored many very successful books. Knitting Block by Block contains lots of inspiration and patterns for decorative knitted squares, along with 13 ideas for projects to use them in, from use in the home to fashion projects.
There first thing to say about this book is that it is definitely not for the complete novice unless you are willing to put the time in to research the techniques.
There are no instructions on how to do specific stitches as it assumes a certain level of understanding, but there is a glossary of abbreviations that would help you look up the techniques you need.
When reading other reviews of this book a lot of people seemed unhappy about the fact that it isn’t a particularly beginner friendly book, however it doesn’t actually state anywhere that it is for beginners, and I also believe you learn better and quicker if you have to research something yourself as it makes it stick in your mind more!
For me, the number one thing I love most about this book is that knitted blocks are fairly quick projects, so there’s that whole instant gratification thing going on.
It’s much easier to lose motivation when you’re knitting something huge, and one row feels like it takes a century. I’ve got to say I’m not the most patient person in the world so I lose interest in those kinds of projects pretty fast.
That being said, when I plan out 40 squares that I have to knit I still only knit about 3 and lose interest rapidly. But that’s just me. If you have more focus than a teaspoon you’ll probably be golden.
Small squares are also very portable, which makes them a perfect project for on the go! Just copy the pattern you are following and take it in your project bag!
Another massive pro of this book is the sheer quantity of square designs. With 150 different squares to knit the combinations are endless. A lot of the designs are very modern and different, and not something you would see in a standard stitch dictionary!
There are only 13 projects in the book, and of those 13 there are 7 that I would probably knit, which is a little disappointing but also understandable. Although there are only 13 projects, remember you can create those projects using any of the 150 square designs, so the possibilities are much greater.
Although there are some quite innovative projects, such as a beautiful lacy cardigan, and some cute one block toys, a knitted square is still fairly limiting in terms of what can be created from it!
Something also worth noting is that there is a buttload of i-cord in this book. Some of it is put to fantastic, beautiful use. Some of it… Well. Let’s just leave it there.
Basically, if you’re not a fan of i-cord, there are still plenty of designs in the book that you could use, but you will be looking at quite a lot less than 150 patterns!
I really love Knitting Block by Block. It is beautiful to look at, it has the instant gratification factor, and it makes me want to pick up my needles.
I gave it four stars as I do think some of the designs are… Well. Not great. That being said, that is a very personal thing, and you may feel completely differently about the designs that I’m not a fan of!
The other contributing factor to the star rating I gave it is the fact that there are only 7 projects I would want to knit from it. I like to see lots of projects because they spark my creativity and give me lots of ideas. As I mentioned, though, it is completely understandable that there are as few projects as there are.
All in all, I think this is a great book that is worth adding to any knitter’s collection. If you are a beginner it may be limiting at first, but if you want to learn more then it is a great jumping off point!
Have you read Knitting Block by Block? What did you think of it? If you haven’t read it, do you want to? Let me know in the comments and get the conversation started!