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241 of 247 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
After reading the reviews, I hesitated to buy this book. I was concerned about the errors people talked about. So, I got it from my local library. Then (why I didn't look before) I realized it was an Interweave Press book. That made up my mind - one of the HUGE benefits of every Interweave Press book is that they carry Corrections to any/every book that they print on their web site. It's phenomenal. While we might say that there shouldn't be errors, there are in every book unfortunately. But, the benefit of Interweave books is that they do something about it. Check out their web site, click on Crochet Books on the left hand side, and then click on Corrections. Click on this book's name, and you'll find all the corrections - complete with highlighting of the part being corrected. I simply love Interweave Books, and I love them all the more for this feature.
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142 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
First, the good: all of the blocks are designed to be the same size, so you can mix and match them as you please. This is a considerable help. I have a number of vintage crochet-block books from the 60s and 70s, and none of the blocks are the same size, so it takes a lot of tweaking for each block if you want to make an afghan.
Another plus is that the publisher is Interweave, which has a solid reputation for producing excellent fibre arts books.

Next, the bad: the title is misleading as there are only 138 blocks, with colour variations making up the rest. There are even fewer blocks if you omit the single-crochet ones with pattern variations (e.g. thick stripes, thin stripes, blocks divided by colours into halves or quarters).
There are no charts, which would've helped immensely when the instructions get confusing.
There are many, many errors. Some of the mistakes are obvious and can be fixed if you look at the photo carefully, but for the others, you just have to make it up as you go along and hope that the block turns out okay.
Also unfortunate is that there are no stitch counts for each round or row. Without charts or stitch counts, it's hard to tell if you've made an error. The lack of stitch counts becomes downright annoying when it's time to join the blocks. You can't assume that every finished block has the same number of stitches on each side, so when sewing up, you have to rely on counting, re-counting, and averaging.
There are no photos of actual finished afghans, so you have to experiment to see which of the 3 joining methods looks best.

Other comments: in the end, despite its shortcomings, it is worth having this book in your collection, simply because it is the only one of its genre available. I would've given the book 2 stars if it weren't for this point alone.
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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon February 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Okay, now I'm getting somewhere. As a life long crocheter who was becoming a little frustrated by all the 'HIP' offerings, I have found 200 CROCHET BLOCKS for blankets, throws and Afghans, incredibly helpful for making traditional items. Sure, if you wanted to be ornery you could say all crochet blocks devolve to a granny square, but they don't, really.

Using a combination of colors and stitches, Jan Eaton has given crochet a new lease on life as far as I am concerned. The book layout includes a six-page block directory showing the reference points for all the blocks (respective numbers and pages) as well as several pages of designs (how one might assemble the blocks into a specific pattern). Eaton also includes directions on how to use the book for those folks who do not possess a logical or rational approach to life. Included in these pages is a chart with the unique symbols that give the reader clues as to the assembly of an item as well as the level of difficulty. Patience is the byword with these projects.

The one criticism I have of this book is the list of suggested suppliers Eaton provides is pathetic. I tried to locate several of them on the web, and had little success. The major supplier she mentions is located in Canada, with no outlets in the US. Again maybe it's just me, but I order almost everything I buy over the web, and I have not experienced this difficulty heretofore. (I've used the Yarn Market link Amazon supplies.) Fortunately, I live in an urban area well supplied with fiber stores, so I think I will be able to find what I need at the shop where I am taking knitting classes.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I'm also very happy with this book, for all the reasons previous reviewers have elaborated on. Others have noted that the book does indeed contain errors in the patterns, so I'd like to add that corrections are available from the publisher.

Amazon policies prohibit posting URLs, but you can find them by going to Interweave (dot-com) and typing "corrections" in the search box on the left. From the list generated click "2. Knitting Book Corrections," then 200 Crochet Blocks appears at the top of the next list. That link takes you to the page where you can download corrected patterns for #16 Water Lily, #35 Tricolor Square, #47 Queen Anne's Lace, #48 Danish Square, #58 Peach Rose, #79 Baltic Square, #100 Pastel Delight, and Techniques: Working in Rounds.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
The squares in the book are really nice and the book is well written. I do have two critiques. One is that the colors of the squares are a bit muddy. I am not too crazy about some of the color choices. Another is that a friend of mine went nuts trying to figure out how to start a circular run and the drawing of how to start a circle (chain, then link the chain in a circle) was incorrect. I thought she was exaggerating, but the drawing is, indeed, incorrect. It shows the thread of yarn coming from the wrong end of the short chain. Fortunately, it only took a two minute explanation to clarify it. (Novices might want to consult another book or a friend in case they get confused.)
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
A quick scan through this book and I was sold. The pictures are great, the blocks are creative, and I liked the primer in color-theory and the review at the end.

However, once I actually started making the blocks, I was very disappointed. I've tried about a dozen patterns so far and EVERY SINGLE ONE HAS A MISTAKE! I'm not exagerrating. If it weren't for the pictures, I don't think I'd be able to get them to come out. Sometimes the directions indicate to do something 3 times when you should only do it twice. They leave off the turning chain, or say ch 2 when you really need to ch3. Sometimes it says to change color, when the picture does not change color. Sometimes it says to join the new color, but doesn't say where. Sometimes the number of stitches is completely wrong and it doesn't produce a square at all. The other problem is that none of the blocks I've tried are the same size. Probably because at some point in each pattern I have to "wing it" to get the block to come out.

If you have a lot of time and a good deal of crochet experience, you could probably look at the pictures and figure it out, however I would not recommend this book for beginners or people who tend to become easily frustrated.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2004
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The book not only has beautiful and fascinating block patterns, but on each page, along with the block pattern, it includes several different alternative color combinations, as well as photos showing other blocks (with page numbers) which would fit well with the one described. This enables the reader to design a completely unique project. It also contains an introduction to basic color planning, as well as a section on joining squares and other "how to's". This is the most comprehensive crochet book I've seen, and I highly recommend it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have many crochet books, (squares, afghans, thread crochet, etc) and none are as beautiful and well organized as this book.

All pages are glossy and in full color. NO BLACK AND WHITE AT ALL.

And what a nice feature to have a table of contents that has a "THUMBNAIL PHOTOGRAPH" of each crocheted square; as well as a standard sized photograph on each pattern page; it's soooo easy to find what tickles your fancy, as well as to compare the different patterns side-by-side.

The 200 patterns include old favorites, as well as fun new ones. Some are worked in the round (or actually, square), and others worked back & forth. Many, many interesting color combinations to aid your imagination.

Also includes explanations of how colors work well together, with color wheel, and pages showing different patterned blocks ((squares) that work well for a completed blanket, throw, or afghan. The back of the book explains different stitches for quick reference. The author also includes a listing of all the yarn (brand names & colors) she used. However, for myself, this wasn't helpful as most of the yarns are pure wool, which I rarely use due to the higher cost.

I LOVED THIS BOOK, PERSONALLY, AND IT'S ONE OF MY TOP FAVORITES CROCHET PATTERN BOOKS OF ALL TIME.

I give this a full 5 STARS.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book uses some old, some classic, and many modern patterns and styles to make squares that can be joined into an afghan. Another way the patterns could be used is to multiply them and make an afghan from one single square. Or, you could join squares into a scarf, hat, or whatever else you can think of. However, there are NOT 200 DIFFERENT patterns. Many of the squares are the same pattern done in different colors. That is really the only problem I had with the book. It is well worth the investment as there are a lot of patterns and the showing of different color groups does provide some inspiration and lets readers know that they can use their own creativity to extend the beauty of the art of crochet.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Before you buy, I recommend you visit a brick and mortar store and peruse. I didn't, was disappointed and had to pay for return shipping.

I can only recommend this for absolute beginners or for people with no color sense as she does do beautiful color combinations.

However, all of the patterns are text only (too many mistakes and the symbols make errors and how to correct completely easy) and in my experience Interweave Press is VERY bad at proofreading before going to press (yes, they do post corrections on their website, but why can't they just get it right the first time??).
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