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113 of 120 people found the following review helpful
Living in Texas, I've found that I can knit afghans during only a few winter months. Why? It's often too hot to be working on a large, warm afghan. So when I saw that this book was focused on small blocks that could be joined (in a cold month) to make a large piece, I jumped at it.

Now that I've received the book, I've changed my mind.

Here's my take on "Knitting Block by Block."

PROS:

1. Nicky Epstein's books are always high quality, and this book is no exception. Excellent binding allows the book to remain open where you're working without damaging the spine. Paper is heavy and pleasing to the touch. Color is, as expected, lavish. In fact, color is one of the best parts of an Epstein volume.

2. Patterns and examples are clear, even for a novice knitter. You can see many different types of blocks and follow one of her examples or create your own unique design.

CONS:

1. It's a matter of personal taste, but, after reading through the book several times, I realized that I like knitting as a continuous piece of fabric without seams (where they can be avoided). I do not care for unnecessary seams like those shown in her scarves.

2. Again, it's a matter of taste, but, although I'm usually like a child with her nose pressed against a candy store window, screaming "I want one of those," I did not find many patterns that compelled me to whip out my needles.

3. Although I like the look of cord on knit fabric, I have a personal dislike of sewing my knitting together. I do the assembly grudgingly and have no wish to do more. With many of the designs, I'd be sitting for hours doing something I don't care to do.

OVERALL:

This is a beautiful book that did not please me as much as Epstein's books usually do. If you enjoy hand sewing, if you enjoy stitching knit pieces together, this will be your book. For me, I'll go back to her classic afghan book.

Four stars
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2010
I am so delighted with this book..Once again Ms. Epstein shows the imagination and inventiveness that makes her my personal favorite knitwear designer. Her last 2 books had REALLY disappointed me because they really were a rehash of her old ideas. Knitting on Top of the World and Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch just didn't make it for me. I want Ms. Epstein's imagination...not a travel guide to Tuscany...
There are many many blocks in this book...my favorites happen to be the ones with i-cord and ideas of how one might use them...directions call for knitting with Cascade 220 ..a lovely yarn that is not only beautiful, comes in many colors, but is quite affordable.
There are directions for all the blocks as well as for the patterns of garments made using the blocks...
WELCOME BACK, Ms. Epstein....and thank you...
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2011
Beautiful book, beautiful designs, and horrible editing. There are many errors in this book. I am knitting the afghan on page 216.

The yarn suggested is Cascade 220, not superwash. The colors listed do not match Cascades color list at all. The colors given are NOT for the sample afghan shown; I loved the colors in the sample knitted afghan and I am not getting it. Blocks knitted as directed created different sized blocks. After a lot of reworking and reediting, I am able to create same sized blocks.

They are many great ideas, but beware of the patterns.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2011
Working from library copy until mine arrives -- I am making the 35-square afgan (pg 216). NOTE: Color numbers actually refer to Cascade 220, NOT Cascade 220 "Superwash." Superwash color numbers are entirely different. First instruction is to make 17 stockinette stitch blocks in A." Color A is actually an accent color and has insufficient yardage. Instruction should say "Main Color" and should be noted as such in "Materials" paragraph. Beginning knitters might be stymied by these errata before even starting. Even though I like the patterns and overall presentation of this book, I am giving it only three stars due to inadequate editing.Knitting Block by Block: 150 Blocks for Sweaters, Scarves, Bags, Toys, Afghans, and More
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
There is so much good stuff in this book that I don't know where to start. Her blocks are so original and delightful. There are very few projects in the volume though but it is easy to come up with stunning projects.

The instructions are clear and well written.

When I say however, that it is confusing I refer to the fact that so many of the blocks have different cast on numbers, so when I finished my first three blocks for the afghan project in the book, they came out in different sizes using the same needles and yarn. I ended up adding garter stitch borders to some to make them come out even. I am left feeling that I am not executing my blocks in some way, though since they specify different numbers it makes sense for them to end up different sizes.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2010
I just received my copy of this wonderful book. I love the ideas of knitting in blocks. It is perfect for the beginner through experienced knitter. It's a chance to practice and learn some new stitches. Be careful of other peoples reviews. If I would have listened to one of the reviewers, I would've never brought it. Ms. Epstein did excellent research. The book has lots of wonderful ideas to expand on. Her books always inspire me to knit. Great to take on an airplane for extended travel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2011
The cover of the book catches the eye, and as a new-ish knitter I was excited to see that I could create such interesting blocks just through knitting. It was after I bought the book that I realized that there is a lot of sewing of i-chords onto the blocks, and that's not what I like doing. But, I may try some of the 3-D styles just for fun someday, but overall I guess I could have just used a book with a variety of patterns in it and created a lovely afghan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is Nicky Epstein doing what I love Nicky Epstein doing best-giving me lots of new toys to play with.

Like her "Edge" books, or any of her other books of knitting detail, this book is provides a bunch of really lovely, discreet elements for you to play with. In this case, they are knitted squares. Some are simple, some are ornate. Some are textured, some are colorful. Some have pictures, some have ruffles. It's a cornucopia.

Although ... some of these squares seem like a bit of a reach. What's the point of sewing a zipper on a knitted square? And a number of these are based on a plain stockinette square that has i-cord appliqued on to make a picture or 3D image. That's fine, even if I wish that those squares were KNITTED that way instead of requiring extra sewing later on. Because, well, some knitters hate sewing.

But, there are PLENTY of blocks here that owe their gorgeousness to the actual knitting process. And most of them are gorgeous. And it never hurts to be reminded that sometimes it's the extra details that get added later are what lifts our knitting from "pretty" to "Wow."

There are some full-blown patterns in here, as well-sweaters, hats, scarves-all made from an assortment of blocks. Like in her other collections, I think these are not only lovely to look at, but a hint at what is possible to create when you start with nothing more than a knitted square.

This is the genius of this book. A knitted square is the foundation of all knitting. The first thing off most of our needles was a simple square. It might have been garter stitch, it might have been stockinette. It might have been intended to be a scarf, but chances are, the first thing you knitted was some variation on a rectangle. There's something comforting about knitting squares. There's no shaping involved, nothing it has to "fit," and it brings us back to the beginning. Except, in Nicky Epstein's hands, that simple square is anything but simple.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2012
I was torn reviewing this book, as it is beautifully done, on quality paper with a lovely cover, but there is nothing new here. It is a compilation of patterns that can be found in many other books. The author takes traditional patterns, and presents them to you in a block form; she then may add ruffles, balls, pearls or strips or rolls of knitting to the surface. You are to sew these elements atop your knitted swatch. There are many blocks with a snake coil wrapped in various ways and sewn to the surface, the idea being apparent after one. The "picture" blocks are nothing out of the ordinary. I personally like a more contemporary approach and did appreciate a few of the more contemporary blocks at the end of the book, but even these were very simplistic arrangements of what has already been done. I suppose if you need this kind of "kick in the pants" to jumpstart your own ideas, this book can be of some value. The cover photo though, is all you require. Take all of the techniques you already know and stitch them to a 5X5 block of knitted fabric.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2011
There are lots and lots of blocks in this wonderful new book. As others have reviewed, this is for those who like the heavier side of knits. I know that some of the blocks I will never make, however I can't wait to start on others. I know that I will own every book that Nicky Epstein publishes. This is great for inspiration and reference. If you want to make something beautiful and different, elegant yet sometimes funky, this is the book. Not for the shy or beginner, although most blocks are not difficult. I would say to use the "look inside" feature and if you see what you like, there is more to come.
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