Monday, February 28, 2011

My review of the book: Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein

My visit to the winter "TNNA" show included a quick stop to the JHB Booth, to catch up with Nicky Epstein and see what was in her world.  How fun it was to learn that not only did Nicky Epstein have a new book but she also had a new line of buttons.

Nicky Epstein
They are really cool metal buttons with "Steampunk" and "Pirate" themes.  These would be great accents on costumes, journals, and other projects.

I also found out that Nicky was going to do a book signing over at the publisher's booth later that day.  

Her newest book is "Knitting Block by Block" and it is fabulous.

It is a visually striking knitting textbook!

Knitting Block by Block is not a book for just beginner knitters. 

That being said, the author has included some beginner level blocks in this book which are a seed stitch block, a stockinette stitch block,  a garter stitch block, a pulled ribbed block,  a basketweave block, a horizontal stripe block and finally a two color triangle block.

Chapter 2, offers some really fun and attractive blocks that can be made using the various blocks and adding i-cords, loops, etc. for accents which bring these projects to a visually pleasing  project like the “Highland Fling” (page 45).  This is a great project that just requires the reader to follow Nicky’s well written directions to create a lovely decorative square.  These blocks could easily be used to make a variety of projects for a beginner level knitter.

Chapter 3, is geared more to the medium level of experience knitter.  My favorite here is the “Seed Stitch Faire Isle Combo” on page 85.  There are a lot of color changes in this project.  However, if you are good at following patterns then this is a fun challenge for the newer knitter.

Chapter 4, is geared to the more experienced knitter.  It has both traditional stitches and some newer techniques (e.g.: domino, entrelac, mosaic, smocking,  Fair Isle, reversible knitting, and more).  The patterns are great but reading them would be challenging for a beginner knitter. 

Chapter 5, is one of my favorite chapters because it covers cables.  I love scarves, sweaters, hats, etc with cables in them.  Doing them in blocks is a fun way to learn some new techniques and design elements.

Chapter 6, covers “Eclectic Style” elements.  This section is definitely for the more advanced or adventurous knitter.  Nicky uses textural stitches, appliqu├ęs, accessories (zippers, beads, buttons), I-cords, along with some overlapping bobbles in her projects and patterns. There is some laying of elements involved in these projects, while time consuming they are worth the extra effort.  My favorite in this section is the “Cabled Bell Pull” which is not quite as fancy as some of the other projects but looks great when finished.

The rest, well, you will have to read the book for yourself.  

One great feature of this book is it covers the different techniques and projects in squares that can be put together to create what ever I want.  Why would this be important?  I work, go to school, and raise a family.  This is a great way for me to have an on-the-go project that works with my busy schedule.  I can accomplish this “one square at a time”.

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