Thursday, October 14, 2010

One Block at a Time.

When I am in the middle of a big project (like, say, a book...) I tend to crave small things, just a small project to wipe my palate free of the big one, if only for a moment. When I was offered a copy of Nicky Epstein's Knitting Block by Block, I couldn't resist.
I am a fan, I will admit. I own the functional eye candy that are also known as Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments, Nicky Epstein Knitted Flowers, and of course Knitting On the Edge and Knitting Over the Edge and Knitting Beyond the Edge, among others. I even own the 2001 Knits for Barbie Doll. The concept of this new block-based book is simple - using these simple shapes as a foundation, you can knit a variety of pieces - wearable or huggable or anything in between.
As it turns out, you can. Beginning with some helpful basic information on designing with squares, the book moves into a series of block-based designs for the knitter's perusal. Patterns for the featured designs are included in the back, but really I like to view them more as inspirations. In total there are 13 projects with specific pattern directions ranging from afghans and scarves to full garments and accessories. There's even simple toys, which I must say would make excellent last minute gifts!
Then there are the blocks. 150 of them to be precise. In true Nicky Epstein fashion, they run the gamut from simple to creative and tame to wild with a little of everything in between. Blocks are knit simply, or are embellished, cabled, embossed, colorized and liberally textured. Last but not least, there are four pages of images of the blocks themselves to finish things off. Simply copy them, cut them out, and use the squares to design your own project.
This book made me want to drop everything and play with my knitting. I think we don't do enough of that. isn't knitting, first and foremost, about enjoyment? We don't knit because there are no socks or sweaters. We knit because it's fun. it feels good. This book will inspire you to have some fun with your craft. One block at a time!

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