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Book Review: "200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, afghans, and throws"
About the book 200 Crochet Blocks and Jan Eaton
"Choose from more than 200 beautiful block designs and learn different ways of joining them to make blankets and throws that are both functional and decorative. From Art Deco-inspired geometric patterns to traditional checkerboard stripes and elaborate motifs, discover new ways to combine color, pattern, and texture."
Jan Eaton is a needlecraft and textile designer who studied embroidery and textile printing. She has published many needlecraft books, including Country Crochet and Knitted Lace and Crochet Basics. - from back cover of book.
Why I made 200 Crochet Blocks my first crochet book purchase
I have a large number of crochet magazines, cutouts, patterns that I pulled off hang tags at the stores, and a hard drive FULL of patterns saved to my computer.........not to mention the patterns I've pinned at Pinterest. I've looked at lots of crochet books in the past and thought about purchasing them but opted not to because I would would convince myself that I can find any pattern I need online.
I recently decided to try a "project 365" crochet style for my new blog Quartered Heart Crochet. I purchased this book 200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, afghans, and throws, because after looking obsessively online for the squares I wanted to use, I either just couldn't get inspired, or some of the patterns I found just didn't work or look right to me. I saw another review of this book and decided it was time to order my first crochet book. If I have 365 days to crochet a square a day, I was going to need some great ideas, and I wanted them right in my hands.
One of My Favorites
Beginner or Expert
Before I get started on the details of this book, I have to tell you one important thing. After using it a little and reading through it, I have found something wonderful. 200 Crochet Blocks isn't just made for those who have been crocheting for a long time, it is made with all crocheters in mind from beginning to very experienced. However, that doesn't mean that the beginner patterns bore the ones who have been at this for a while, and vice versa, it doesn't discourage and intimidate the beginner crocheter. It's just that user friendly.
Buy 200 Crochet Blocks for less at Amazon
I love 200 Crochet Blocks, and I really wish now that I had purchased this years ago. If you have ever searched for patterns online, you'll know of course, that there are many free patterns available. However, I can't count how many times I myself have started to work the pattern, gotten stuck because I just couldn't visualize the pattern without pictures to go on. This book not only gives you over 200 crochet square patterns, it has beautiful, and clear pictures to work with and easy to understand instructions.
In Chapter 1 you're going to find the introduction which gives you some information on crochet in general, color combining, and combining blocks. Then you will find Mix and Match designs to help you see what kinds of patterns and color combinations work well together as well as give you some placement ideas.
A little further in, Eaton provides you with 12 sample blanket designs to further assist your creativeness. With each of the sample designs, she notes which squares from the book were used (they're each numbered to make this easy) as well as how many and how to place them. Some of the blanket samples include Pastel Rainbow, Happy Holidays (Christmas blocks), Golden Glow, Eastern Promise and several more.
Chapter 2 is the block directory. Each block is numbered, has a large, clear photo of the block, instructions, as well as 3 other block patterns it would mix and match well with, AND a legend of sorts which gives you the difficulty level and how the square is worked whether in rounds or rows. If you like the colors that are used in any particular square, they even give you a color legend below the blocks that you can use to find the name of the color in the color index in the back.
The back of the book has all the information any beginner or even experienced crocheter could need including
- How to Start: How to hold a hook, working a foundation chain, making a slip knot, turning chains
- Working front and back of stitches
- Joining Yarns
- Changing Colors
- Fastening Off
- Textured Stitches and Spike Stitches
- Decreases and Increases
- 3 Dimensional Motifs
- Working Color work patterns from a chart
- Working in Rounds
- Joining Blocks
- Making a Fringe
- Yarn Color Index
Even though I have only completed a few of the patterns so far, I am really enjoying this book. There are so many pretty squares to use and even with all the ideas they give you on how to use them, I've already been envisioning other creative used for the patterns given in the book. For beginners and experts alike this book is a great collaboration of ideas and inspiration and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to crochet or would love to start crocheting. I am positive that I will be gifting this to both my sister who is just learning, as well as my mother who taught me to crochet when I was just 16.