Monday, 6 October 2014

200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton - Book Review!

I have had this book on my shelf for a few years now. I bought it when I first decided to learn crochet. I think I picked it up a few times to look at all the pretty squares I was going to make but never had the confidence in my skills to use them. It's only been recently that I have been able to confidently read a crochet pattern. The lovely lady who taught me how to crochet my first granny square also had this book and I know that she has used it and created some lovely squares with it.

I have been using this book on and off this month so I thought it was about time that I reviewed it (it's still available). I don't have many squares to show you but a number of squares that I have made in the past are in the book.

Of course, I also tend to make the squares bigger than they intended to be because I quite like them like that. This goes for the basic granny square (or plain granny as it's called in the book).

Same goes with the solid granny (or square target as the book calls it). There are a total of 212 sqaures in the book. The downside is that it includes variations in colour schemes as a new square. For example, Coral Seas square is listed as four different squares for each colour scheme. A tiny part of me sees that as cheating. However, it can also have a positive as it can show people who maybe aren't as confident at playing with colour that changing colours can change the look of a design.

It has some basic squares like the ones the plain granny and the target square and also more difficult squares such as the willow square (which you can see above). Each square is given a difficulty rating which will allow you to assess which ones require more skill and concentration. Unless of course you are like me where you just go for the pretty and hope for the best. At the bottom each pattern it also give suggestions for other squares that you can mix and match with along with their page number. Handy if you are making a blanket or cushion and want to try out different techniques.

There is a handy section at the back with diagrams on how to carry out different techniques including suggestions for joining your squares together. It even has some pretty edging designs and shows you how to work out the size of the square based on the yarn you use. All very handy. The front also shows you examples of different squares all together to make a blanket. So if you are coming up blank you could always pick one of these to follow.

The patterns themselves are all in written form rather than graphs. I can understand this as these instructions take up less room and therefore making way for more squares. Although it does show you the different stitches and what they mean I think if you are new to reading patterns then it might prove more difficult for you. That's not to say you shouldn't use it if you are learning. I used it to teach my friend and she got a perfect granny square out of it. I think that maybe you might need it along with other forms of help such as youtube (just be aware of the British and American differences - this book uses British terminology).

All in all a good book for all skill sets. I think it's one that I will use again and again.

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