Favourite Block Directories

200 knitted blocks

Top 4 Favourite Block Directories

1. 200 knitted blocks for blankets, throws and afghans
2. 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match
3. 150 Blocks to Knit and Crochet: The Anything-but-the-square Collection
4. 200 Stitch Patterns for Baby Blankets: Knitted and Crocheted Designs for Crib Covers, Shawls and Afghans

In my current bath mitt designing frenzy, I have been buried knee deep in piles of books and pieces of paper. I like to use block directories when designing things like blankets (or indeed bath mitts). They are a useful way to see things in a modular way and often help inspire me to use more unusual texture and colour combinations.

I am both a knitter and a crocheter, so I have included books on both. These books are really useful when creating gifts (like baby blankets) and are also nice just to leaf through when looking for inspiration. These book all (rather helpfully) have a gallery of thumbnail images at the front which make them helpful to see all the blocks at a glance.

1. 200 knitted blocks for blankets, throws and afghans

200 knitted blocks

This was my first block directory and it is starting to fall apart from near constant use. It is a good mix of texture, lace, cable and colourwork blocks with a helpful difficulty rating icon. The front of the book also has some suggestions for blankets made up of blocks, which is useful inspiration.

As a beginner knitter I liked the fact that it has good clear photos with help boxes for any new techniques/abbreviations. As an established knitter I like the fact that it has a “mix and match” suggestion at the bottom of each pattern (three other blocks that look nice with it). I can flip through the book for idle inspiration, or use the thumbnail images at the front to try to track down a half remembered block.

Favourite Pattern
What a mean question! There are many lovely ones but I especially like 12 – surface cables as it plays with non-crossing cables to good effect.

2. 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match

200 crochet blocks

This is a sister book to the knitting one and uses English (as opposed to American) crochet notation. Like its sister book, it has blanket suggestions at the front and a mix and match selection for each square. It uses a variety of approaches (from centre cast on, to back and forth to modular) and a good mix of statement blocks (like the lacy flowers) and textured “filler” blocks.

Favourite Pattern
Another difficult choice, but I think I will go for 58-peach rose which is a nice centrepiece for a blanket.

3. 150 Blocks to Knit and Crochet: The Anything-but-the-square Collection

150 blocks to knit and crochet

Trying to tackle “anything but the square” has given this book a fresh approach to blocks and is divided into circles, diamonds, squares, triangles, hexagons, octagons, pentagons, snowflakes, stars, flowers, hearts, shells, leaves and connector shapes. It has good clear instructions and uses English (as opposed to American) crochet notation with charts as needed. The unusual shapes encourage a quilt like approach to the blankets and this helps to suggest fresh approaches for gift ideas.

Favourite Pattern
I like the heart shapes (and have a plan for a heart-themed blanket). I am currently torn between the crochet and knit pattern.

4. 200 Stitch Patterns for Baby Blankets: Knitted and Crocheted Designs for Crib Covers, Shawls and Afghans

200 stitch patterns for baby blankets by Jan Eaton

A follow-up book to her 200 series, and one that continues to use her nice layout and clear instructions. These patterns are a nice range of techniques and use some applique techniques to good effect. It includes a handy section on different types of trims and edges, as well as one that talks through colour choice and how it affects the tone of the object.

Favourite Pattern
93 coral seas. It is a crochet wavy line pattern but one that is both textured and eye-catching (and would look fabulous in blues).

LouBug

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vickymyerscreations
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 17:15:41

    At this point in my knitting journey I have not engaged with blocks, or attempted a blanket.. looks like that need to change:) Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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