An inadvertent book review

Long time and regular readers may recall that about two-and-a-half years ago, I wrote this blog post about my college roommate and me getting together for a crochet lesson.

Here is a photo of as as we were then:

me and my college roommate
Sally and me

Since that photo was taken, the two of us have continued to hurtle through middle age at what seems to be the speed of light, but Sally still has not yet made herself the poncho she wants, needs, and will love, so this weekend, I sent her a series of texts, including this one:

poncho poncho poncho

To which she replied:

yes yes yes

She told me she had a square in mind, and when I asked her what square had caught her fancy, she sent me this photo:

Big Round crochet square
Big Round

Then I asked her what book it was in, and she sent me this photo:

200 crochet blocks
200 Crochet Blocks

As luck would have it, that same book graces my crochet bookcase. I went upstairs pulled it off the shelf, and when I was busy with errands both yesterday and today, it was in my crochet travel bag along with a supply of yarn and an array of hooks so that I could try out the “Big Round.”

On my way to page 102 where directions for the “Big Round” are, I stumbled on Block 64, Sunshine Lace, and could not resist. While I was visiting with my cousin yesterday, I took hook to yarn and got a start on my first effort seen here:

yellow crochet square
Square 64, my first effort

I liked how it was shaping up, but thought that I should use a smaller hook for my next effort and today, while I was waiting in between another round of errands, I got the chance.

In addition to using a smaller hook, I also eliminated one round to get a slightly smaller square:

green crochet square
Block 64, take two

Satisfied (for the moment) with my newly completed and modified Block 64, I moved onto Block 98 which is another square in which my roommate had expressed an interest, and I got this far before it was time to pack up my crochet and move onto the next thing:

pink crochet square
Block 98 (Old Vienna) in medias res

Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks is not a book for beginners, not because the squares are  difficult, but because the directions for a number of the squares have errors in them that an experienced crocheter can easily navigate, but which will bedevil and potentially frustrate even the best of beginners.

Interweave.com does have an errata page for 200 Crochet Blocks that is easy to access, but it only covers the known and corrected errors.

In my forays into this book, Block 64 and Block 29 (which I worked at an earlier date) both had substantial errors in the written directions and neither Block listed in the errata sheet, so I think it is a safe bet that there are many more unaddressed errors.

So while you might be tempted (as I was) to purchase the book because of the wonderful graphics and photos, be forewarned, the directions are often not accurate, and whoever uses it will need to have enough crochet skills to be able figure it out for her (or him) self from the photos.

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