Do you have any stitch dictionaries in your knitting library? I am somewhat of a stitch dictionary junky. I think I have most of them. I always have grand illusions of designing, and then I get bogged down with too many wonderful choices to play with. That didn’t stop me from being really excited when designer Debbie O’Neill told me that she was working on a new book – a stitch dictionary. I have always loved Debbie’s designs and knew the book would be great. (One of my very favorite Debbie designs is Celebratory Chevrons – free here on my blog. It’s one of the few sock patterns that I’ve chosen to knit more than once.) Last week, her publisher kindly sent me a copy of the new book – The Stitch Collection – and I dove in. Actually, it’s a slipcase with 5 smaller volumes tucked inside – Knit & Purl, Rib, Lace, Cables, and Specialty. 225 patterns in all. There are several things that make this one of my new favorites, and one that I will use frequently.
- I love the smaller sized books. Most stitch dictionaries are filled with every possible combination and they are big and heavy. Not something I would tuck into my project bag or take along on a trip. And a bit overwhelming to leaf through.
- I love that each page gives you a skill level and a drape level. Sometimes you don’t know how it will work from the photo, and I haven’t seen these ratings in other stitch dictionaries.
- Also different (and a real benefit), I like that each stitch is explained, along with particular characteristics: “It pulls in dramatically, but is very elastic. It will lie flat along the cast-on edge, but will tend to curl along the side edges.”
- I also appreciate the suggestions for use: “… can be used as an edge stitch for sweaters, hats, mittens or gloves, or as a panel or an overall pattern in an elaborate sweater.”
- And a few warnings on some, like: “This stitch pattern comes off the needles looking slanted, and a good blocking evens it out nicely. However, you may want to avoid using it across large areas because the larger the area, the harder it is to block out the slant.”
My only wish? I wish these were spiral bound. I think I will pop by Office Max and have mine done. (Do you do that with your favorite knitting books? I think it’s so handy to be able to open books all the way and have them lie flat when in use.) Also, there are no charts. But as someone who seldom knits from charts, that wasn’t a big deal for me. When I want to take written directions and turn them into charts, I’ve been using this program. Very easy to use, with great tutorials.
So all of this (stitch dictionaries, designing software) leads to the contest question of the month – have you ever tried to design something of your own to knit or crochet? Does the thought of it sound interesting, intimidating, or invigorating? Leave your answer in the comments and we’ll use the random generator to draw winners for $30 Gift Certificates to The Loopy Ewe next week!