When I’m stuck for ideas I pick up a stitch dictionary. I’m always on the look out for new ones. Sometimes new means they were published years ago and it’s my first time exploring them. Those that have gathered dust are also given a second chance. Why? While many of the stitches are consistent across books, seeing a stitch in a different can open up possibilities.
Recent bookshelf additions
At a recent library book sale, I picked up two stitch dictionaries, Knitting Counterpanes by Mary Walker Phillips and Knitting Encyclopedia: 1500 Patterns. I am fascinated by the work of Phillips. While counterpanes aren’t something that excite me right now, I find inspiration in how they pair different stitches together. The 1500 Patterns book was a whim, it was only $2 so I knew I was getting my money’s worth! It’s a pamphlet from the mid 80s, the photos and printing aren’t the clearest. Even though the instructions aren’t in the current standard written abbreviations, I’m inspired. There are many stitches I’ve flagged to swatch for potential future projects. Why? Sometimes it’s the name of a stitch or the fabric a stitch creates that cause an idea to swirl enough that I’m running for needles and yarn to begin a swatch.
Recent library checkouts
These are at the mercy of hold lists, availability, and the number of times I can renew them! If I find myself checking a book out frequently, I purchase a copy of my own. Recent checkouts include Japanese knitting stitch bible : 260 exquisite patterns by Hitomi Shida, translated with an introduction by Gayle Roehm and Alterknit stitch dictionary by Andrea Rangel. These are stunning books, please see Franklin’s review.
Older titles often find their way home with me too. It’s important to show the circulation system that these books are important. Sometimes I even check out books I own to try to keep them on the shelves. Recent examples include The knitting all around stitch dictionary : 150 new stitch patterns to knit top down, bottom up, back and forth & in the round by Wendy Bernard and Norah Gaughan’s knitted cable sourcebook. Yesterday Vogue knitting stitchionary 5. Volume five, Lace knitting followed me home (along with eleven other books I want to read). Why? It was there, spring has me thinking of lace, I could reach it without looking for a step stool, and I opened to a spread that paired two stitches in a way that had already been itching at the back of my head.
This is a new crochet title, and it made me want to run off, acquire all the colours, and make crochet motifs. The review also appeared in the Spring + Summer 2018 edition of Knitty.
Crochet Kaleidoscope: Shifting Shapes and Shades Across 100 Motifs
by Sandra Eng
Color and crochet motifs go together like peanut butter and jelly. However, it’s often challenging to visualize how different color combinations can transform a motif.
In Crochet Kaleidoscope, Eng provides clear photos of 100 motifs and explores how they look with different choices. After learning basic color theory, you can find answers to common questions from “how many colors are too many?” to “does order matter?”
Included are several home decor and accessory projects to help you begin your color journey. All motifs include both written instructions and stitch diagrams.