Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Stitch Collection

A new stitch dictionary by Debbie O'Neill arrived recently. It's called, simply, The Stitch Collection. There are many very good stitch dictionaries out there, but the more I look through this one, the more I like it.

It's a boxed set with each of five volumes showcasing a different type of stitch. Knit and Purl, Rib, Lace, Cables and Specialty. Within each volume, it is organized from smallest to largest stitch repeat. That's a handy feature if you're trying to decide which pattern best suits your project. It would make sense that you'd want a smaller-scale repeat for a baby sweater than for an afghan.

I like the fact that's it each volume is small. The size is going to make it portable. You'll be able to easily toss the volume that you want to work with in your bag and go.

Another thing I like about this book is how Debbie classified each stitch by level of difficulty. That makes perfect sense. Patterns are rated this way, why shouldn't stitch patterns be too? If you think about it, unless a garment has an unusual construction or something else that's a little atypical going on, isn't the stitch pattern going to be one of the key indicators of difficulty?

She also classifies each stitch by level of drape. Once again, I think this is a nice feature. Of course, you'll want to make a swatch to make sure that you're getting the results you want, but having some idea of what to expect ahead of time is going to make things easier and might save you a little time in the long run.

As often as not, I'm the kind of person that takes advantage of all the wonderful patterns out in the world. I'm more about making beautiful yarn than making beautiful patterns. But, every once in awhile I get a hankering to go off the grid and explore on my own. Especially when it comes to something fairly simple like taking the basic shape of a design I like and fits me well and adding a little interest with texture. This book provides lots of choices.

For someone with more pattern writing skills than I have or who aspires to be a designer, this book would be a great reference tool. And a source of inspiration. Even I started to think about where some of these stitches might take me.

I should probably also tell you that Lorna's Laces provided the yarn for all the swatches in the book. Other than a free copy, we did not receive any compensation for this blog post.

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