Stitch Dictionaries – Part 1

If you have any interest in designing your own knit items, you should be interested in stitch dictionaries. It’s very simple to just substitute one stitch pattern for another in a simple garment, and you can do so much more once you get going with stitch dictionaries.

I’ve used them for years. Back in my youth, in the 60s, I used to knit a lot and regularly designed from Barbara Walker’s Treasuries. Over the course of the years, I’ve lost most of my old knitting books (basement floods, etc.) but I still have her Third Treasury in an old edition – Charted Knitting Designs, copyright 1972. This was the first of her treasuries to have charts, and I really love them. I’ve used this book throughout the years.

A couple of years ago I replaced the Second Treasury and have just purchased the First Treasury. I’m of two minds on whether to buy the Mosaic knitting book again. I used it a lot, knitting two blankets with all different mosaic squares. But I haven’t been drawn to mosaics as much lately.

I do have an assortment of other stitch dictionaries and similar books. One of the knitting books that has given me the most value over the years is my Phildar Hand Knitting Stitches book. The date in it is 1985, but it’s not a copyright. I guess maybe this isn’t officially a book. It doesn’t have an ISBN, for instance. But it’s a stitch dictionary, right enough. It has 233 patterns, which isn’t a huge number, but it was from this book that I got the pattern for what has proved to be a very popular pattern, my Circle Socks. Here’s a closeup of the stitch:

Circle Sock Pattern Detail

Right across from this stitch is one with the attractive name of Devil Stitch. I knit a pair of socks for Franklin (though one of the socks unfortunately died) using that stitch and the same colorway as in the previous sock. Here it is:

Circle Shiny Devil Stitch detail

The stitch pattern for my recent Cherished Duchess socks are also from that book:

Cherished Duchess Pair 1

There are lots of other stitch patterns in that book that I have used or plan to. I don’t know what it is about that particular book that attracts me particularly. Perhaps it’s the clear photos. Or maybe the groupings – such as the Passed Slip Stitch Over Group, to which Devil Stitch belongs. At any rate, these are some of the stitch dictionaries I have and love, but by no means all of them. I’ll describe some more of my favorites on another day.


About Knitterly Anne

A knitter for many years, I have become increasingly involved with designing knit patterns in recent years. Other interests include my lovi
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