As anyone who has read this blog at all often has probably guessed, I’m fond of stitch dictionaries. Today I gathered up my collection and took a bunch of photographs. Which you will now be privileged to see.
Here are about all of the stitch dictionaries I own. Some of these are on the borderline as to whether they should be considered stitch dictionaries or not, and I have other borderline books I chose not to include. At any rate, I will now show them to you in groups you can see a lot better.
There’s no doubt about these! Barbara Walker set the standard for stitch dictionaries many years ago. I had all four of her original editions, but only my Charted Knitting Designs remain. The rest were victims to a basement flood. But I have replaced all but the mosaic book (which I used a lot in the old days). If you look closely you can see that the new ones have been treated to spiral binding. That is such a blessing for a stitch dictionary!
Here’s another bunch of basic dictionaries. The one in the upper right is in German, but the illustrations and charts make everything pretty clear. Below that is a Phildar book that I’ve had for years and have used a lot. It has a lot of stitches that I really like, and some of them are fairly unusual. Then we come to The New Knitting Stitch Library by Lesley Stanfield. Another good basic book, though I have used it relatively little. Another old one above – a Mon Tricot book. I have used this more than the two it’s nearest to, but not as much as the Phildar. Then there is my Harmony Guide, Volume Two. Another good book that just doesn’t usually inspire me.
These are a bit of a mixed bag. There’s the Vogue Stitchionary on Cables – looks nice, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it. Then comes Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton. This is another of my favorites. It has an interesting combination of knit and crochet patterns, many of which I’ve used (the knit ones, anyhow). Then come two of Nicky Epstein’s Knitting … the edge books. I’ve looked at these over and over, I like what I see, and I can never seem to find an edge I want to use in them. I have no idea why.
Here are my marginal entries. In the upper right is an oriental book that is actually for machine knitting. Then comes The Tap-Dancing Lizard, which is a collection of charts of motifs. Not exactly stitch designs, but with the same sort of use. And Kaffe Fassett’s Pattern Library is another collection with a basic similarity. Then comes Debbie Abrahams’ 100 afghan squares to knit. Not exactly stitch patterns, but … And finally, Lynne Barr’s Reversible Knitting. There is a great collection of reversible (in the sense of usable on both sides, not necessarily identical) stitches in there as well as patterns for some interesting things to knit.
And finally, here are the ones I turn to first these days: Annie Maloney’s original collections. The Cable Knitting Handbook has a fantastic collection of cables, ranging from some quite narrow ones to some fantastic large panels. The Knitter’s Guide to Stitch Design is one of the most original knitting books around and it contains a varied collection of versatile stitches. Aran Lace is Annie’s newest book and it contains a collection of stitches that combine lace and cables in a number of surprisingly different ways. And finally, there is Mastering Lacework, together with the supplement, which I recently reviewed.
I am likely to be reviewing more of these books as time goes on, both my favorites and some of the others. It can be really interesting to me to review a knitting book. I often find new ways to appreciate a book, and sometimes I figure out why I’m not inspired. If there are any of these books that you’d like to hear more about, do let me know!