Britt-Marie Christoffersson came to knitting from the world of textile design, and her approach to knitting seems to be to manipulate it and decorate the surface like you would a textile. Her book Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch shows off dozens of ideas for slipping, twisting and crossing stitches, working with color, binding off stitches, knitting on surface motifs and much, much more.
There are no real patterns in this book but it nonetheless is likely to send you running for your needles to make up some "swatches" of your own or to play with these ideas in scarf, bag and garment designs of your own.
About the Book
- Pages: 216
- Format: paperback
- Number of patterns: 23 categories of stitch and texture patterns with variations
- Skill level: none given, but range from beginner to advanced
- Illustrations: many large, full-color photographs
- Knitting lessons: a techniques and abbreviations section mostly deals with knitting with beads but also includes information on intarsia, buttonholes and calculations for a simple knit sweater you can use the motifs on
- Publication date: May 2012
Pop Knitting doesn't have patterns in the traditional sense that knitting books usually do because there aren't really any garment patterns (there are general instructions for how to knit a basic drop-shoulder sweater).
It's also not a typical stitch dictionary because there are so many graphic ideas that aren't strictly stitch patterns but more like methods and jumping off points for your own experimentation.
Pop Knitting represents years of study, swatching and exploration by Christoffersson as she discovered different ways to adorn the surface of a knit fabric. Each section of the book offers a different design idea such as "two-color garter stitch, four rows," slipped stitches and stockinette," or "patterns with buttonholes."
Each of those presents several variations on the theme with large swatches and a description of how to do it (or a row-by-row pattern if applicable). Some of the pictures are full-page while others are smaller, but they all show lots of detail and make you want to try out the techniques.
Even if you've been around the knitting store a few times, there are probably some ideas here you haven't tried or seen before. There are patterns with surface designs made by casting on and binding off stitches quickly, using bind off rows to make raised stripes, braids made by purling different colors in succession, patterns with holes made by binding off and working around them or by making buttonholes, knitting strips and twisting them before attaching them to the background, floating welts, knitting in different directions and attaching motifs in succession, to name a few.
Pop Knitting is best used as a pure source of inspiration. It's a great book to have on hand and just look through, whether you're consciously looking for ideas or not, because ideas are sure to find you as you turn the pages.
I know I kept thinking, "ooh, I want to try that!" or wondering what would happen if I used a technique in a different way on a particular project. This is not a book that will tell you want to knit or how, but it will give you tons of ideas of things you want to knit that you might not have even known were missing from your life before. And even if you only swatch designs based on the swatches found in these pages, you're sure to learn something and have lots of fun in the process.