If you like to add a bit of color to otherwise plain knitting projects or like to design your own patterns using established colorwork patterns, Colorwork Stitches: Over 250 Designs to Knit from the Harmony Guides (presented by Interweave Press and edited by Susie Johns) is sure to provide lots of inspiration.
The book is very little more than a stitch dictionary, which is OK because that's really all you want or need this book to be.
The Stitch Patterns
the book starts off with a brief introduction to and ideas for knitting in color, an overview of necessary tools and supplies, and tutorials with drawings on casting on, knitting, purling, binding off, gauge, increasing, decreasing and adding in new colors of yarn.
Most important to this book is the section on following charts, since all of the patterns are presented entirely in chart form; there are no written instructions for even the simplest patterns.
This gives knitters who haven't worked with charts much before a chance to get comfortable with them while working simple projects.
Colorwork Stitches begins with really easy one and two-row stitch patterns that make dashes, zig-zags, waves and squares.
The patterns progress into more complex designs including chevrons, diamonds, tweeds and trellises, argyle patterns, snowflakes and flowers.
There are patterns designed to be used in borders and others that would work as an allover fabric. There are also charts for upper case and lower case letters and numbers, which could be used to personalize a project (and could even be worked in after the fact in duplicate stitch).
There are dainty patterns and larger, more graphic motifs of people, animals and other basic shapes.
Each design gets its own full-color page (with the exception of the alphabet and number blocks), with a sample of the knit project and the chart that was used. The charts also indicate what portion if any of the design repeats and how many stitches and rows are needed for the design, making it easy to drop these into projects.
Colorwork Stitches is a fun book that sure to give color lovers a lot of ideas on how to add motifs to their projects. Just flipping through the book gave me several ideas for projects I'd like to knit and designs I would incorporate.
In addition to the roomy design and nice color pictures, the book has a nice open binding that stays flat when you open to a page, meaning you can actually work on designs from the book without having to make a photocopy.
This book would be a great choice for anyone who already liks to add color to their knitting, or as a gift to a knitter who's ready to try adding colorful motifs to his or her projects.
Publication date: June 2009.