Looking at knitting stitch guides is a wonderful way to get inspired about knitting. It is fun to be reminded of all the wonderful things that can be done with just a couple of stitches and a few basic skills.
The editors of Vogue Knitting magazine have outdone themselves with the three-volume stitch treasury Stitchionary. These beautiful books provide knitters of all skill levels with a new look at their craft and expand our horizons as to what's possible with just a little bit of yarn.
Knitting Stitch Bounty
It's hard to over-emphasize the huge number of pattern stitches that are available in these three books. There are a whopping 265 different knit and purl combinations, 202 cables and 205 patterns using two or more colors.
That's almost 700 different knitting patterns and motifs that you can use in your knitting projects.
These books offer so much inspiration. Flipping through one will make you want to run to your needles and at least swatch a fun pattern, if not design a whole knitted object around that design.
These books are a dream for anyone who loves trying out different pattern stitches for patchwork afghans or who wants to turn a simple garment or project into something spectacular.
Volume One: Knit and Purl
The first volume of the trilogy sounds pretty basic, but in fact is anything but. It starts out with simple knit and purl stitches, but also includes lace patterns, traveling patterns and "unusual" patterns.
It starts with simple seed stitch and moves on through textured stitches like zigzag brocade, faux cables, lacy shells, feathers and diamonds, traveling eyelet chevrons and strange and beautiful funky forms like smocked ribbing, brioche honeycomb and butterfly stitch.
As in all the books, the swatches are all about the same size and all knitted with the same kind of yarn so you can really see the stitches. The instructions are easy to read and use common abbreviations, which are explained at the back of each book.
Volume Two: Cables
It is really amazing the different kinds of cables that are possible. Some cables are quite simple, while others are incredibly complex, allover patterns or stunning twists and pretzels that make the basis for beautiful Aran sweaters.
This book takes knitters through the whole world of cables,including basic mock cables and simples twists, tons of different diamond and pretzel patterns, fancy stitches like the hugs and kisses cable, make of Xs and Os,and combination patterns like cables worked with seed stitch in between.
Each pattern has written instructions as well as a chart for the pattern, so whether you work better with words or with pictures, you'll be in fine shape.
Volume Three: Color
Working with color is a lot of fun, but it can be difficult to come up with motifs on your own. The third and final volume of the Stitchionary series gives you more ideas for colorwork than you'll ever be able to use.
The book starts with simple alternating checks, stripes, squares and other two-color patterns. Multicolor Fair Isle patterns include flowers, diamonds, swirls and other traditional motifs. The rest of the book covers intarsia motifs and ways to add texture including colored cables, bobble stitches and more. Finally slip-stitch patterns are used to add texture and interest to motifs.
This book also includes text instructions and color-coded charts to help you help you bring the patterns to life.
These wonderful books are a joy to flip through and even more fun to work from as you develop your own patterns or fancy up a simple pattern from someone else. These books will become invaluable resources that you will turn to time and again.