Saturday, June 13, 2015

Review: Reader's Digest The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches

Reader's Digest Knitting and Crochet Stitches is a must if you like substituting stitches in patterns, or working with out a pattern. The reference material is also a big plus. A huge variety of stitches make this a book you will keep pulling off your shelf, if it ever gets to the shelf.

First the book is divided into two main sections knitting and crochet. Then under each you have Techniques. This section is a great guide to what you need to know to read knitting patterns. I find myself using the examples of M1L and M1R. It doesn't give just one way to do something. For example three cast-ons are given, telling you when you would choose to use each one. Basic stitches are given, as well as three bind-off's. This makes a great book for those who want to learn past the basics. The book is good at explaining why and when a specific technique would be used. Everything from gauge to blocking to designing with Aran stitches is discussed in the knitting portion of this book. 

Then comes the fun. The knit stitch patterns are divided into Medium- Weight, Heavyweight, Lace, Panel, and Ribs and Edgings. This makes it easy to find stitch pattern substitutes. Each of those has further division based on the type of stitches used, knit and purl, cable, slip stitch, multi color, edgings worked across of lengthwise are some examples. Over 900 stitches are given in the book for knit and crochet. A index at the back will help you find the specific stitch you are looking for, if you remember the name.

Now for the not so nice parts. One, if you just knit or just crochet, half the book won't be of interest to you. But maybe it will encourage you to learn.  Next, the pictures of the stitch patterns are small. This is fine for the patterns with small repeats, but makes it harder with larger patterns. Third, if you are just looking for ideas, note or bookmark anything you want to find again. Because of the large number of stitches listed, finding that specific pattern is difficult. The type is small, to get all of the information possible. Also no charts are given for the stitches, though you could make one yourself.

I will go more in depth on the crochet section in another post.

Do you have any knitting or crochet stitch pattern or reference books you like?