on February 18, 2010
There is a lot of variety for beginning knitters, but the instructions and charts are hard to read; the type is very small and you need a magnifying glass to read the diagrams. It would have been better to print 200 stitches (leaving out the basic garter, stockinette, etc. which most knitters know)and printing instructions that are easier to read. The instructions, in most cases, are convoluted and in a couple of paterns we tried, pattern steps are missing. Experienced knitters will probably spot those quickly, but where were the proof readers? Read instructions VERY carefully, and adding two edge stitches to the pattern is not always best practice. I give this book a C; there are better ones on the market.
If you can only get one book of stitch patterns, get this one. I love to just sit and look through the book at all the beautiful patterns included. I prefer this one to other stitch guides that I own because it contains different stitch patterns than I have seen elsewhere and the clarity and beauty of the pictures. All the swatches are knitted in a natural off-white shade that shows the stitch patterns off well and just looks plain classy. The instructions are in written and chart form, though the charts are small. I, personally don't knit from charts so this is not an issue for me. I also like that the instructions for special stitches (cables, etc.) are included right in the written pattern, rather than having to flip somewhere else in the book to find out what all the abbreviations mean. Right now, I am knitting a scarf for my mom using the "Gathered Stitch" from this book, and it is turning out great. I know that there are a lot of stitch guides out there; I own more than one myself. But, if you can only get one, get this one. You won't be disappointed.
on December 21, 2010
This is a great anthology of diverse stitches, with the bulk featuring crossed and cable patterns. For each pattern, a great photo of the knitted swatch shows the texture and expected result.
However, the written instructions are not clear, so I relied more heavily on the charting. For this reason, I would not recommend this book to beginners, or even to intermediate knitters. The instructions are fine for a seasoned knitter who knows exactly what different stitches are. For example, "knit 2nd stitch from behind the 1st stitch" is not an intuitive instruction for beginning knitters, whereas an experienced knitter would know. The glossary in the back of the book does not break down this instruction into discrete steps. This is strange, especially since there are detailed instructions and photos for "casting on."
I would recommend this book to designers who might need some fresh ideas for projects. Each pattern lists the number of stitches suited for working repeats, which is great for selecting appropriate patterns for projects.
on January 22, 2011
400 Knitting Stitches is a good resource to have on hand for beginners and advanced knitters. Inside you will find patterns that cover the basics for beginners, intermediate patterns and advanced patterns for skilled knitters. Beginners will find the "Knitting Basics" section to very helpful. This section offers step by step instructions to teach beginners the basics. The tone is easy is to follow, yet remains informative. Also many of the patterns in the "Knit-Purl" section are designed for beginners to practice their knitting. This section also has many patterns that intermediate beginners will enjoy. The "Cross Stitches and Cables" section contains many lovely patterns ranging in difficulty from intermediate to advanced. Seasoned knitters will find the patterns within the "Slipped Stitches, Lacy Stitches, Double Stitches, Twisted Stitches, and Cast-Off Stitches" sections to be a real treat, as these showcase the knitter's skill. Page Count: 256 Page. Size: 8.8 x 7 x 0.7 inches
Knitting Basics: Abbreviations, Understanding a Pattern, Tension, Diagrams, Casting On, Stitches, Knit, Purl, Casting Off, Patterns and techniques.
Knit-Purl Stitches: These 86 stitches include: Stockinette stitch, Garter stitch, Moss stitch, 1/1 rib stitch, Caterpillar stitch, 2/2 Garter stitch rib, Furrowed rib, Dot stitch, Seersucker.
Crossed Stitches and Cables: These 139 stitches include: Simple twist, 10-Stitch cable, Double cable, Stitch plaits, Broken rib, Uneven cable, Chain links, Honeycomb.
Slipped Stitches: These 60 stitches include: Double stocking stitch, Speckled rid, Partridge eye, Grass stitch, Wisteria stitch, X stitch, Wings, Butterflies, Alternating Arrows, Sycamore, Alternating grass tufts.
Lacy Stitches: These 85 stitches include: Simple openwork, Eyelet fabric, Openwork squares, Openwork ladders, Matting stitch, Turkish stitch, Patchwork, Tulle stitch, Horizontal eyelets, Tile stitch, Falling leaves.
Double Stitches: These 12 stitches include: Fisherman's rib, English rib knit-wise, English rib purl-wise, Fancy Richelieu rib, Ladders, Alternating English rib, Wheatgerm.
Twisted Stitches: These 6 stitches include: Double twisted stocking stitch, Twisted stocking stitch, and Two-tone double twisted rib.
Cast-Off Stitches: These 3 Stitches include: Bamboo stitch, and Diamond drops.
My Personal Opinion:
As an intermediate knitter I find this book to be a valuable resource. The patterns can easily be adapted into a variety of projects such; scarves, throws, afghans, or prayer shawls. Unlike other knitting books 400 Knitting Stitches focuses on stitch patterns, rather than project patterns. This format helps you to learn new stitches, practice them, and apply them to your own project patterns. I highly recommend this edition for those who enjoy new stitch patterns as this is the best resource I have encountered.
on March 16, 2010
This is one of the most comprehensive stitch dictionaries I've ever seen. The information in the book is great and you should buy it for that reason. Be forewarned. My beef here is with the publishers. The table of contents is limited to type of stitch (knit & purl, lacy stitches, etc.) and page number. There's no index. In other words, I can't just look up entrelac, I have to flip through 256 pages until I find it. Seriously? Also, each pattern has both written and charted instructions, which is awesome. However, a another reviewer pointed out, the charts are TINY. Which is not awesome. Eye-squinting, headache-inducing tiny. Also, many of the charts on the left hand side of the page are in the crack of the tight paperback binding. Seriously? (I'm a visual person and a chart knitter.) Clearly these publishers are not knitters since no knitter I know would think this is a good idea. It's going to be difficult to blow up the charts on the left side without breaking the binding.
As far as the information in the book goes, it really is good stuff. I'd give it five stars if it weren't for the publishing mistakes. Are you listening Potter Craft?