Customer Reviews: Harmony Guides: Knit & Purl (The Harmony Guides)
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on October 16, 2008
Skip this stitch dictionary and get one or all of the Barbara Walker Treasuries.

While this book provides some interesting stitch patterns, it doesn't stack up to other stitch dictionaries. There seems to be no organization to the various stitches, and there's no index to the book. Though there is half a page in the introduction devoted to how to read the charts, and though some of the stitch patterns tell how to interpret special symbols in the charts, the book has no charts. The color pictures are clear, but they're often too close up to give readers a good idea of how the stitch patterns would look in a garment. All the stitch patterns are worked in the same yarn, which is an understandable editorial decision, but, I think, the wrong one. Lastly, there's no descriptive text.

I give it two stars only because there are some attractive stitches I haven't seen in other stitch dictionaries before, but this book isn't nearly as good as it could have been or ought to have been.
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on May 15, 2008
While I like the organization of the new Harmony guides based on type of stitches, the original guides have a lot more examples.
In this guide all the slip stitch patterns have been eliminated along with color variations of many of the stitches. What a shame - as I found the variations and the slip stitches really inspire me when I am thinking about modifying an existing pattern or creating my own. Also no charts when there was plenty of room to make them. The only charts are the charts that are found in the original guides.

I love stitch dictionaries and have many in my library. When I looked at this I decided that the original harmony guides are a better deal and I recommend buying those guides used when asked.
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VINE VOICEon May 5, 2010
While the book has some nice stitch patterns in it, it also has some problems. The biggest one is the lack of explanation for what certain abbreviations mean. About 13-14 stitch patterns use crossed stitches and therefore use abbreviations for these stitches in the directions. But, when you turn to the back of the book to the abbreviation list it only tells you what the letters stand for, not how to execute that stitch. Now, not all stitch guides are standardized, so what may mean something in one book does not always translate to the same stitch in another book. I found this to be an annoying oversight. I was able to find a list of the abbreviations with explanations in an older Harmony Guide, but really, these explanations should have been included in the book.

The other problem I found was that not all the pictures where as clear as they could be. I think they tried to get too close up and so you lose what the overall stitch pattern will look like because you can't really see enough of it. Also, some of the yarn colors were a little dark to show off the pattern well.

Overall, I would really just purchase an older version of the Harmony Guides. The pictures are more clear, you can see more of the stitch pattern, and all the abbreviations and explanations are included. One word of warning. There are actually two versions of the older Harmony Guides. The oldest (first) version starts with "Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches , Vol.1" which are stitch patterns. Volumes 2 and 3 are also stitch pattern book with book 3 being the only book that has charts. The series that came after that made a Harmony guide on knitting techniques as their volume 1. So the stitch patterns did not begin until volume 2. So, what does all this mean? Watch the series that you are buying. If you were to buy Volume 1 from the oldest series and Volume 2 from the series that came after that, you would be buying the same book. All the stitch pattern books from the oldest set of guides moved up a volume number, so they are now Vol. 2, 3, and 4 in the series that followed. I hope this helps, as I have noticed some reviewers not realizing this until after they had already purchased a book that they already owned. Plus, you can get a really good price on the oldest series, which contains the same information as the reprint that followed it.
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VINE VOICEon January 27, 2009
I really do like this stitch pattern book. It sticks to mostly the basic knit and purl stitches, and doesn't get wild and exotic---if you need to know how to do any of your more common and useful stitches, they are probably here. The pages have plenty of space and are clear, which is a nice change from many stitch books. I love the comments thrown in here and there---it makes the book feel more homey and less clinical, as if you have a friend teaching you the stitches. The book just looks good---it's well designed.

However, it's not perfect. The pictures of each stitch pattern are very close up. That could be useful, but some patterns really don't show themselves unless you can see them over a larger repeat. There is room for two pictures on the pages, and that might be nice in some cases. Also, here and there there is a cable instruction or other more complicated stitch component thrown in, which could be frustrating to those really only looking for the basics. And another pet peeve of mine---please tell me the minimun number of cast on stitches! If a pattern says something like it need 16 + 9 stitches, and I cast on 25, don't all of a sudden have a row that requires 34 or 43 stitches, unless you warn me!

I don't mean to complain about this book a lot, though. I really do like it, and I think it would be a great book to have around when you are looking for a stitch pattern to try.
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on January 29, 2009
I got this book over a year ago and have found that it has a good selection of knit and purl stitches, but not enough variety for me to consider it a great reference book. I have reached for it a handful of times for ideas during the past year. I recently got 101 stitches to knit by the same publisher and found that selection more interesting because it has stitches from all their books (cable stitches, lace, etc.) and it is made of portable cards.
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on October 4, 2015
Tools, that help creative juices flow are always welcome. Knitting only has 2 stitches and the rest is just manipulating. Its amazing how much manipulation went thru people's minds in order to create such beautiful stitches. This is a staple for a knitter, a keeper and never discard book.
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on January 4, 2013
I love this book. It's full of patterns, instructions on how to knit and purl and lots of info regarding choosing needles and yarn, among other things folks new to knitting need to know. I researched quite a few knitting books before purchasing this book and I believe I made a very good decision. I've used it now for over a year and still refer to it quite a bit, especially when I want to knit something different. Beautiful, color photos of hundreds of patterns with instructions.
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on August 31, 2012
I bought this book as a gift for my Mother's retirement. It has wonderful pictures illustrating what each pattern looks like when competed. The directions for making each pattern were very easy to follow. I personally have only knitted a simple scarf and I could follow what the instructions were saying.

My mother who is far better than I at knitting said that she loves the book and is looking forward to getting some good use out of it in her retirement years.
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on December 2, 2013
I knit mostly baby blankets, so I'm no expert, but this book has given me creative freedom in those blankets. I can choose a pattern, or combine two or three, and knit an original every time. The patterns are easy to read, and they have a wonderful glossary of terms to help me when I don't know a stitch. Love this book!
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on August 29, 2013
This Book is great having various stitches, that are not common. Its well design and the instructions are clear and concise. It a keeper and it wonderful for sharing ideas on projects with variety of stitches.
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