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The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches Hardcover – June 23, 2003
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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After a section on techniques which is geared to beginners/advanced beginners, the chapters are divided into medium-weight; heavyweight; lace; and panel patterns, with an additional chapter on ribs and edgings. There are further subdivisions in each chapter having to do with either the types of stitches used or the types of pattern (eg textured; multicolored; cable), and, helpfully, an indication of the suggested skill level for each pattern. While the majority fall into the intermediate category, even beginners will find a number of patterns they could incorporate into their work (there are also a number of beautiful but complex patterns suitable for experienced knitters). The illustrations are in color, and are generally quite clear. Compared to the first edition of Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns (I haven't seen the current edition), I find many of these patterns easier to envision in actuality. The illustrations are printed in color on smooth white stock, and the pictures as well as the print stand out well on the page. I think this is a terrific, user-friendly reference book which most knitters would enjoy having in their library. Highly recommended!
While I love the Harmony Guides, it is currently out of my budget to get all 7 volumes. The 900 stitches in this Reader's Digest Ultimate Sourcebook are indeed from the Harmony Guides to Knitting Stitches series. I notice from the copyright page that this material is published by an arrangement with Collins & Brown, the same publishers for the original Harmony Guides. Reader's Digest appears to publish by arrangement with British companies, many wonderful titles and presenting a twist of the english sensibility, i.e. Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook (by RD)
The Reader's Digest Sourcebook does not contain every single stitch from the Harmony volumes (numbering over 1000), but it is still a huge amount compiled into one manageable reference and at a much more affordable price. The color combinations look fine to me, the majority are traditional designs, nothing terribly dated except for one or two swatches in strange orange/gray combos. In order to fit 900+ stitches and photographs into the book, each page is divided into 3 columns, with one to two photographs per column followed by the stitch directions. Each photograph measures approximately 2" x 1.5" in detail. The type is either 9 or 10pt., which might be hard for some eyes. I use a craft light like the Ott-Lite to illuminate the page, and also use post-it notes to keep track.
What I like is how it is arranged by weight patterns, and the number of multiples to start with at the very top of the section, and what skill level it requires in bold type. Another wonderful thing are the headers on every page, so that you know what section you are on at all times, (i.e. knitting...heavyweight patterns...slipstich color patterns). There are also crochet letterforms in an art nouveau design for filet crochet.
The one thing lacking is a detailed section for aran stitches (only 3pp), if you are into that. However, many other cable and panel pattern pages are found in the book.
I have been trying to pick up knitting (am an avid crocheter) and after I finish up all of my Christmas presents and finally jump into knitting, this is the only book I think I will need.
My only gripe for the crochet section, there is no simple crochet cable design. I had to turn to my Crochet School book for that.