When knitters first start out learning the craft, they learn knit and purl, of course, and with them Garter and Stockinette. Then usually comes ribbing, but some new knitters might not know about the wealth of other combinations of knit and purl that are out there, just waiting to make a simple project a little more interesting.
Margaret Wilson aims to change all that with her book Easy Textured Knits: The Ultimate Stitch Reference Guide, which includes more than 70 stitch patterns and 29 projects that use these knit and purl combos to create fun effects in relatively easy ways.
The book opens with a list of supplies and tips on using stitch patterns and reading charts. Then 72 different stitch patterns are shown in swatches, with the instructions given in text and in chart form. Each tells how many stitches and rows constitutes a repeat, and a smallish photograph (about 2 inches tall and 4 inches wide) shows the pattern.
I would have liked these photos to be bigger, and in pretty much every case that would have been possible without that much effort. But you get the idea of the stitch pattern in any case.
The patterns themselves are arranged in skill level order, starting with washcloths, pillows and a sampler blanket that uses 63 blocks.
There are blankets worked in a single piece and garments for men, women and children using allover stitch patterns. All the patterns are pretty straightforward, but some do rate as for intermediate knitters because of the use of shaping and the need to sew pieces together.
The pillows (which you can see on the cover) are pretty fun, and a dramatic way to add knitting to your home decor. I also like the women’s Wavy Rib Sweater, with its compact, cropped length and three-quarter sleeves. Her Zigzag Tunic is another pretty one, using Twin Rib on the Bodice and a zigzag pattern on the skirt of the tunic length top.
But even if you never worked any of the patterns out of this book, it would be a decent reference for a beginning knitter into the world of knit and purl combinations. There are a lot of pretty stitch patterns here you could add to your own projects and play with in swatches.
Do you like stitch reference books? I’d love to hear your thoughts.