July 23, 2011

Book Review: The Essential Stitch Collection

The Essential Stitch Collection: A Creative Guide to the 300 Stitches Every Knitter Really Needs to Know by Lesley Stanfield and Melody Griffiths

There are many stitch guides on the market but this one really sets itself apart from the rest not just in design but the variety of techniques in the visually pleasing stitch patterns available. Here is a list of the features I loved:

  • Each chapter has a gallery of images of all the stitches found in that chapter. It's great for comparing what's available to get the best possible pattern for your project.
  • The stitches are not so similar like other stitch guides; you'll see how to achieve different affects so you can produce your own variations. I love their chapter of unusual stitch patterns and celtic knot patterns in the stranded/intarsia section.
  • There is a good basic section on how to include the patterns in your own designs including how to deal with shaping.
  • There is a pull out flap at the end of the book with a list of abbreviations you'll see in the chart keys. Speaking of chart keys, there is a sharred key on the bottom of each left page for each different symbol used on the two facing pages (which sometimes spills into the right page depending on how many symbols are used). This is great for beginners or even the advance knitter who might forget the abbreviations of less used techniques. 
I would have liked to see borders but one of the authors has already written a book on borders and trimmings. Check it out, I'm giving it 5 of 5 stars easy.

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