Saturday, December 15, 2007

Field Guide to Knitting

Though this little stitch dictionary by Jackie Pawlowski expects the reader to be familiar with the paraphernalia of knitting, it greatly encourages all knitters to experiment. Any knitter experienced in knit and purl stitches does not need another book with illustrated or photographed instructions of “how to knit and purl,” but the experienced and curious knitter does need Field Guide to Knitting, a concise, format-friendly book with clear instructions for complex designs.

With over 200 stitches—from the basics to lacework, cabling, and edging with photographed swatches— Field Guide to Knitting fits snuggly into any knitting bag. Though the sample photos are not beside each stitch, you will find the coloured plates smack in the middle of the book. Each grouping of stitches and patterns are not only separated by style of knitting, but also by coloured plates, which helps one imagine how a fabric can look.

Each stitch pattern is instructed with an “Other Name” of the stitch (international knitting patterns each have their own description); a “General Description” (what to expect from this pattern and how the fabric behaves); “Properties” of the stitch pattern (if the pattern is knittable in the round and/or horizontal and the pattern is gauged by “television watching friendly” or “you’ll need to concentrate”); “Yarn Consumption” (self-explanatory, considerate, and priceless information); “Suggested Uses” (needle size and end uses); the “Pattern” (not charted, but written); and, of course, the plate number to find the colour photo of the swatch.

For anyone interested in designing, I recommend this book as a reference tool. Much thought and time goes into each of your projects and Jackie Pawlowski saves you some of that time with this compilation of stitches. For only $15.95 pick this up for yourself or for your favorite knitter at your local independent bookstore.

Published by Quirk Books

-Laura Twiss