Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Stash of Vogue Knitting Stitchionaries

Thanks to the package I purchased at Vogue Knitting Live for classes in 2014, I had a $200 gift certificate to spend at  This allowed me to add some books to my dream library!  I picked out four Vogue Knitting Stitchionaries that I thought would be the most useful to my design process:

When I opened up Volume Two: Cables immediately my jaw dropped.  I had opened on page 16 and saw the cable "op art" and immediately fell in love.  My mind started whirling about what I could incorporate this stitch pattern into, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The introduction ("how to use this book") highlighted the worsted weight yarn and needle size used in all of the swatches.  This is NOT a learn how to cable book, but a stitchionary showing many different cable swatches with both written instructions and charts.  The swatches are divided into five sections: Easy, Diamonds & Pretzles, Braids, All Over and combinations.  The easy section contains some simple cables, but many of them are more visually complex (although still simply constructed) than those found in my stitch of a day calendar.   All told there are over 200 different stitch motifs!

I wish I had something like this back before I designed my 14 cable hat!  Maybe it is time for a reprise...

I am very much a novice crocheter.  I am starting to feel more confident about different stitch patterns but I don't know the names of any basic shapes.  I selected Volume Four: Crochet to expose myself to motifs beyond using one stitch type at a time.  The book is divided into six sections: basics, geometrics, color, lace, edgings, and embellishments/unusual.

All motifs are charted in addition to having written instructions.  I am a huge fan of charts when it comes to knit cables but I haven't had to deal with crochet charts yet.  Since these go in multiple directions, rather than being in a grid like with knitting, I know that it will take some getting used to.  Seeing these charts right next to the finished motif really helps me visualize the construction.

The color section is really inspiring to me.  I haven't played around with color in my crochet very much yet, but this book is like a window into a world of possibility.  To my surprise, in the embellishments/unusual section there were even some samples of Tunisian crochet!  I have a crochet work that would work for this crochet/knitting hybrid so this is something that I cannot wait to explore more.

I LOVE knitting lace.  I want to learn more and more about how lace is constructed so I can design my own elegant patterns.  Volume Five: Lace Knitting is a prefect way to compare swatches to charts so I can start to understand the placement of increases and decreases to create my own motifs.  The book contains seven sections with more than 150 patterns: easy/mesh, edgings, chevrons, allover, panels, combos, and motifs.

The first section "easy/mesh" is a little disappointing.  I'm sure it will come in useful someday since there are so many variations of mesh in here, but they aren't exactly what I was hoping to find when I opened up this book.  The edgings section is fine, but since I already have 4 other edging knitting books in my collection I'm hoping for something more.  In chevrons a lot of the patterns look similar, but I am starting to appreciate the subtle differences in the fabric that lead to similar overall shapes.

In the "allover" section we're finally seeing the charts and combinations I was hoping to see.  I am seeing how lines curve based on where the yarn overs are placed.  This is the place where I can study as I start to design my own lace patterns.  These designs are more classic and meant to be repeated many times through a design.  Not quite the modern lace I'm hoping to create but certainly useful.

I held my breath when I saw the picture on the first page of "panels".  These lace socks are darling, so darling that I wished there were some patterns in the book.  (Trefoil #135 is the stitch pattern that caught my eye.  It is actually much simpler to knit that I would have expected.)

There isn't really any modern lace in this book, but I didn't expect their to be.  I see many shapes that are simple, and I hope that I can draw from these smaller motifs to expand them to create the modern lace shawlettes I crave to draw.


The last stitchionary I picked out was Volume Six: Edgings.  Why another book on edgings? Well the edging book interested me more than Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume One: Knit & Purl or The Vogue Knitting Stitchionary™ Volume Three: Color Knitting. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE textured patterns and color knitting, but I find many of these motifs online. I had a large gift certificate and I thought that the volumes of Cables, Crochet, lace and Edgings would best fill my collection. Hopefully these will provide me with a lot of design inspiration over the years.

This book has 7 sections: ribs, texture, cables, lace, color, unusual and crochet.  I'm not sure that there is a ton different from my other edging books, but this is still going to be a useful resource when I'm looking for something perfect to finish (or start) a project.

I'm thrilled with my new collection.  I cannot wait to use these to help me as I'm planning out new designs!   What are your favorite stitch dictionaries in your library?