Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Must-haves: Stitch Libraries

Everyone thinking about designing their own knits should have access to a stitch library. Having a few books to leaf through (and some good websites too) is an invaluable source of inspiration.
(Lace ribs 1 from craftcookie.com)

Usually, when I first have an idea for new socks, I tend to know how the overall construction should look, but I won't always know exactly what kind of stitch pattern I want. For instance, I'm currently working on socks that I wanted to have a ribbed cuff, but not the usual k2 p2 cuff. So I went through my stitch library and online sources until I found something that appealed to me and would be easy for knitters to memorise. 
(Bubbles from Vogue Knitting)

When you look to buy a good stitch library, make sure it has a wide variety of stitches. There should be a number of sections including lace, cables, twisted stitches, colourwork etc. Ideally, there would also be a section on edgings and perhaps finishing too.
(Rib and welt from Patons Yarns)

I like books that have both written and charted instructions, though if I had to choose, I'd always pick the charts. That's an entirely personal preference, of course, but charts are great to help you visualise the pattern. 
(Daisy stitch from knittingfool.com)

Do you have any recommendations? Is there a book or website you have found particularly useful and interesting to look through? Feel free to share your tips in the comments.


  1. Hi Nadia, I love the vibrant colours of your wool! I have begun saving the stitch library pages from my mums knitting magazines. Just need to find time to design something now!

  2. Hi Louise! Magazines are great for this, you're right. I hadn't thought of saving the stitch library pages, but that's a good idea. It's like me collecting recipes from magazines all the time. ;)

  3. Hi Nadia, I love Japanese stitch books. I've ordered a few through www.yesasia.com (I think that's right) and they are all charted. I find I tend to modify stitch patterns
    a bit. Do you? And I was wondering if you collect your gauge swatches and catalog them. :) Nin

  4. Hi Nin! I have only heard good things about Japanese stitch books so I am glad you have mentioned them here. Personally, I haven't seen them yet, but I am intrigued.

    Like you, I also modify stitch patterns sometimes - it makes things more interesting. However, I must admit I never really swatch and therefore don't catalogue swatches. I promise I will make swatched when I try knitting my first pullover!