HARMONY GUIDES: 101 STITCHES TO KNIT Cards – Jul 16 2010
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"You can really take a creative leap with Interweave's newest design aids. The cards are color coded and categorized for easy use, and you'll love the tough card stock." Anchorage Daily News
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I have been a Barbara Walker, Treasury of Knitted Patterns fan for a long time, have hand charted a lot of the patterns from there, but having this set with both the written and charted instructions is a real find. The Walker books are much more extensive and I hope Interweave puts out a "101 More Stitches to Knit" set of cards soon, but this set will be just fine for now.
Stitch pattern books are a great resource when you have a plain vanilla pattern and want to add a little pizzazz to the garment or project. Stitch pattern collections are also a great learning tool if you want to experiment with stitches, and the swatches you make can eventually become an afghan, pillow, scarf or just a record of your knitting progress. This particular collection of cards have 101 patterns to choose from and that is a great start.
The pros of this set are the great (big and very clear) pictures and the written and charted patterns. The cards are 16 cm. tall by 12 cm. wide or 6 1/4" tall by 4 3/4" wide. They are stiff and easy to work from since they are individual cards, unlike a book that you work from that keeps closing. The only cons is that there are only 101 of them and there is no difficulty rated noted for each pattern.
The stitches featured in this set fall into three categories based on the techniques used to create them: knits & purls, cables & arans, and laced/openwork stitches. The patterns are clearly written, diagrams easy to understand, and stitches are all easily adaptable to whatever projects you are working on. The explanation of basic techniques in the front booklet is written more as a refresher reference than a definitive guide, so I do recommend that first-time knitters tackle a few projects first. Still, the stitches will appeal to knitters of all skill levels with their lovely simplicity yet intricate looks.
The set fits nicely into my rather small knitting bag and I love that I can just take the card out that I'm working with and stick it in my purse or project bag. Overall, this may not be an essential buy, but it's certainly a nice treat or a perfect gift for a knitter of any skill level.