I have LOTS and LOTS of knitting books—a few pattern books, more technique books and the most stitch books. I love stitch collections—what ever they are called.
The best stitch collections in my opinion have these characteristics:
1—Clear (color) photographs, and clear explanations of how to use the book and some knitting basics.
2—Written directions for working the pattern
3—Charted directions for working the pattern
4—Standard abbreviations, and easy to read symbols for the charts.
5—Value (rated by how many patterns in a collection, for how much money.)
I had a Barnes and Noble gift card ($25) burning a hole in my pocket---and I ended up buying the new Reader's Digest Book-The Essential Stitch Collection.
1—It has great photography—and in the intro, it has some very good information—I especially liked the example shown of a lace stitch—one version in a lace weight mohair, another in a smooth worsted—demonstrating how the appearance of a stitch pattern is VERY dependent on the yarn/gauge.
If I want to follow a chart, and it contains an unfamiliar symbol-I don't have to go back and forth from the pattern page to the index page,(which helpfully folds out.. so even if I do need to reference, I can do it with out flipping back and forth!) I can just check the meaning of the symbol on the bottom of the page. EVERY Book should provide this.
5—Value. Ideally, (in my estimation) stitch patterns should cost $0.10 (10cents US) per pattern or less. All collections include the basics (stocking knit, garter, 1 X 1 or 2 X2 ribbing) so there is always a percentage of stitch patterns that are 'fill” (all but the very most beginner knitters know them)
This book has 300 well organized stitches, (some unique ones—NEW ONES to me—and I already own a dozen collections already!) and the book list at $24.95-($0.08 per pattern) but it is widely discounted to $15.99--(or $0.05 per pattern)--so it is a value collection.
If this book were spiral bound (instead of a conventional binding) it would be perfect- as is, its nearly perfect! If you are looking for a good addition to your crafting library, this book is a good place to start!
I am always experimenting—and trying out new ideas..sometimes, like my Leaf Me Alone hat—I have near successes, and eventually a real success. But lots of times, I have failures. Most just get frogged and forgotten about.
This bit of knitting is one—a colossally one. The yarn is Red Heart (acrylic) from stash--(and it will be frogged and reused!) I am trying again—with a total re-think—and the newer, revised version of this milk maids cap is already looking better. Gone is the 1.25 inch hem (replaced with a 3 stitch I-cord!)
Gone are the buttons and buttonholes (seen as green waste yarn) Added—a neck ruff and brim—and delicate, pretty shaping. It won't be finished for a while.. Other projects have more priority.
Like my mystery project—FINALLY on to skeins 5 & 6 (just the first row ) but hey, its progress!
Its just short of 14 inches--(of 19? 20? 21 inches?—i haven't decided yet on the final desired length) So it will likely need part of skeins 7 & 8—but not too much.