Our favourite knit­ting books

The Knitter - - Content - by Andrea Ran­gel (In­ter­weave Press)

fail to be in­spired and en­thused by this fan­tas­tic stitch dic­tionary! It’s a col­lec­tion of 200 mo­tifs de­vel­oped by pop­u­lar knit­ting de­signer Andrea Ran­gel in part­ner­ship with her artist hus­band, Sean. Their fresh and play­ful ap­proach to colour­work has re­sulted in an ar­ray of orig­i­nal, mod­ern pat­terns that will be a de­light to use in your knit­ting.

Many of the re­peat mo­tifs will pro­duce a sub­tly pat­terned fab­ric that you’ll want to use all over a sweater. There are myr­iad rip­ples, zigzags, di­a­monds and checks to choose from, along with swirls, in­tri­cate fil­i­gree, and wo­ven-ef­fect pat­terns.

Other mo­tifs are fun and fab­u­lous enough to use as high­light de­tails on your socks or hats. An­i­mals play a star­ring role - how about a yoked sweater dec­o­rated with bands of squir­rels, cats, ele­phants, bees, owls, or even geckos? Na­ture-themed mo­tifs in­clude a choice of leaves, flow­ers, branches, mush­rooms and snowflakes.

There are plenty of un­ex­pected pat­terns to be found in this 164-page hard­book book. Sure to raise a smile are the lit­tle bikes, ro­bots, pigs, and march­ing zom­bies. The Escher-in­spired mo­tifs are sweet, too; we love the fish and bat pat­terns.

The names of many of these de­signs will draw you in - who could re­sist mo­tifs called ‘Cake or Death’, ‘Ewe Look­ing At Me?’, ‘Spine of the Dragon’, or ‘The Witch’?

Andrea also brings us five knit­ting projects to act as a spring­board for our ex­plo­rations into colour and de­sign. These in­clude a sim­ple beanie hat, mit­tens, a cowl, and a round-yoke pullover with bands of colour­work, sized to fit busts of 34in-50in. The gor­geous V-necked cardi­gan in­cor­po­rates all-over colour­work pat­tern­ing, and is knit­ted nd with steeks; it will fit busts of ap­prox­i­mately 30in-48in.

The book also has a well writ­ten sec­tion on the fun­da­men­tals of colour­work knit­ting. These in­clude un­der­stand­ing hues and rel­a­tive colour val­ues, strand­ing and catch­ing floats, steek­ing, and top tips for pro­duc­ing neater fab­ric.

Af­ter read­ing this book, our minds are filled with ideas for cre­at­ing amaz­ing socks, the cutest baby jumpers, el­e­gant yet mod­ern sweaters, and so much more. And that’s the real aim of the book: to en­cour­age read­ers to tap into their own cre­ativ­ity.

Se­lect your favourite pat­tern to use on the five gar­ments and ac­ces­sories Each mo­tif is ac­com­pa­nied by a chart and swatch

Alterknit Stitch Dic­tionary is pub­lished by In­ter­weave Press and costs £19.99. It is avail­able by call­ing 01206 255777 or can be pur­chased on­line at Ama­

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