Our favourite knitting books
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 Amazon.co.uk