It’s now officially the holiday season, or so it sounds when I go into Borders. They actually started playing Xmas music a full 3 weeks before Thanksgiving. Wow. Anyway, might I recommend some wonderful knitting books to add to your holiday present list? I have the entire 4 volume set of Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Without a doubt, these books have been extremely valuable and reliable resources. My copy of the 3rd volume Charted Knitting Designs is so dog-eared that it looks like a bus ran over it. (That bus reference was for Markus, BTW…)
These books contain stitch patterns for lace, textures, cables, mosaics, and color patterns, to name a few. If you’re looking for that perfect lace pattern to use in a shawl, or a super twisty cable panel for a sweater, it will most likely be in one of these books. Any self respecting yarn store should carry them. Or you can order them directly from Schoolhouse Press, owned and operated by the lovely Meg Swansen. These books had been out of print years ago but fortunately for us knitters, Schoolhouse Press reprinted the entire set. Whoo-hoo!
Now, let’s say you receive the entire set for the holidays. Lucky you! What to knit? Take a peek at the Barbara Walker Treasury Project. This site contains a database filled with color photos of each stitch pattern. All one billion of them. Well it seems like a billion. This site is does not give the pattern instructions, just photos, so you really do need to get the books for that part. But it’s really helpful to see how the stitches look knitted up in different colors with various yarns. Some stitch patterns are photographed from the wrong side as well, which helps if you’re planning to make something reversible. I think I may just sign up to knit a few swatches to add to their database.
I think everyone should own these books. And it’s almost the holidays. So put them on your list and maybe Santa or the Tooth Fairy will be good to you!