Super Stitches Knitting Review
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Of all the books in my knitting library, some of my favorites—the ones that I’ve consulted so many times that the pages are worn (and occasionally smudged with what appears to be chocolate)—are the stitch dictionaries. While I love flipping through books of knitting patterns, looking for just the right sweater to make with the yarn I couldn’t resist buying, I always go back to my dictionaries.

Stitch dictionaries, for those of you who don’t share my stitch addiction (yet), are books that feature a variety of stitch patterns. No knitting patterns—just the stitches. Typically, they’re knit into a swatch, which is pictured beside the pattern (which is given in a chart or in pattern abbreviations—or, occasionally, both). You can then follow the patterns to create your own design. All the different designs—the ribs and cables and lace and textures—inspire me to try something different, from beautiful lace shawls to fun, textured scarves. It’s just what you need to add a little character to the same old project. And since I can always use a little more inspiration (and even a little more character), I was thrilled to check out Karen Hemingway’s new book, Super Stitches Knitting.

Super Stitches is definitely an upgrade from the old stitch dictionaries. For starters, the binding and the pages are heavy-duty—which means it’ll stand up to all the wear and tear it’ll likely be subjected to in my knitting bag. This tough little book also includes full-color pictures. Each stitch pattern is shown in color and in wonderful detail (though it’s often a bit harder to see the detail when the swatches were knit with darker yarn). And the patterns, which appear opposite the illustrations, are written in a clear, straightforward manner (some are charted as well).

Though the collection of stitches may not be as extensive as some other (bulkier and less portable) stitch dictionaries, Super Stitches does offer an outstanding variety. The more than 300 patterns include textures, cables, lace, panels, edgings, colorwork, and more.

But Super Stitches Knitting is more than just a stitch dictionary. In addition to all those stitch patterns, it also includes a section on knitting basics. And while it may not be the best way to learn how to knit (that’s best done by a real, living, breathing, and preferably very patient teacher), it’s a great reference—as well as a great way to learn new techniques. Need a quick refresher before you start seaming your sweater? It’s here. Want to learn how to knit with beads—or try your hand at Fair Isle? That’s in here, too.

So not only does it offer a great variety of stitch patterns to spice up your scarves and sweaters, but it’s a great reference, too. Packing Super Stitches Knitting in your knitting bag is like taking your knitting teacher with you wherever you go. So for stitch pattern enthusiasts like me, this portable (and durable) little book is a definite must-have.

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