Quarto Publishing provided a copy of Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters free of charge. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
There aren’t enough crochet stitch dictionaries on the market. I’m always scouring the internet for new patterns, so I was particularly happy to see Melissa’s collection. As a practicing and prolific designer, Melissa knows how important stitch collections are to designers, and she “gets” how to do one.
Stitch Dictionary Must-Haves
- Nice sharp pictures
- Stitch multiples clearly stated
- Text instructions in an easy-to-read font
- Definitions of special stitches
- Stitch charts
- Technique and construction notes as needed
- A good index
This collection hits almost all of the attributes above. The swatches were made in Cascade 220, a lovely classic wool, and the colors chosen show up the stitch patterns nicely. The stitch charts are very well done, using color in a useful but not overwhelming manner. Although I found the font a bit light for my taste, it is easy enough to read. Each page spread manages to pack a lot of information on the page, while maintaining a reasonable amount of white space. That’s always a challenge for stitch collections, as I know from personal experience!
Stitch Dictionary Nice-to-Haves
- New and unique stitch patterns
- Designations of reversible patterns
- Compelling cover (if I’m going to be using it and looking at it all the time, I want Eye Candy)
- Suggestions on how to use the stitch patterns
From the most basic single crochet fabric to more intricate cables and interlocking mesh colorwork, the 200 stitch patterns are arranged by chapter: simple solid patterns, shell and fan stitch patterns, openwork and lace patterns, textured patterns, colorwork patterns and edgings. I recognized quite a few patterns from other dictionaries in my library, but there are a few that were indeed new, especially among the more difficult patterns.
Some patterns are tagged as reversible, or at least as looking good on both sides. This is a particular boon to crocheters searching for a pattern for a scarf or afghan.
Unfortunately, the cover design falls somewhat flat for my taste. I’m not a graphic designer, so I can’t really say what I think is missing, other than it doesn’t compel me to open the book and yearn for the goodies inside the way it should. Personal tastes vary, however, and you may find the cover has a different effect on you. Don’t let the cover deter you from exploring the interior!
Brief sections in the front and back suggest how to use the book, how to read charts, and how to do basic crochet stitches. Beginning crocheters and novice designers may need additional instruction before they can make full use of the book, but for the rest of us, it’s a tidy resource, and earns a spot on my shelf.
Other Stitch Dictionaries from Melissa
Melissa has proven she knows a thing or two about stitch dictionaries. If you are a knitter, check out these other titles:
Extra disclosure: Melissa is a friend and colleague, but she hasn’t seen this review, and she didn’t tell me what to write. 😉