Sixth&Spring provided a copy of Seed Stitch for my review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. This page may contain affiliate links, which help support me, but don’t cost you anything extra.
You may already be a fan of knitted seed stitch. After all, the fabric lies flat, creates texture and allows you to get into the rhythm of the knitting without too much thought, yet the gentle back and forth of the yarn as you alternate knits and purls is just enough to keep the knitting from getting boring.
Seed stitch is often the fourth pattern stitch new knitters learn, after garter stitch, stockinette stitch, and ribbing. Or maybe it’s the third stitch you learned—when you were trying to work ribbing and got seed stitch instead! (See also Mistake Stitch Rib.)
In Seed Stitch: beyond knit 1, purl 1, Rosemary Drysdale has taken the familiar seed stitch and mixed it with cables, colorwork, lace, and slip stitch, to create new fabrics.
The Swatch Gallery section includes close-up swatch photos along with text and charted instructions for 50 stitch patterns. The one-color swatches are not necessarily all-over seed stitch patterns, but mixes of stockinette and cables that highlight the texture of the knit/purl combinations. If you are a stitch pattern afficianado, as I am, you’ll recognize most of the single-color patterns.
It’s when a second—and sometimes a third—color is introduced that things get interesting. We knitters often arrange our stitches to prevent that purl bump of color that happens as we change colors on a purl stitch, but here that dot of color becomes an intentional design element. Three-color seed stitch looks nothing like one-color seed stitch, and the Lace Chevron & Seed Stitch swatch is not your typical lace pattern.
Most of the swatches are worked in a smooth solid color yarn, in neutral cream and blue/green colors. However, I found it disappointing that several of the swatches were worked in variegated and/or textured yarns. I prefer to be able to compare stitch patterns within a collection, yarn-for-yarn, as much as possible, without the distraction of fiber differences.
I found many of the stitch patterns intriguing, although a few just didn’t “work” for me, and I wouldn’t use them. Of course, get two knitters together and you’ll find that what appeals to one person is rejected by the other.
The twenty projects in the Project Portfolio are well-suited to show off the stitch patterns. There are scarves and cowls and hats, of course, as well as quite a few pillows. The Girl’s & Boy’s Cardis are particularly cute and demonstrate how switching up stitch patterns can make an entirely different sweater.
The Cropped Pullover is a wear-to-work staple, while the ZigZag Poncho is a stylish choice for upcoming fall days. Be aware that these are not necessarily easy patterns; the mix of colorwork and stitch patterning may be too much for beginners.
The back of the book includes a full page each of designer’s graph paper for seed stitch and moss stitch, a bonus for anyone branching out to design their own seed-stitch-based pattern. Now that I’ve been introduced to the idea of adding alternating knits and purls to other types of stitch patterns, I might be digging out my needles and stitch dictionaries and seeing what else I can come up with.
Also by Rosemary Drysdale