Knitting Book Reviews

400 Knitting Stitches
by Potter Craft

The bad part about reviewing a book of stitch patterns is that thereís really not that much to say. Theyíre just stitches, right?

Well, yes and no.

Itís true, you canít really gush about how wonderfully the cables are crossed in stitch number 97, and you can only say so many things about the photography and what-not, but there are some things that make some stitch dictionaries better than others.

Photography. This book has nice, clear, photos of each stitch, color-coded by chapter.

Variety. Since there are so many different types of stitches in this book, variety isnít really a problem, but on the flip-side, since there ARE so many different styles, youíre not getting 400 ribbing stitches, or 400 drop-stitch stitches, or a huge proportion of any one kind of stitch. Theyíre mixed and itís a nice cross-section.

Originality. Itís true, a lot of the stitches in here are ones Iíve seen before, in other collections, but thatís almost inevitable. Itís true that knitting is endlessly creative, but there is a certain limit to the number of ways you can mix a knit and a purl to create an interesting pattern. Overlap is inevitable.

Information. I liked that each stitch had both written instructions for row-by-row knitting as well as a chart for those who prefer the visual approach.

Text. Well, thereís not a lot of that, here. Other than a brief chapter on techniques, the entire book is filled with what you came to seeĖthe stitches themselves.

Format. Iíll just add another note here that I liked the size and shape of this book. Unlike some, itís not an oversized book with huge pages that wonít fit into your knitting bag. Itís a reasonable size paperback with a folded-in cover to give the edges a little more protection. It feels good in the hand and not too heavy for the back. Though, the smaller pages mean that the charts are also smaller, which could be challenging for the visually-challenged, so keep that in mind.

Good collection, nice variety, a nice addition to your stitch library.

Reviewed by Deb Boyken

Deb has been knitting since 1987 and has accumulated quite a collection of knitting books over the years. Her website, Knitting Scholar, can be found at

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