Favorite books and the “swatching mania”!
I just love knitting books like stitches dictionaries! I love to scroll through the pages and as I add so many post its, the books seem to even have fringes! And these amazing people who compiled all this stuff for us and made it available in books, websites, blogs, etc. etc.? I literally bow to these people. And one of them is Barbara G. Walker.Born in 1930, she became an influential expert in knitting and her books are valuable reference on the subject! In my foreigner ignorance, I only know her books that open the mind to the art of knitting. But I suspect that she is one of those very special human beings by the brief story of her life that I quickly read on the internet. Barbara is also an award-winning author of books on religion, cultural anthropology, spirituality and mythology. In the mid-70’s she has worked to help women suffering abuse and violence, as well as pregnant teenagers. In 1993 she was named Humanist Heroine by The American Humanist Association and in 1995 received the Women Making History Award from the National Organization of Women of New Jersey.
Getting back to knitting, I’ve been slowly collecting her books, as I also taking my baby steps in this craft. During a period that I was living abroad (oh, oh … how fun it was!), I found my first of her books, The Craft of Lace Knitting, at a mall that was promoting a big sale on used and new books about knitting, next to the Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival . At that time, I had no idea about the value of the treasure that I had found! On another occasion, I found the book Sampler Knitting a garage sale in Berkeley. Still did not know I was lucky for purchasing these books for a few bucks!
Shortly after, when I thought that I was doing better in knitting (LOL!) I acquired a collection that has been my “hit of the moment” for the past two years: A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Charted Knitting Designs and A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns! Not checked point by point, but I think that this collection includes the contents of the first two books that I found.
Each of these books has an incredible variety of knitting stitches of all types and for all tastes! When I’m really excited about a new project, I read it over and over again the four volumes in order to make a pre-selection. Sometimes I also convert the stitch patterns for circular knitting. Then, I start to test it with needles and yarn by knitting swatches! Just have to say that this is one of the things that I love the most because the results are always a surprise for the beauty or to show a possible mistake LOL!
And to make sure that I will not forget the details of that swatch, I always attach a little label with all the information about the stitch. But it’s not any kind of label: These little beauties are made by my lovely daughter with paper scraps from her’s scrapbooking albums!
It may seem to be a tough job, but I assure you that swatching saves valuable time when planning and knitting a project! I swear!
you also enjoy this type of knitting book, Barbara’s are my indication from the heart! And la pièce de résistance: Barbara Walker will give a lecture atInterweave Knitting Lab next November in San Mateo, close to San Francisco! How about that?