Thursday, October 05, 2006

Book Review: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Buy this book here.

Although I was attracted to the cover, I didn't immediately purchase this book because I don't make afghans.
Finally, and just because the cover is so attractive, I did purchase it, and I am so happy I did! Of all the stitch dictionaries I own (and that includes all of Barbara Walker, Nicky Epstein, The Vogue series, the Bible series, and many more) this is now my favorite.
Why do I like it so much? Let me list the reasons:
* Beautiful, clear photos
* Knit and crochet instructions grouped together, not separated. I like this because often when I am searching for a stitch pattern, I don't care if it is knit or crochet, and this arrangement makes it easy to chose one just because I like the way it looks.
* Clear, easy to follow instructions
* Photos of yarn variations along side the original stitch pattern
* Minimal actual patterns. The author has included a few patterns, just to give you the idea of what can be done with the stitch patterns. Since I use books like this for reference for my own designs, I don't care to look at a lot of patterns for things I will never make
* I enjoy the Jan Eaton's sense of color and texture, toned down enough to feature the pattern, not the yarn, but colorful and attractive enough to suggest the possibilities.

The only thing I would have added to make the book perfect would have been charts for the patterns. Charts help a designer, maybe more than a 'user', but they enable you to work the pattern in the round, or to combine a few patterns. They extend the usefulness of the project.

So if you are thinking of purchasing only one new stitch dictionary, this is the one I would recommend whole-heartedly.

I plan on laminating the covers and taking it to Kinko's to be spiral bound.