Stitch Libraries

Knitting Lace is a stitch library based on an Antique Knitting Sampler - an example of a stitch library that focuses on just one type of stitch.

It used to be that special knitting stitches were passed down from mother to daughter or from one family member to another, carefully written down in the pages of a book or knit out in the form of a sampler.  Now Stitch Libraries are in books.  While there are not too many available, there are many more than there used to be.

Stitch libraries are the dictionaries of Knitwear Designers – at least – that is how I use them.  They are collections of stitches, separate from patterns, that are written or charted out in a row by row format.  These stitches can be used in any type of pattern, from socks to sweaters, and from scarves to shawls.  Some stitch libraries cover only lace stitches;  Some cover cabled or travelling stitches;  Some are written for knitting in the round;  Some are old and reliable;  Some are very new;  Some are collections of many styles of stitches, and all are useful!  They are now from all over the world and most are available everywhere!

A classic Stitch Library - Barbara Walker's First Stitch library.

Not a knitwear designer?  Are you looking for something to jazz up a boring scarf, or maybe to add a panel of something more interesting to that plain sweater?  A stitch library will offer many possibilities.  Best yet, stitch libraries easily available to most knitters, your local bricks and mortar library will most likely have a few or be able to order them in for you or your local knitting or book store should have some!

I love to look at my stitch libraries.  They are often jumping off points for a new design and are full of ideas.  Try one on for yourself and knit  some swatches and see where they take you!