Ways of searching for books about fiber arts, and a lacemaking book review

Medallion from Handmade Lace & Patterns, by Annette Feldman

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the value of needlework books for finding information about specific fiber arts, like knitting or crochet, or many other things that might interest you. (They can also open up rabbit holes if they show you a new craft.)

I started looking at needlework books as a source for specific crafts before I went to library school, but library school gave me some useful vocabulary about this kind of research.

If I want to find information about knitting lace, I might start with a book about knitting. If I look for books about lace knitting, that is narrowing my search. If I look for needlework books, that’s broadening my search because knitting is a subtopic of needlework.

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Typo: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Typo: a free lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

The word I drew from my word hoard for this stitch pattern is Typo, suggested by Naomi E. on Patreon. The word amuses me, and helps demonstrate how little the final appearance of the lace is defined by the meaning of the word I use as its basis.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I make two of these into knitting stitches each month: the first is drawn from the collection of new words; the second is drawn from the collection of unused words. A random number generator helps me choose this, and then I get to work, first turning the letters into numbers, then charting the numbers onto grids in various ways. Finally, when I make the chart into lace, I turn the marked squares into yarnovers and work out where to place the corresponding decreases. (I usually make lace; occasionally I make cables instead.) I also make a chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing; this goes in a separate post.

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Synergy: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Synergy: a free lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst. (photo of swatch)

The word I drew from my word hoard for this stitch pattern is Synergy, suggested by Nim on Patreon. I like the word, and I like the result!

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I make two of these into knitting stitches each month: the first is drawn from the collection of new words; the second is drawn from the collection of unused words. A random number generator helps me choose these, and then I get to work, first turning the letters into numbers, then charting the numbers onto grids in various ways. Finally, when I make the chart into lace, I turn the marked squares into yarnovers and work out where to place the corresponding decreases. (I usually make lace; occasionally I make cables instead.) I also make a chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing; this goes in a separate post.
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Heart: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

When I used the word sweetheart as the basis for a stitch pattern, I accidentally encoded it in such a way that it was easy to split into its two component words. I’ve already swatched and published sweet; here is heart, which I think is even better! Any resemblance to hearts is purely coincidental.

I did make some minor changes to the decreases in the first row so that it would flow nicely when repeated.

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Summery: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Summery: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

If you look at this stitch pattern the right way, you might see that it is full of cicadas. This was not on purpose, but it is thematic, given that the word I used as a basis for designing this stitch pattern was Summery, suggested by Cathy on Patreon.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. A random number generator helps me choose a word every two weeks, and then I get to work, first turning the letters into numbers, then charting the numbers onto grids in various ways. Finally, when I make the chart into lace, I turn the marked squares into yarnovers and work out where to place the corresponding decreases. (I usually make lace; occasionally I make cables instead.) I also make a chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing; this goes in a separate post.

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Sweetheart: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Sweetheart: a free lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

The word I drew from my word hoard for this stitch pattern is Sweetheart, suggested by Rebecca on Patreon. Sometimes in the past when I’ve had a word with smaller words as part of it, I’ve encoded them as multiple stitch patterns that could be combined to make a bigger one. Because sweetheart is longer than my usual words, and since it would therefore take rather longer than usual, I decided not to do this. So I was amused when I picked this particular code layout to realize that the encoding splits in the perfect place to turn this into two more coordinating stitch patterns! I guess it was bound to happen. Here are Sweet and Heart.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I make two of these into knitting stitches each month: the first is drawn from the collection of new words; the second is drawn from the collection of unused words. A random number generator helps me choose these, and then I get to work, first turning the letters into numbers, then charting the numbers onto grids in various ways. Finally, when I make the chart into lace, I turn the marked squares into yarnovers and work out where to place the corresponding decreases. (I usually make lace; occasionally I make cables instead.) I also make a chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing; this goes in a separate post.

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Lozenges: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Lozenges: a free lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

Sometimes I start playing around with possible stitch patterns that aren’t based on my encoding methods. This is one of the results. I suspect this is the kind of stitch pattern that someone else might well have designed separately, but I haven’t seen it before. I called it lozenges because that’s another name for diamonds, and the paths made by the yarnovers make diamond shapes.

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