Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Harmony Guides

As you could guess from my description of the socks I am working on (hold down that clamor for the pattern, folks!), I have copies of two of the new versions of the Harmony Guides, which are stitch pattern books. I have the Knit and Purl one and the one depicted here, Lace and Eyelets. I have the cables and Aran patterns book on order.

I also have copies of two volumes of the previous set, which is where I originally found the two rain-related patterns I am using in the socks (btw, finished sock #1). The same patterns are in the new version Lace and Eyelets book, so that is the one I refer to in my sock instructions.

The new books are very modern looking and have a lovely design. There is a lot more space given to each pattern, so you can see it well. It is a lot of fun to browse through the books, marking pages of patterns you like. The books stay open well and have a really nice binding (is that perfect binding? What's it called?).

What I do not like about the new books is as follows:
  • There is no table of contents.
  • There is no index--oh, why oh why could there not be an index of pattern names? Then, when you remember the name of one, you could go right to it, rather than thumbing through the whole book and getting distracted by other patterns vying for your attention.
  • There are no CHARTS to the lace patterns! ARGH. That means you have to figure them out for yourself if you want to design something usable by modern lace knitters, most of whom prefer charts. Actually, charts of ALL the patterns would be nice; for some of them, seeing how stitches pair up makes it easier to learn the pattern than memorizing written directions.
  • I wish that some of the patterns listed original sources, or some history or lore about them.
  • Some suggested uses for patterns is also nice (there is a bit of that, but more would be even better).

I am positive that I will get a lot of use out of these books, and combined with my long-lost Barbara G. Walker treasuries and my endless Fair Isle pattern books, I can now probably entertain myself forever making things up. These are great resources, and I appreciate all the work that the editor did on them.

Perhaps if I get all bored one day and have a friend with me, I'll have the friend read off pattern titles and I'll type them into a document, and then I'll have my pattern name index, which, of course, I would share.

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