Guest Author - Marjorie Colletta
Barbara Walker’s books, especially these five: A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Charted knitting designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns, A Fouth Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and both revisions of Mosaic Knitting have to be among the great classics of knitting books. The books are fabulous collections of pattern stitches from all over the world and from many different knitting traditions. In general the books have chapters broken out by knit/purl patterns, mosaics, cables, lace & ribbing patterns. The pictures are in black and white and the patterns are written out in words with the exception of Charted Knitting Design-which has hand-charted charts. (My disclaimer is that I have not seen a copy of Mosaic knitting so I’m not sure how that book is formatted though.) In the books I own or have borrowed, although I use them constantly, the pictures in them leave something to be desired.
Now enter the Walker Treasury Project. They have asked volunteers to knit, photograph, and share the patterns that are shown in the books. It is a fabulous tribute to these great books and speak to the power of grass root movements in knitting. Maybe a publisher will take a look at this project and reprint the books with pictures and charts.
The project has the volunteers reserve a pattern to work on, they then knit the pattern in a smooth, light colored yarn, and finish the pattern within three months. In addition, they make the swatch big enough to really show off the pattern, use selvage stitches on each side of the pattern to frame it. Finally, the volunteer photographs their swatch following the guidelines the project has set up, for a complete set of rules.
Currently the project has 2,100 plus patterns listed and about 480 completed with an additional 100 plus claimed (people are working on them, but have not completed them yet). There are a lot of patterns left that can use a knitter, a camera, and desire. This a great way to contribute along with other knitters, practice some new techniques, and show off your skills. Who knows maybe a grass roots, Barbara Walker charting project will be next. Happy knitting!