A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

This book, written by Barbara G. Walker – an influential knitting expert, author and feminist – was first published in 1970 by Schoolhouse Press and has been in demand ever since. It is part of a series of four encyclopedic reference books, and it is my favorite of the series – which I just had to buy after flicking through one. Available at schoolhousepressamazon and at norli. It is fittingly dedicated “To the further enrichment of a beloved craft”. In her introduction she writes, “Some of the patterns in the this book are contemporary originals…Other patterns are traditional…I have resurrected these from old, forgotten books and translated them into modern terminology…Still other patterns have come from other areas of the world…Like music, knitting truly is a universal language.”

To give you an idea of the tremendous asset it is I will list the chapters: Knit-Purl Combinations, Slip-Stitch Pattern, Slip-Stitch Color Patterns, Mosaic Patterns, Fancy Color Patterns, Fancy Texture Patterns, Twist-Stitch Patterns, Cables, Cable-Stitch Patterns, Yarn-Over Patterns, Eyelets, Lace, Lace Panels and Insertions, Borders and Edgings. 700 different stitch patterns to chose from, presented with black and white photos with written instructions, whether you design or want ideas to make your own sampler – testing out the different stitch patterns – whether it is going to be a scarf, baby blanket or bed spread.

You do not need to be an experienced knitter to enjoy and use it. An ideal way of learning to knit different stitch patterns and how to read patterns. The book contains a detailed description of terms and abbreviations, how to adapt patterns for circular knitting and a handy index. Each pattern will tell you how many to cast on to make 1 pattern repeat as well as it multiples so you can calculate to your own size. My copy is so full of post-it notes that I have now started using yarns in different color to mark my selection of patterns to test and use. I think Barbara G. Walker will approve.


12 thoughts on “A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

  1. I agree, this has to be my favorite stitch dictionary. Great for sipping a good cup of coffee and leafing through. Mine has earmarks all over it!

  2. Hmmm, good to know. I’ve been feeling the need for one of her stitch dictionaries and wasn’t sure how to choose. But the Vogue Stitchionaries have color photos which show the textures better than the old black-and-whites. I’ll stick with the public library until I can make a decision.

  3. Absolutt en favoritt-bok, elsker å kikke i de og har brukt alle de tre første bøkene mye! Mangler bare den fjerde, men den skal visstnok ikke være like god. Har du den siste boken også?

    • Godt å høre! Jeg har den fjerde også og synes helt klart at det er den svakeste av de 4. Her er omfattende kapiteller på rettstrikk kombinasjoner, mosaikk strikk og hullstrikk mønstre i typisk flettestil. Mest interessant finner jeg flette kapitellet, intrikate fletter over 24 til 26 p. Men det finnes jo fletter som er enklere å bruke i både nr 2 og 3.

  4. I too value the contents of Alice’s book. What I do not like, however, is the lack of charts & graphs. If I recall only one of the book in the series provided graphs/charts.

    • I agree, with charts it would be totally outstanding! Yes, the third book is Charted Knitting Designs but also the Fourth book has charts. Thank you for your comment, Karen!

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