Would you be interested in learning an easy technique for knitting textured fabrics and finished projects that look like aran knitting — without the need for buying, using and storing cable needles? If so, there’s a brand new knitting book you’re going to want to have in your library: It’s Dimensional Tuck Knitting: An Innovative Technique for Creating Surface Design by Tracy Purtscher, published by Sixth & Spring Books.
This is an outstanding combination of knitting stitch dictionary, knitting technique book and knitting pattern book. It offers you interesting new material to work with, whether you prefer to learn new knitting techniques, design your own knitting projects or knit from patterns that a skilled designer has engineered. I am enjoying all three aspects of this book, and I am so excited to share this preview and in-depth review of the book with you. The short version of my Dimensional Tuck Knitting book review: Buy this book — I think you’re going to be super inspired by it! Read on for the details of why I recommend this book so enthusiastically (but if you’re specifically looking for books about tuck stitch, do be sure to take a look at my short list of caveats as well).
What You Need to Know About This Knitting Book:
Copyright Date: 2017
ISBN 13: 978-1942021674
ISBN 10: 1942021674
This book is available in the following format:
- Hardcover Without Dustjacket
Number of Pages: Dimensional Tuck Knitting is a whopping 184 pages long! And these aren’t 184 pages of white space or fluff; this book is packed with info. You are likely to learn a TON and be amazingly inspired from reading these 184 pages of knitting wisdom.
Topics Covered in This Book — Some Highlights
- How to Knit Tuck Stitch: Standard and Alternative Methods
- How to Read Tuck Knitting Charts
- Knitting Needles and Yarn Considerations
- How to “Read” Your Knitting
- Tension, Gauge and Blocking
- How to Knit Ribbon, Chain and Loop Patterns
- How to Knit Ripples, Waves and Chevron Patterns
- How to Knit Ropes, Twists and Weave Patterns
- How to Combine These Types of Patterns into Hybrid Designs
- How to Knit Allover and Horizontal Bands
- 10 Complete Projects You Can Make Using This Information
- Plus a Helpful Index and More!
Skill Level: The majority of the projects are rated as intermediate-level knitting patterns; but, if you are a beginner to knitting, please do not let that scare you away from considering this book as an appropriate addition to your knitting reference library. The dimensional tuck knitting technique is intuitive and easy to understand. As with any knitting skill, it will take some practice to master — but if you set your mind to doing this, you can do it!
Knitting Projects and Patterns Included in This Book:
This book includes an excellent mix of large and small projects to knit. All together, you’ll find 1 knit blanket pattern, 2 women’s sweater patterns, 1 poncho pattern, 1 shawl pattern, 2 cowl patterns, 1 traditional scarf pattern, 1 hat pattern and 1 pattern for stylish knitted fingerless gloves.
If you’re a lady who enjoys knitting for you, these items are sure to enhance your fall/winter wardrobe with their exquisite style; or if you knit for friends or charity, the projects in this book are all gift-worthy. The shawl and poncho would make lovely prayer shawls.
In addition, you also get a complete library of charts and instructions for knitting 89 tuck stitch variations. Here’s a more detailed look at the projects included in the book:
Tucks Galore Blanket
While all the projects in this book look like they’d be interesting to work on, in my opinion, the “Tucks Galore Blanket” takes the prize for looking like the most interesting of all. This stylish sampler style blanket measures 36 x 45” (91.5 x 114.5cm) and is made up of 20 different tuck stitch squares. So if you’d enjoy working a whole bunch of different tuck stitch variations to really immerse yourself in this technique, this is the project for you.
I asked my husband’s opinion about the blanket. His response: “It looks really nice. I like it.” He tends to be snarky and critical — so with his “thumbs up” in addition to my own, I feel confident in recommending the project as an excellent gift for couples, guys or gals; I think it would make a lovely wedding, birthday or Christmas gift.
Tapestry Poncho Knitting Pattern
This graceful poncho gives you the opportunity to incorporate 4 different tuck stitch variations into a single project. The result is garment that’s super impressive and extremely wearable. It would be easy to dress this piece either up or down. You could wear this anywhere — work, Christmas parties, out dancing on New Year’s Eve, or simply out to the post office on a chilly fall afternoon. Considering the piece is so wearable, it looks to me like it would be more than worth the substantial time and yarn commitment to make it.
Rhombulky Cowl Knitting Pattern
This sumptuously cowl looks like it will be a warm, practical wardrobe addition for those of us who endure harsh winters.
Luxury Fingerless Mitts Knitting Pattern
I think these fingerless gloves are simply exquisite!
Dreamweaver Cowl Knitting Pattern
Here’s another ultra-wearable design that looks to me like it would integrate well into many knitters’ wardrobes.
Stacked Flames Scarf Knitting Pattern
This just could not possibly be any more gorgeous — could it? But, I do have to wonder what the back of the scarf looks like…
Whisper Shawl Knitting Pattern
This shawl is another versatile, wearable wardrobe piece that could easily go from day to evening wear.
Rhombulky Pullover Sweater Knitting Pattern
This is the spectacular sweater pictured on the front cover of the book. It’s an elegant, wearable piece that would pair well with tailored pants, khakis, maxi skirts, shorter skirts or even jeans. I’m betting many of you could look in your closet right now and pull out half a dozen or more pieces you already own that would look amazing with this sweater.
Front & Center Sweater Knitting Pattern
When I first saw this sweater, I wondered: Is color blocking still a current trend as of 2018? So I took a look at some of the style authority websites; and, as it turns out, color blocking is definitely still on trend. Not only that, the vibrantly colored center panel of the design is sort of similar to Pantone’s pick for 2018 color of the year. Of course, you can choose any colors you like for knitting this design — but if you want to make the sweater exactly as shown, you can feel confident that the colorway is current for 2018.
Lucky Hat Knitting Pattern
This two-color textured hat is topped off with a playful pompom.
Library of Dimensional Tuck Stitch Patterns and Variations
If you want to see a preview of the book that includes pics of bunches of the swatches and stitch patterns, you have a couple of possibilities. The “Look inside” feature is enabled for this title at Amazon; and you can also find a preview of the book at the Sixth&Spring website.
The Best Things About This Book
A New and Interesting Knitting Technique to Work On — This is a ground-breaking and highly creative book. The author introduces a technique that utilizes welts to create a sophisticated hybrid between knitting and pleating. While there are some other articles, patterns and a book available on similar topics such as pleating knits, I have never come across another knitting reference that explores this exact manner of surface pleating in such a comprehensive, systematic and thorough manner.
Straightforward Instructions — The book includes both charts and written instructions. The two sweater patterns both include schematics. There are multiple pages of full-color step-by-step tutorials. The provided instructions are clear and readable.
This is a user-friendly book. It’s organized logically. The charts and photographs are large and clear. The fonts are legible. The format is classic. I anticipate this book will still be a useful resource more than a decade from now.
Stylish, Worthwhile Projects – Overall, these projects are appealing. If time and money were no object, I’d want to knit 8 of the 10 finished projects and complete at least one of every swatch in the book. You’ll probably have a different want-to-knit list, but if you’re like most knitters, you’re likely to find at least a few projects in this book that you’ll want to make.
Excellent Photography and Attractive Styling — The styling in this book is extremely well done; the team at Sixth&Spring chose garments, accessories and furnishings that perfectly complement the chic knitted pieces presented in the book. These outfits are totally stylish, yet they’re also classic wardrobe pieces that will likely still be relevant many years from now.
In my experience, the styling is important for helping knitters decide whether any particular project appeals to them or not. I think the majority of knitters will be able to view the photography in this book and easily decide whether the pieces they’re viewing will work well in their own wardrobes.
An Inspiring Mix of Stitch Patterns, Finished Projects and Technical Knitting Information — I found this book to be intriguing and exceptionally inspiring. Usually, with a book like this, it is the swatches and stitches that I find most interesting; since I enjoy designing my own needlework projects, new stitches often capture my imagination. But with this book, I didn’t find that to be the case. Surprisingly, the finished projects are what I found most interesting about this book. I really enjoyed seeing how the author, Tracy, incorporated her tuck stitch patterns into these finished projects.
New Approaches to Textured Knitting — The cable knit projects I’ve tried have all involved knitting cables on a bed of reverse stockinette stitch. This makes the cables pop out from the rest of the work. The background also makes them appear more three-dimensional and interesting. The same trick can be used with all the stitch patterns in Dimensional Tuck Knitting; however, I was intrigued to notice that some of the stitch patterns and projects in this book do not require reverse stockinette or garter stitch backgrounds for the texture to be evident. The lovely sweater on the front cover of the book is an example of this.
The book also includes a fascinating exploration of several alternative backgrounds that give you some choices to play with.
Other Observations About Dimensional Tuck Knitting
I believe the textured stitch patterns in this book could be successfully used to create masculine clothing for men and boys — perhaps reminiscent of aran knit fishermen’s sweaters or perhaps more contemporary styles. I hope the lack of such designs in the book will not deter knit designers from imagining the possibilities and using this technique to realize their visions. I feel certain this book has much to offer the knit designer who wants to create men’s clothing patterns.
Important Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy This Book
There is one possibly confusing point that knitters should be aware of before buying Dimensional Tuck Knitting: Namely, this book introduces a different sort of “tuck knitting” than what has previously been understood as “tuck knitting” by machine and hand knitters.
I took a machine knitting class as part of my textile design major at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I have distant, hazy memories of learning about a different sort of tuck stitch than the one covered in this book. The machine-knit tuck stitch I learned about in those days is useful for making lace-like stitches.
In contrast, it appears to me that the technique covered in this book is sort of similar to the tucks utilized in sewing, which are folds or pleats that you stitch in place. So there are two entirely different knitting techniques that share the same name.
The other thing to be aware of: The suggested yarns for these projects are all lovely, luxurious fibers like cashmere, alpaca and merino wool — fibers that are wonderful to knit with, but they may be a bit of a splurge for some knitters. You won’t find the suggested yarns for these projects at big-box stores like JoAnn and Walmart, so you’ll either need to order them online or visit your local yarn store (if you are lucky enough to have one of those within easy visiting distance). The suggested yarns are from well-known brands such as Rowan, Debbie Bliss and Blue Sky Fibers, so you hopefully should not have any trouble locating them.
If you’re interested in learning a new technique for creating richly textured knitting, this is definitely the book for you — whether you want to try designing your own textures or working from existing patterns that utilize the technique effectively.
I’m thrilled to recommend Dimensional Tuck Knitting to other crafters. I believe this book will prove to be a good long-term investment for knitters; it is an outstanding value for its asking price (and is currently being offered for much less than its asking price at the retailers I’ve linked to below; the current discounted prices make it an exceptionally good deal).
I’m recommending the book with the assumption that you’re aware you’ll be learning how to creatively manipulate welts in your knitted fabrics to make textured surfaces that resemble cables. If you’re interested in the tuck knitting technique that incorporates combinations of slipped stitches and yarn-overs, this book is not the right choice, as it does NOT cover that technique.
Where to Buy Dimensional Tuck Knitting by Tracy Purtscher:
More Knitting Stitch Dictionaries
- Seed Stitch — Are you wondering how on earth there could possibly be an entire book about the easy peasy, almost stupidly simple seed stitch? Prepare to see the seed stitch in a whole new light after flipping through the pages of this fantastic new stitch dictionary and pattern book combo by Rosemary Drysdale.
- The Alterknit Stitch Dictionary — Dimensional Tuck Knitting doesn’t deal with colorwork. All the swatches and stitch patterns are solid colored, and all but two of the projects are also knit in only one color. If you’re interested in incorporating stranded colorwork into your knitting, the Alterknit Stitch Dictionary is a nice complement to the Dimensional Tuck Knitting book. There’s little or no overlapping material in the two titles, so your knitting library will benefit from the addition of both books.
- Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible — This is an exceptional book filled with truly spectacular cable and lace knitting patterns, some of which also incorporate crocheted bobble stitches. Both books belong in the serious knit designer’s library. If you’re trying to decide between the two titles, I’d recommend Dimensional Tuck Knitting if you’d prefer an easier experience that yields spectacular results, and the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible if you’re hoping to challenge and push yourself to knit the most amazing possible patterns you’re capable of. For me, the learning curve was much steeper with the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible than it was with Dimensional Tuck Knitting. Both books are FANTASTIC, but I found Dimensional Tuck Knitting to be much more intuitive to understand and the format of the book to be much more user friendly overall.
- The Cable Knitter’s Guide — If you want to make traditional knitted cables using cable needles, the Cable Knitter’s Guide is an excellent reference to add to your knitting library. It is a combination of stitch dictionary, technique book and pattern book.
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This page was last updated on 3/26/2019.