Knitting Counterpanes; Traditional Coverlet Patterns for Contemporary Knitters

Knitting Counterpanes:  Traditional Coverlet Patterns for Contemporary Knitters – Mary Walker Phillips – The Taunton Press – 1989.

This book is out of print, but can be purchased on Amazon.

Ms Phillips book is technically a pattern book,  but I use it more as a stitch library.  My copy is very well used, the binding is unfortunately falling apart, but all the pages are there.  The state it is in is a testament to how much I refer to the patterns within the book.  I haven’t used many of the squares themselves, but I have researched them for others.  What I find most useful about this book is the edgings and insertions that it documents.

Many of the edgings in particular are unique.  The insertions on their own have been the basis for scarf patterns and center patterns in lace shawls.  When I am looking for ideas for new projects I often start here.  My latest project is no exception.  I was looking for a edging with a pronouced curving shape to blend into the curves of the half circle shawl that I am working on – and there it was – Scalloped Edging.

Another lace edging from this book was the insiration for the shawl – From Little Acorns.

Oakleaf and Acorn Edging - painted with dyes.

I have yet to find a mistake with any of the patterns.  The patterns are all in written format, no charting.  The pictures are very clear, are in black and while and quite large, very easy to use a reference when working with the patterns.  Ms Phillips uses her own shorthand version of knitting terms, but there is a very detailed explanation of her shorthand in the first section of the book.  She also includes a short history of the counterpane and good basic “how to” on creating and finishing your own counterpane.

If you are looking for some different idea’s and are willing to search out a copy, this book will be worth the wait.

Happy Knitting


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