Note to the knitter looking for line-by-line patterns for sweaters and socks, complete with color and yarn recommendations: This book is not for you. It contains no projects of any kind, but simply an in-depth exploration of a technique that can be used in the creation of an infinite number of original designs.
Barbara Walker, whose treasuries of stitch patterns and charted designs are the mainstays of every designer and every knitter who wants to advance beyond fuzzy garter stitch scarves, has given a catchy name, "Mosaic Knitting," to a method of producing multi-color fabric without the tedium of stranding, Fair Isle or intarsia. All it requires is the ability to knit and slip stitches. In exactly 13 pages of clear, intelligently-written text (a Walker hallmark), she tells you everything you need to know, and takes you through the knitting of a little 8x16-stitch sample. That's it for instruction, and it's enough. After that, the books consists of page after page of mosaic stitch patterns, with a chart and a black-and-white photo for each. This new edition, for which we have Schoolhouse Press to thank, also includes a huge previously-unpublished collection of "Magic" mosaic patterns, so-called because of their 4-way symmetry. They alone are worth the price of admission.
About those black-and-white photos. I have heard this book criticized for not showing the patterns in color and for not showing them in use, that is, as part sweaters or other garments. I like it the way it is. Walker allows knitter/readers to see the patterns in the abstract, without any distraction.
With this book and a couple of the classic how-to-knit-a-sweater books (Knitting Without Tears, Knitting from the Top Down, The Knitting Workshop, Knitting in the Old Way), any competent knitter could happily make a lifetime's worth of original and beautiful hand-knits.
Thanks again to Schoolhouse Press for making this new and improved version available. Now if somebody would only publish a new edition of June Hiatt's Principles of Knitting.