This is the second book that I have about modular knitting — Knits From a Painter’s Palette. It is written with a particular yarn in mind, Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM). This is possibly the most beautiful yarn in the whole world if you like color and color variation within skeins.
The picture inside the front cover of the book shows bins and bins and bins of their yarn. I would take every single one. The same picture is inside the back cover, so you can dream all over again when you get to the end.
Anyway, this book has projects based on modular knitting that you can use with lesser yarns, if you have to. I used it for my labyrinth sweater because it has instructions for making a modular hexagon. The Baltic finger labyrinth piece I made is a hexagon, so I thought I would use a smaller hexagon somewhere else in the poncho for cohesion. I actually made two; I plan to incorporate the larger one into the knitted fabric, and might sew the smaller one on at the end for a pocket.
In a nutshell, modular knitting starts with casting on a number of stitches, and strategically knitting stitches together to make a spine of decreases that pulls your knitting into a shape like a square or triangle or wedge. For the subsequent modules, you pick up half (or some) of the stitches along the edge of a module and cast on the rest. The decreases generally happen up the center of the shape with the pivot being where you switch from pick up to cast on. If you keep attaching and building this way, you end up with a ‘solid’ piece of knitted fabric. When the stitching is new, before blocking and wearing, the segments seem more distinct than they will eventually. They do blend and meld into each other with time, even the wild colors unite. This is one of my favorite knitting techniques, and I highly recommend both books.