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Wolverine Librarian Posted - 01/10/2007 : 4:40:52 PM
What are some of you favorite knitting books, you know, the one's you either carry in your bag or look at on a regular basis?

Since I am a beginning knitter some of my favorite books right now tend to be technique related but here is my list.

Stitch and B*itch by Debbie Stoller
(The book that helped learn how to really knit my first successful project came from this book)

The Knitter's book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman (Helped me piece my first sweater)

The Knitting Answer Book... by Margaret Radcliffe
(Stays in my knitting bag I will not leave home without it if there's any chance of knitting)

Not your Mama's Knitting ... by Heather Dixon
(In the same vein as stitch and b*itch but better coverage of binding off methods and more on pattern alternatives. There is a yummy project for a knitted lace cardigan with alternate pattern for a matching dress.)

Vogue knitting The Ultimate Knitting Book by Vogue Patterns (Also stays in the Knitting Bag)

I have the first three volumes of the Vogue Stitchionary mostly for reference for intructions for stitch patterns.

So what are some of your favorites?

"Not all who wander are lost"
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Smuddpie Posted - 01/21/2007 : 10:16:29 PM
I would have to vote for Vogue's big book as the first to buy. I also love Nancie Wiseman's book. That said, Knitter's Companion is the only one that lives in my bag. Stoller's Stitch was the first book that got me to understand clearly how the stitch should be mounted, but I don't own it.

I think you have to knit for a while to appreciate EZ fully. At least I did. I am only now beginning to collect her books. At first, I was put off by the old designs. Now I am beginning to see them as a technique and wisdom goldmine to be extracted from but not necessarily duplicated. They are not really meant for truly beginning knitting instruction, but for growing once you get the stitch mechanics down.

As for Montse Stanley's book, I had the good fortune to take a class from one of the ladies who scores packets for Master Knitter applicants. She mentioned that when a technique has been incorrectly executed, often Stanley's book is referenced. She was careful to qualify that statement by saying that it's not a bad book, but that some of the terminology is a bit different, and some of it a little hard to decipher.

Lastly, I have to say, don't go solely with the book. I have learned a lot from Lucy Neatby's Knitting Essentials 2 dvd and I also have EZ's Glossary. Both are so easy to reference when needed, and when compared to a class, a bargain since you can review any time you like. True, they are not nearly as comprehensive as a big reference book, but sometimes all you need is for an accomplished knitter to show you that one tried and true technique.

seal Posted - 01/18/2007 : 1:40:20 PM
I love Alice Starmore (and her daughter)- both her cable and multi-color books. I've just re-discovered EZ books, and I'm trying to gather as many as I can find. I think my first inspiration was the original big Vogue book on knitting. I prefer pattern dictionaries that have charts included.
Seal In PLattsburgh
seal Posted - 01/18/2007 : 12:49:11 PM
I love Alice Starmore (and her daughter)- both her cable and multi-color books. I've just re-discovered EZ books, and I'm trying to gather as many as I can find. I think my first inspiration was the original big Vogue book on knitting. I prefer pattern dictionaries that have charts included.
Seal In PLattsburgh
WendyB Posted - 01/17/2007 : 7:37:45 PM
I refer to:
1. The Knitter's book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman for Kitchener stitch directions.
2. Barbara Walker's Treasuries, especially #2 for inspiration.
3. A Gathering of Lace, Arctic Lace, or Victorian Lace for bedtime reading.
4. A mitten book or Interweave Knits for bathroom reading.

WendyB Posted - 01/17/2007 : 7:17:49 PM
I've been knitting since the Eisenhower administration (on and off) and my favorites are Debbie Stoller Stitch & bee-hotch (both of them)
Vickie Howell books (Not another teen Knitting Book) and Margaret Radcliff Knitter's Handbook.
But my absolute all time favorite is a Spinnerin book from 1961,
Beginner's Delight, which is out of print but I was lucky enough to find on Ebay. It's made for kids about 8 - 12 and what I like about it is a direction for a throw to "change colors as the spirit moves you".
It was a terrific inspiration for me as a kid as it encourages all kinds of creative approaches to interpreting patterns and designing in general. If you are teaching a kid to knit, or are a kid yourself who is learning to knit, I'd suggest you try to find this.
Best of luck here! Love, Ellen
Emm Posted - 01/16/2007 : 8:13:37 PM
As of yesterday, ny new favorite knitting book is the "Mason-Dixson" knitting book. What a great book and such s fun story of how the authors met--online-- because of their love for knitting. I am so into the hand towels, the dish cloths, and the log cabin blanket idea.
What a fun way to express your knitting...
dFrame Posted - 01/16/2007 : 7:39:11 PM
How fun to read these suggestions!

The Twisted Sister's Sock Workbook is a great resource on socks, spinning, color, and numerous variations on sock heels. It's also pretty and inspiring.

Knitting Without Tears deserves a dramatic reading-- I love how it makes me feel like anybody can do this knitting thing. Melanie Falick's Kid's Knitting has great illustrations of how to fix simple problems.

BUT: my new can't take my eyes off it book is ColorWorks, by Debbie Menz, Interweave Press. I've always had a good (if quirky) sense of color, but ColorWorks tells me why certain combinations work. Hue, value, saturation, complexity of color combination. There are cards in the back of the book to work through most possible shades, tones, tints and mixes of colors.

I also keep a big file of Interweave Knits and Spin-Off, turned to the pages that teach techniques. And I use online resources frequently.Isn't it a great big knitting world?! It's all good.

visit to be vivid just like you
msnellings Posted - 01/16/2007 : 3:44:53 PM
No doubt there are lots of great books out there, but I just wanted to speak up in defense of Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook. I always recommend it to beginners, and I frequently refer to it to learn a new stitch or technique. I think the pictures are some of the clearest I've seen, and who knew there were so many ways to cast on and bind off, and that some are better for some applications than others? There is a little bit of everything, from tool info to discussion of materials (even wire and beads) and patterns too. The best think is that it's well organized and has a great index.
Everyone's got their own preferences, and that's good, but I just thought I'd say what a great reference I thought it was. I sure wish someone had explained knitted fabric and the various ways to knit to me when I started. If I had known the "stitch anatomy" when I started, it would have saved hours of trying to figure it out myself from trial, error, and observation!
Pat in east Texas Posted - 01/16/2007 : 08:34:32 AM
Sensational Knitted Socks, because almost everything I want to know about making socks is there in a spiral-bound book. The Big Book of Knitting because almost everything about knitting anything is there. But I always carry a 3-ring binder full of tips, patterns, enlarged photos or drawings of techniques (kitchener, mattress stitch, etc.) and quick reference to things that aren't in books or things I haven't done in a while and need "re-training" on.
juliebug Posted - 01/15/2007 : 4:22:37 PM
I really do not have any good knitting books yet so it was great to know what the rest of you think. I have checked the Stanley book out at my library a few times. There is an abundance of info in it but not nearly enough diagrams to explain the techniques to a new knitter like myself. I may get the Thomas book and keep my fingers crossed for a new edition of Hiatt's book. If not maybe we can get every one to send in a request to Dover Books and see if they can reprint it.

If you are looking for a book regardless of the topic check first at they can find you the best price even if the book is out of print. Its the only place I shop for books except for thrift stores.


"Go ply thy needle" Shakespeare
abt1950 Posted - 01/14/2007 : 11:59:43 AM
I was lucky enough to buy "The Principles of Knitting" when it first came out. It was a "surviving the semester and turning in my grades" present to myself. I never thought it would become such a hard to find classic.

What's the hangup with reprinting it, btw? What's up with the revised edition that Hiatt is supposed to be working on?

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
Chayah Posted - 01/14/2007 : 11:57:02 AM
I have a small knitting library because I have so many printed patterns. Of my knitting books my favorites are:
Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Mason-Dixon Knitting
Knitter's Stash
The Reader's Digest Book of Knit and Crochet Stitches
and, Crocheted Hats on the Go
These are the ones I actually use. Warmly, Chayah
Larjmarj Posted - 01/14/2007 : 11:49:41 AM
More often than not I refer to my Vogue Knitting book. A find at my local second hand book store for $10! I also have the Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques book and The Knitting Answer Book. Though time and time again, I find myself reaching for my Vogue book, it has a great section on YO's that is really helpful for sock knitting and lace knitting.
Wolverine Librarian Posted - 01/14/2007 : 08:10:44 AM
For pure inspiration I also like the A gathering of Lace andVictorian Lace Today, and Cables untangled,and Folk Shawls

"Not all who wander are lost"
fibreon Posted - 01/14/2007 : 07:55:12 AM
My favorite reference book and the one I use most often for technical knitting information is Mary Thomas' Knitting Book. I learn to knit from Elizabeth Zimmerman and her Knitting Workshop Book is very good for brushing up and making me smile. The reference books I most reccomend when I teach are Knitter's Companion, Knitting Answers and The Knitter's Handbook. I agree about Nancy Wiseman's Finishing book. Can you tell I am a book stasher??? I love having reference books at my fingertips and I am jealous about the mention of Principles of Knitting as I have still not found that book reasonably priced yet.

Kay Wagner
Danbury CT
Dottie Mae Posted - 01/13/2007 : 6:27:15 PM
Nancie Wiseman is a clear favorite, isn't she? I read through this little gem for my bedtime reading, and now it is always by my favorite chair. I also like the Vogue big one. I like The Purl Stitch by Sally Melville. I recommend Sally's series to my beginning knitting students because of the clear photographs.
For sheer beauty and display of genius I love Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature. It is not a reference book, but it is one great coffee table book. It's worth it even if you have to buy a coffee table for it.
ChristyH Posted - 01/13/2007 : 05:51:47 AM

I really like the Sally Melville books and the little book put out by Knitter's. I have been knitting long but they have been so helpful.
Redrobin Posted - 01/12/2007 : 08:27:03 AM
Well, Stitch N B*tch was my first knitting book, Vogue knitting my second (which has taught me TONS). I have:
the other SnB books,
The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns,
Greetings from Knit Cafe
Norsk Strikkedesign
Family Circle Easy Toys...

But I think the most valuable addition to my knitting library would have to be the magazines: Vogue Knitting and Interweave. I find I am just so much more likely to knit something from a magazine. And Interweave especially has an excellent techniques glossary.
hillstreetmama Posted - 01/12/2007 : 06:29:19 AM
I have EZ's Knitters Almanac by my bed, and sometimes read a few pages before I go to sleep at night. I really enjoy listening to her approach to knitting. I also love Knitting Around, Knitting Without Tears and The Opinionated Knitter. I finally broke down and bought Barabara Walker's first Treasury...I'm sure the others will follow. I also recently got the Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman - GREAT BOOK! These are the books I access regularly. I have lots of other books that I look at from time to time, particularly Folk Shawls and Scarf Style. The books that I DON'T look at often are going to the library to build up their knitting section. Just be careful when you give books to the library - specify that you are donating them to be put on the shelf, NOT to be sold at a book sale!! If you don't, your book may go for 25 cents at a fund raiser!

Jan Posted - 01/12/2007 : 05:21:31 AM
I taught myself how to knit from the Debbie Bliss How To Knit book. I am still working through the book. The next project from the book I have to do is the cabled childs sweater. I also just bought Cables Untangled, and want to do all the projects in it. I just took A Gathering of Lace out of the library.


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