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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Top 5 Knitting Books Of All Time

Books are my favorite knitting resource. Books are how I learned to knit, how I learned Magic Loop, and how I learned to design and knit my own patterns. However, I learned through my years of teaching classes that many knitters don’t like to learn from books - looking at diagrams and reading about knitting just doesn’t translate for them.

I’ve tried to shape my entire video e-book series with this in mind: combining written explanations with videos and illustrated handouts, in the hope that some combination of these methods would communicate the technique to you in the way that makes the most sense.

But, for those of you who like knitting books and like learning from them, I’ve compiled this list of the very best knitting resources I’ve found throughout the years. Each book is enjoyable to read, beautiful to look at, and guaranteed to teach you something new. Counting down from my absolute favorite...

#1 The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, by Clara Parkes (pictured above)
This book will teach you to become what Clara Parkes, of Knitter's Review, calls a yarn whisperer. After reading this book and trying one of the 40 gorgeous pattens, you’ll have a deep understanding of what yarn to choose for which project, and why. What’s more, you’ll gain an appreciation for the varied industries that work together to provide us all with beautiful yarn. My favorite projects are the Norwegian Snail Mittens and this so so soft Classic Washcloth.

#2 Stitch ‘N Bitch Nation, by Debbie Stoller
Stitch ‘N Bitch Nation compiles 52 really original and wearable intermediate knitting projects from designers across America. My favorite projects are the Later Gator Mitts and Jesse’s Flames.

#3 Custom Knits, by Wendy Bernard
Wendy Bernard opened my eyes when it came to sweaters. Now, no matter what your shape, you can design or modify a sweater pattern that will fit every inch of you perfectly. I especially found the basic sweater guides in the back helpful when striking out on my own.

#4 Handknit Holidays, by Melanie Falick
This is a timeless book, absolutely filled with beautiful, winter-holiday-inspired knits. The photography is gorgeous, the patterns feature some of the most beautiful and interesting yarns available, and the range of techniques introduced is much broader than your average pattern book. Learn to knit with wire, double-knit, do Entrelac, Fair-Isle, mosaic knitting, not to mention knit projects with cables and lace.

#5 A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, by Barbara Walker
Barbara Walker is the most creative mind of the century when it comes to inventing stitch patterns and designs. Any of her four Knitting Pattern Treasuries are a worthwhile investment for when you are designing something on your own.

I’ve given you links to these books on, but remember to support your local yarn store when buying knitting books! Our patronage helps keep them in business.

This blog post is a small excerpt from the soon-to-be published Secrets to Becoming a Knitting Superstar video e-book series. Sign up for my newsletter to stay tuned for the big announcement!

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