Thursday, September 26, 2013

Knitting Books... Necessity or Obsession?

I counted the other day and I have 70+ knitting, crochet and needlework books...  and that's not including knitting fiction & essays. In my defense, I acquired many of them through Paperback Book Swap (great website!) so they didn't cost me anything, not technically anyway.  I just can't help myself!  I love my knitting books almost as much as I do the yarn itself...  well maybe not quite that much, but pretty close.

My favorite books are ones that walk me through a new technique or teach me something I don't already know.  Please note that I have not actually read any of these books, hence my reason for taking a year to become more proficient at needle arts...  I have to somehow justify their purchase!

So here are just a few of my favorites (or what I think will be my favorites once I've read them... they all have great pictures!):

The Knitter's Life List by Gwen W. Steege - 'To do . To Know . To Explore . To Make - 1001 Inspirations for Every Knitter - 122 Techniques & Tips to Learn - 69 Styles and Traditions to Explore - 64 Personalities to Meet - 33 Yarn Fibers to Try'...  WOW!  I could probably spend my next year just working my way through this book.  There are check lists with each chapter that list designers to get to know, techniques/patterns/yarns to try, things to learn and places to go.  I haven't actually read any of the chapters but I have started checking off things that I've already done or know and it's helping me to identify some of the things I want to learn this year.  AWESOME BOOK!

The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes - 'Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn' - All about fiber, its properties, where it comes from, how it's made, how it knits up, what types of projects it's best suited for and some great patterns too boot.  There's a section in the back with instructions on 'Care & Feeding' as well as how to figure out yardage (WPI).  Believe it or not, I have actually read a portion of this book and it has helped me tremendously when selecting yarn for a specific project.  Highly recommended!

The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe - A great book for those us who LOVE lots and lots of colors and need to better understand how they compliment each other (or don't).  But it goes way beyond that!  It also explains about striping, variegated yarn, stranded knitting, intarsia, helix knitting (I have no idea what that even is!), twined knitting, double knitting, modular knitting, entrelac...  wow, I have more to learn than I thought!  This is going to be another great reference for me this year.

Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague - The first almost half of this book is all about body measurements, sweater construction and creating a perfect fit.  Each sweater pattern in the book is accompanied with constructing & fitting notes, approximate finish measurements, yarn requirements and recommendations for each size, as well as the usual gauge, instructions and charts.  You're also provided with a free e-book (scratch off code in the back) from which you can print out the charts for customizing, as well as anything else you might need.  Absolutely brilliant! 

Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith - The 'Little Red in the City' for your feet.  For anyone who has a desire to knit the perfect sock, this one is for you.  Andi explains how to measure your foot and how to adjust a sock pattern to your measurements.  The book includes step by step foot measuring instructions as well as several amazing sock patterns.  Can't wait to get started!

I also have books on Tunisian Crochet, Entrelac, knitting design, felting and embellishing as well as several needlework books (some vintage) that I plan to use throughout the year.  I'm quite anxious to get started and have selected Tunisian Crochet as my first project since I think it will be the easiest for me.  Stay tuned!!!


  1. I love the Clara Parkes books- her Book of Wool is one of my faves. Thanks for the list. Will be checking out that life list book at the library now :)

  2. Because of you I know chase doen every visual rabbit trail about the fiber arts. I can't do...but I sure can look.

    1. You will be 'doing' before you know it! You're a quick study and it appears you have caught the bug. You're welcome!!! :-)