My favourite knitting books
Books are my guilty pleasure (aside from knitting that can technically be called my job). If I ever go on a shopping spree, it usually happens in a bookstore. I find lots of helpful information in knitting books, and in this section, I list my favourite books along with a few notes about the book itself and what I like most about it.
Each book in this collection taught me a trick or two (or ten). Many of them are sitting on my bookshelf right now waiting to be picked up when I get to researching another technique for one of my tutorials.
I hope you'll find these books interesting and useful. They are organized in alphabetical order by title. I'll leave it to you to decide which one of them appeals to you more than the others.
by Hitomi Shida
This book is a collection of 250 elaborate knitting stitches designed by the "queen of Japanese stitch patterns" - Hitomi Shiba. Many of the stitch patterns in this collection were used in the garments from "Couture Knits" series. Some of the stitches were developed specially for this book and have never been published before. This book is a real treasure for anyone who appreciates the art of knitting.
by Leslie Ann Bestor
Here's a collection of step-by-step photo tutorials for different types of cast ons and bind offs. Tutorials are grouped by the purpose of the cast ons and bind offs. For example, all decorative cast ons are in one section of the book, and all ribbing cast ons are in another section. Very helpful.
by Editors of Reader's Digest
This book is an extremely helpful reference to ten different needlecrafts. All techniques from embroidery stitches to macrame knots and knitting basics are explained in clear illustrations and easy to follow instructions. This book was my last resort when I was looking for an invisible flat and stretchy seam. And I found a lovely solution in the embroidery section of this book.
by Margaret Radcliffe
I've read a few books by Margaret Radcliffe, and I am amazed every time by the interesting, unusual techniques she finds and explains. This book is not an exception. If you want to take your colour knitting one step further, this book will give you lots of information about entrelac, double knitting, stranded knitting, mosaic and shadow knitting as well as tips for working with multicoloured yarns.
by Lesley Stanfield and Melody Griffiths
The best thing about this book is that every one of the 300 gorgeous stitches is explained both in written instructions and in a chart. That makes it perfect for any knitter. The stitches are sorted by the type of each stitch - Knit and purl, Twists, Cables, Lace, Bobbles and leaves, Stranded and intarsia, Letters/Numbers and my favourite section Unusual Stitches. Stitch #3 in my free ebook "12 Stitches for Top Down Hats" comes from that section.
All 23 patterns featured in this book have an unmistakable minimalistic aesthetics that we often see in Japanese designs. Several projects have an unusual construction that allows them to be worn in a few different ways.
by Hitomi Shida
This book can easily be called "the rocket science of knitting" :-) It offers a collection of 260 exquisite stitch patterns with charts and detailed illustrated instructions on how to make the most challenging manipulations with stitches. If you want to take your knitting to the next level, look no further - get this book and start from the very first stitch pattern.
by Myra Wood
The title says it all - this book is truly a journey into creativity. It shows us how to treat our knits as a canvas and how to turn them into one-of-a-kind creations using short rows, modular and freeform knitting. Even if you decide not to knit garments featured in this book, reading this book with definitely broaden your knitting horizons.
by Clara Parkes
A detailed account of the author's travels to different places related to knitting - from Rhinebeck to Craftsy headquarters to Iceland. If you appreciate a good story, you'll love this book. I sure did :-)
by Elizabeth Zimmermann
If you are looking for "common sense knitting", this is a perfect book to read. The genius knitter Elizabeth Zimmermann will tell you what to do and how to do it to get the best results. It is all explained in a pleasant conversational tone and covers the most down-to-earth questions like "How much wool should I buy for a project?" or "What is gauge and why is it important?". You will also learn more than a dozen patterns like "Hurry-up Last-Minute Sweater" and "Baby Leggings"
by Margaret Radcliffe
An invaluable source of information, this book answers hundreds of knitting questions - from "How to make a yarn over" to "How to adjust shoulders in a sweater". The answers are short and to the point, and often supported by diagrams and pictures. It's like having an experienced knitting friend sitting next to you ready to help whenever you get a question :-)
by Voyageur Press
If you like stories, you would love this book. It's full of interesting facts about knitting traditions in different parts of the world, from Scandinavia to South America. There are also quite a few vintage patterns like the original pattern for a tam o'shanter published in 1886. Some notes explain certain techniques that originated in a certain geographic area. That's where I found interesting facts about Estonian nupps. I mentioned one of those facts in an article about this beautiful technique.
by Frida Ponten
I love when knitting is fun, so the title of this book definitely appealed to me. The book is filled with fun, mostly colourful projects and the instructions are written in a simple step by step form with friendly notes that feel as if a good friend is showing you how to knit those projects. Very different from more formal pattern books. Most projects are quite funky and will look better on kids and teens, but one thing caught my eye - the easy poncho from page 12 of the book. I love how cosy it is, and I love that it's not flaring out like a classic poncho, but looks more like a cocoon. It would be terrific to have one of those ponchos to wear for a walk or even around the house. I'm definitely adding it to my "to-knit" list!
by The Taunton Press
A great example of "collective knowledge", this book features tips and tricks provided by many different knitters from all over the United States. You will find there anything from a tried-and-true pattern for baby booties to smart ways to tame yarns when you knit with several colours (I shared that tip in the article "How to Keep Yarn from Tangling"
by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Another book by the incredible Elizabeth Zimmermann. Detailed patterns for a ski sweater, seamless yoke sweater, seamless raglan sweater and a few other projects, as well as lots of tips about different aspects of knitting - from choosing the perfect needles for your project to washing your finished sweaters.
by Lizbeth Upitis
A complete guide to knitting the famous Latvian mittens - dozens of traditional motifs as well as detailed explanation of techniques, colours and patterns that are specific to different areas in Latvia. And of course, you will learn about the historical and cultural background of Latvian mittens. Apparently, they played a big part in weddings and reflected the identity of a knitter.
by Melissa Leapman
If you took a deep breath and decided to try knitting with several colours, this is the perfect book for you. Well structured, it provides detailed step by step instructions and lots of tips to help you make your first fair isle, intarsia, or double knit creation without stress and frustration.
by Melissa Wehrle
A very well-written book of knitting patterns. Every one of the 20 designs featured in this book is a staple piece in a wardrobe of a modern lady. When you follow the patterns, you will not only learn how to make different projects but will also create something you will be happy to wear every day.
by June Hemmons Hiatt
This is the most extensive collection of knitting wisdom packed in one book. The amount of work the author did to put it all together is astounding. This is the book to keep and pass on to future generations.
by Barbara G. Walker
This collection of stitch patterns along with the other three "treasuries" Barbara G. Walker published is a treasure trove of stitch patterns from the relatively easy ones to the mindblowing patterns that will challenge you to look at your knitting at a different angle.
by Alice Yu
A must-have book for anyone who likes to knit socks! It has 17 sock patterns with each pattern having its own "know-how" - either something special about the sock construction or a way to make a heel or a way to shape the toe. Some of the socks are knit from the toe up, others - from the top down. Lots and lots of options to make unique socks and to learn numerous tips and sock-knitting techniques.
by Debbie New
An extraordinary book about incredible knitting techniques developed by the author. If you are looking to expand your knitting skills, this book offers lots of ways to do it. Swirl knitting, sculptural knitting, ouborous knitting, labyrinth knitting - this book has it all!