Knitting Books

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.

The links on this page lead to Amazon listings of these books. Should you decide to purchase one or more of these books from Amazon when you follow the links on this page, I’ll get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.


250 Japanese Knitting Stitches by Hitomi Shida
250 Japanese Knitting Stitches

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 specifically for this book and have never been published before. This book is a real treasure for anyone who appreciates the art of knitting.


AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs by Andrea Rangel
AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs

by Andrea Rangel

A stunning collection of two-colour stitch patterns – from traditional and not-so-traditional geometric patterns to all sorts of creatures from puppies, squirrels and sheep to bears, lizards and monkeys that you can use to decorate any project. In addition to all those incredibly inspiring motifs, the book also provides a number of patterns with the motifs used as a decoration on hats, mitts, a cowl, a sweater and a cardigan. My favourite one is “Bikey Beanie” – a simple seamless beanie with a row of bicycle motifs all the way around it.


Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor
Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods

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.


Complete Guide to Needlework by Editors of Reader's Digest
Complete Guide to Needlework

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.


Dimensional Tuck Knitting by Tracy Purtscher
Dimensional Tuck Knitting

by Tracy Purtscher

An absolutely ingenious way to create highly textured knitting fabric. This book has it all – detailed description of tuck knitting, extensive stitch pattern dictionary with more than 85 amazing patterns, plus patterns for 10 projects knitted tucks – a few cowls, scarf. hat, poncho, sweater and an incredibly beautiful blanket.


The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe
The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques

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.


The Essential Stitch Collection by Lesley Stanfield and Melody Griffiths
The Essential Stitch Collection

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.


Japanese Knitting: Patterns for Sweaters, Scarves and More by michiyo
Japanese Knitting: Patterns for Sweaters, Scarves and More

by michiyo

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.


Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible by Hitomi Shida
Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible

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.


Japanese Knitting Stitches: A Stitch Dictionary with 150 Amazing Patterns by Keiko Okamoto
Japanese Knitting Stitches: A Stitch Dictionary with 150 Amazing Patterns

by Keiko Okamoto

This book is a wonderful collection of stitches that are not just unusual and interesting, but also fun to make. There are lots of stitch patterns to choose from – the ones worked in a solid colour and in multiple colours, the ones worked flat and in the round, the ones that include cables, bobbles, 3D shaping and even embroidered elements. Overall, this book is a huge source of inspiration.


Knit in New Directions by Myra Wood
Knit in New Directions

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.


Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World by Clara Parkes
Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World

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 🙂


Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Knitter’s Almanac

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” 


The Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe
The Knitting Answer Book

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 🙂


Knitting Around the World: A Multistranded History of a Time-Honored Tradition by Lela Nargi
Knitting Around the World: A Multistranded History of a Time-Honored Tradition

by Lela Nargi

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.


The Knitting Book by Vikki Haffenden and Frederica Patmore
The Knitting Book

by Vikki Haffenden and Frederica Patmore

The title of this book says it all – it is THE knitting book we all need every now and then. Packed with lots of information about yarns, knitting tools and over 250 step by step techniques, this collection of knowledge is not overwhelming or boring. All explanations are provided in bite-sized steps with clear high-quality photos. A must-have for knitters of all skill levels.


Knitting for the Fun of It: Over 40 Projects for the Color-Loving Crafter by Frida Ponten
Knitting for the Fun of It: Over 40 Projects for the Color-Loving Crafter

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!


Knitting Modular Shawls, Wraps, and Stoles by Melissa Leapman
Knitting Modular Shawls, Wraps, and Stoles

by Melissa Leapman

If you are into knitting shawls, this book is a “treasure chest”. It provides a clear step by step system that will help you design all sorts of shawls, from simple triangular ones to more complicated shawls with vertical insertions and sophisticated borders. Topped by almost two hundred stitch patterns and twenty shawl patterns, this book is a wealth of shawl-knitting information. Quite impressive!


Knitting Tips and Trade Secrets by The Taunton Press
Knitting Tips and Trade Secrets

by The Taunton Press

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” 


Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Knitting Without Tears

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.


Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs & Techniques by Lizbeth Upitis
Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs & Techniques

by Lizbeth Upitis

A complete guide to knitting the famous Latvian mittens – dozens of traditional motifs as well as a 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.


Mastering Color Knitting by Melissa Leapman
Mastering Color Knitting

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.


Metropolitan Knits: Chic Designs for Urban Style by Melissa Wehrle
Metropolitan Knits: Chic Designs for Urban Style

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 the 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.


The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt
The Principles of Knitting

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. 


A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker
A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

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.


Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks to Knit and Show Off by Alice Yu
Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks to Knit and Show Off

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.


Unexpected Knitting by Debbie New
Unexpected Knitting

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!


Honest reviews of the most helpful knitting books | 10 rows a day
Honest reviews of the most helpful knitting books | 10 rows a day
Honest reviews of the most helpful knitting books | 10 rows a day