Thursday, July 17, 2014

List: My Favorite Knitting Books

I have shared a lot here about how much I love (and need) knitting.  Some of the books that have helped me to grow in my knitting adventure are classics and others are newer.  I thought I would share some of them with whoever happens to actually read this drivel I write.

  • Knitting Rules, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  I mentioned this one yesterday in my post.  I like this because while it doesn't have actually patterns it has recipes for different items:  hats, scarves, shawls and a great sock recipe. She follows the idea that there are not knitting police, and you are master of what you knit.
  • Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  Actually anything by this great lady...Knitting Workshop, Knitting Around, and Knitter's Almanac.  But this book was the first that I read when I returned to knitting after many years.   EZ (as she is known by her fans) is another person who knit by formulas and not hard core patterns.  While her pithy directions may leave you wondering, they also give you lots of leeway for creativity.
  • Victorian Lace Today byJane Sowerby.  This has actual patterns, but mostly I use this book for inspiration.  I did some commissioned knitting out of this book though and loved it. The patterns are beautiful.  And all the lace is charted.  I can't knit lace without a chart. 
  • The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd.  I have made several sweaters using these books.  Again they are recipe or formula type books.   I also have her The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.  Just have to make me a swatch and I can knit anything.
  • A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker.  What list is complete without these?  Not a regular knitting pattern but many many stitch patterns: lace, cables, knit/purl.  Any simple pattern can be stepped up with the addition of these stitch patterns.  Any new project from Ann Budds book also involves a stroll through these books.
  •  Cast On Bind Off by Leslie Ann Bestor. Ironically two books came out at nearly the same time with this name.  This is the version with 54 methods, although I have both books.  I find the one with over 100 methods too overwhelming, and not that much difference between some of them.  This smaller book has come in very handy, when I was looking for provisional cast ons and stretchy ones.  There were several choice to go over and I could pick the one I liked best. 
While there are many other books that I have and love, these are some I wouldn't want to do without.  And I think any knitter could go far with just these.
What are some of your favorites?

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