B is for Books

Starting a new hobby gives one an amazing excuse to expand your library. Who doesn’t need an excuse to buy books!

The latest surge in knitting[1] is often ascribed to the Stitch’n'Bitch series of books that were first published in 2003. Since then there have been no end of “learn to knit”, and “weekend projects” and “<knitting thing> for beginners” books available. Combined with the internet, this is an incredible amount of resources for the newly recruited knitter.

Further down the road, a knitter searching to expand their skill set also has a wide variety of books, old and new, to choose from. Here are a few of my favourites.

Principles of Knitting, June Hemmons Hiatt: An updated release of an old classic. A real knitting textbook!

Knitter’s Handbook, Montse Stanley: Another classic. It’s smaller than POK, but still packed with information.

Victorian Lace Today, Jane Sowerby: Beautiful shawls, interesting history and amazing photography.

Modern Lace Knitting, Volume 2, Marianne Kinzel: Old, slightly dated at times, but the circular tablecloths make amazing shawls.

Sock Innovation, Cookie A: My go to sock book. I’ve knit a couple of patterns more than once.

Aran Knitting, Alice Starmore: Another reprint of a classic. Some of the sweater shapes are dated but the cable patterns are stunning.

Knitters book of Wool (or Yarn), Clara Parkes: Goes beyond DK, worsted, 4ply and really gets into the detail of wool and yarn, without being a spinning book.

Of course, that’s just a selection and I’m always after more. I want to expand my Zimmerman collection, pick up all four Barbara Walker treasuries and get a copy of The Haapsalu Shawl, but I think I need more bookshelves first.


[1] We still tend to talk about this as if it was yesterday, but the current 20 year old new knitter was ten when Stitch’n'Bitch was published.


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