books · knitting

Books That Teach

In my experience, learning to knit is more of an ongoing process rather than a single event. No matter how many techniques I’ve mastered, there’s always something new to learn. I have no doubt that it’s a major factor in why knitting is such an addictive activity…

I’ve pulled together a few books titles that continue to help expand my knitting skills:

1. Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

The first knitting reference book I ever used, which means it holds a special place in my heart. It’s accessible to the novice knitter, but includes techniques for advanced knitters too. It covers all the basics: how to hold your needles, how to sew seams, how to make pompons… I’ve turned to it for answers countless times.

2. Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting Patterns

While I wouldn’t recommend this book for a brand-new beginner, it’s perfect for anyone with a little experience and a thirst for more knowledge. Different traditional stitch patterns are covered in great detail, including historical facts, diagrams, black and white photos, and a bunch of goofy little sketches tossed in for good measure. I find a new thing in this book every time I look at it.

3. The Art of Manipulating Fabric

It’s not a knitting book, but this reference guide can offer loads of inspiration to an adventurous knitter. I first encountered it on an internship in Philadelphia, and I kept “borrowing” it from the designer’s desk so that I could get a better look at the huge number of ways fabric can be transformed. While the book itself is cataloging the ways woven fabric can be manipulated, there’s a lot that can be applied to knitted fabrics as well. It’s a great jumping-off point for anyone willing to experiment.

These are a few of my favorites, but there are many more great reference books out there. Check out Norah’s list from a while back, too. All these titles are a great investment, and they continue to help me years after I first stumbled across them!


5 thoughts on “Books That Teach

  1. Love to hear about good books! I am slowly building my own library. I still find that the videos out there have been incredibly helpful when the words aren’t making sense. Berroco’s are great!

  2. Well, I must admit that I’ve picked up “The Art of Knitting” and just kept going “wow!” after each page I turned. That woman is genius!

    I’m familiar with the first two books above, but the third … I’ll check it out. 🙂

  3. I love the books you have listed, but I also routinely turn to the companion to one of your selections. Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book (not the book of patterns) is all about process, and I have over the years turned to it again and again. Its simple line drawings and exhaustive presentation of alternative ways to achieve the same result are invaluable for someone who wants to go beyond “blind follower” (as E.Z. would have said) toward real command of the knitting process. There’s no unintelligible photographic fluff, just clear and concise presentation.

    It’s such an inexpensive book, and yet such a wonderful resource!

    Thanks for sharing your list. Books. Knitting. All the best stuff!

  4. I must disagree with you Amanda. Learning to knit was a singular event for me, and I am happy to say I have mastered the art. Not to toot my own horn, but I became a pretty darn good knitter after one long afternoon teaching myself. Still, good blog very glad you joined the Berroco team.

  5. I learned stockinette when I was 5 and knitted useless curling strips for a long, long time. Then someone left A Treasury of Knitting Patterns within my reach and I was off and running. I am 68 now and just now deciding to learn entrelac. I’ve never entertained the idea of socks or knitting with fingering yarn at all and now my eyes are failing, but there is still so much to learn and square needles~~~~

Leave a Reply