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My Knitting Library.

You might have noticed that I am actually ding more of the making fabric with sticks and string thing recently – and I thought that maybe you are interested in the knitting library I have. Which is… how shall I put it… rather minimalistic.


That’s it. That is my full knitting book library.

I like to look at knitting patterns, but I’m not a collector – so I’m not someone to buy a magazine just for the patterns. In fact, I leaf through them and usually think something along the lines of “oh, a basic sweater with lace pattern XYZ, aha, nice” or “ah, cabled socks, nice, cable soandso looks pretty in this yarn” – but then I sort of not want to knit it. Or I think that I’d probably fare better by taking a standard vanilla patterns for a sweater or socks (of which I know it will fit me) and modify that with lace pattern XYZ or cable pattern soandso. (I’m looking at food and recipe magazines the same way – I look at something and think “ah, variation on basic stew A” or “hm, standard cake batter with some extra spices thrown in” and that’s it.)

So when I set out to assembly my knitting library, I knew what I wanted – also thanks to the first book in the assembly: Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. This is a wonderful book – it is fun to read and it’s chock full of good, sane, sensible advice, tips and tricks. It has a very sane view on gauge swatches, for instance.  It’s a lovely book, and I would recommend it to anyone who starts out to knit in a heartbeat.  It also advises to have a stitch dictionary and a basic knitting technique book in the knitting library.

Advice I took to heart – and got a small stitch dictionary, with pretty colourful pictures – the one you see to the right of Knitting Rules. It’s called “Field Guide to Knitting”. It is nice… but I very soon found out that there are so, so many more stitch patterns than in that book, and that I’d prefer having more patterns instead of colourful photos. And then I found out about Barbara G. Walker’s “Treasury of Knitting Patterns” series, and got the first three books. (There is a fourth one, but that was not as interesting to me as the first three, so I left it at that.) I wouldn’t buy the Field Guide anymore, but I totally recommend the Treasury books; they are indeed a treasure trove, and utterly wonderful to leaf through.

The “sock innovation” book, written by Cookie A, was a souvenir from one of our England travels, and while it is quite nice and I did make a pair of socks out of it, I was sort of disappointed by the book. It promises to tell you how to design and adapt sock patterns, but the patterns in the book are only given in one single size, and I’d have appreciated to actually have examples of adaptation instead of just a hint on which technique to use. Also I prefer to knit my socks toe-up, and these are all cuff-down. The socks are beautiful, and I did enjoy looking through the book and marveling at the intricate patterns, but I’m pretty sure I would not buy that one again.

The remaining two books are June Hiatt’s “Principles of Knitting” and Cap Sease’s “Cast on, Bind Off”, and both were very good buys. They are both solid books, full of information on how to do things – especially the “Principles” will probably tell you about everything you need to know about everything.

So… in the nine years since I started knitting, I managed to buy only two knitting books that I’m not still in love with, and that I would probably not get again. I also managed to buy only eight books altogether, including those two. With the six others, I have yet to find another book that I feel would add more knowledge not covered already to this bit of the bookshelf – so I am really happy with these choices!

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