Knit Lit

You know how great it feels when people whom you love and are from different parts of your life meet each other? You can’t stop smiling and you try to speak but only rainbows shoot out of your mouth? Wait, what? Only me? Fine.

Anyway, this is how I feel when two of my favorite things on earth merge: knitting and books. Though I pretty much refuse to purchase any more books due to lack of space, I struggle when it comes to knitting books. You never stop using a knitting book. In fact, you look at it over and over again, dreaming about what you could make.

knit lit

Click to view my knitting library

Take, for instance, a snapshot of my “shelf” on Ravelry, where I store information about all of the books in my knitting library or that I have fallen in love with and placed on my wishlist. Seriously, some of these books have been used so much that pages are falling out.You can click to view my Ravelry book list (and if you aren’t on Ravelry, you really should be so stop wasting time…)

A few of my favorites:

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Newsboy Cap from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch n Bitch Nation

1. Debbie Stoller’s Stitch n Bitch Nation. This is the book that taught me so much of what I know about knitting. I am a self-taught knitter and the Knitting for Dummies book just wasn’t doing it for me. What that says about me, I’m not sure. Stoller’s books come with fantastic, cute pictures that show you the anatomy of a stitch like no other explanation. In fact, when I became a knitting teacher, this was the first book I told my students they must purchase. The descriptions of a purl “scarf” and knit “noose” were something I used daily in my classes. Debbie Stoller is my hero. I’ve probably knit the most projects from her Stitch n Bitch Nation book, but any of her books are golden.

2. AlternaKNITS Felt by Leigh Radford changed my hard-fast opinions about felting. Prior to this book, I detested felt objects. They always seemed hokey to me. One look at this book, given to me by a precious friend who I taught how to knit, and I instantly changed my mind. There are gorgeous projects in here, quite a few which I still yearn to make. For an example of the cuteness, please check a look at my Felted Coin Purse.

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Armwarmers from Kris Percival’s Speed Knitting

3. Speed Knitting is exactly what it sounds like, knitters all jacked up on Mountain Dew and/or illegal drugs. Just joking. Can I just tell you that Kris Percival is a genius? I haven’t flipped through a book of hers that I haven’t wanted to knit at least half of the patterns out of. Speed Knitting is another book that I encouraged my beginning knitters to purchase. The reason is that beginners have to see progress or will want to give up. I dislike quitters. This book gives them simple projects on larger needles that they can knit in a reasonable amount of time and feel really proud of themselves. It is also great for seasoned knitters with knitting ADD, like me.  For proof of it’s awesomeness, check out my Fastest Armwarmers in the West.

4. Last Minute Knitted Gifts is a treasure from the folks over at PurlSoho. Everything in it is lust-worthy. I had this book checked-out from the library more times than I can count, and finally own my very own copy. The books is organized by geniuses. The premises is this: Hey – do you only have two hours to make something for that baby shower, here are some ideas! Oh, you have one week to knit something, here are some other projects. I adore it. This book was a lifesaver when making a last-minute kerchief for an adorable friend who can pull off such accessories. I also adore the Chevron Scarf.

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MItered Coasters from Ann Budd’s Knitted Gifts

5. Knitted Gifts: Irresistible Projects to Make and Give is written by another knitting genius, Ann Budd. What can I say, knitting designers are amazing people. As you likely know by now, I love to knit for others. I have been knitting for almost a decade but have knit myself maybe fifteen to twenty items. I just love giving, especially when I’ve made it. This book provides some amazing gifts, both big and small and for the home or for yourself. This book also taught me how to make the mighty miter, which is exquisite in coaster form.

There it is, a few of my knitterly reading obsessions. I hope you have discovered something new and maybe even added some of these amazing books to your wishlist. Please, feel free to comment and tell us about some of your favorite books.  I really do think I can make some room on my shelves….

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3 thoughts on “Knit Lit

  1. Ah…. yes. Must agree that Debbie Stoller is the bomb.com and because of her I learned to knit. Will defiKNITly have to check out some of your suggestions! I recently purchased ‘Knitting Vintage: 30 Knitting Projects Inspired by Period Fashions’ and it is a beautiful book. I really enjoy reading knitting books (you too?) and the gorgeous, colorful concept pages are drool-worthy!

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