If I’m not curled up on the couch in the evening with a knitting project on my needles, I’m perusing knitting books for inspiration. I’m always pondering the big question “what should I knit next?” Whether you’ve been knitting for weeks, months, years, or decades, an inspirational knitting library is a must. Knitting books can delight, encourage, tempt, and even taunt a knitter. Which 5 books should every knitter, from novice to advanced, keep on their book shelf?
“Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac”
There’s a reason that knitters of all ages know the name Elizabeth Zimmermann. If you are only going to own one of her books (though I also recommend “Knitting without Tears” and “The Opinionated Knitter”), “The Knitter’s Almanac” is the one to buy. The book offers 12 knitting projects, one for each month. Each is described in the confines of the chapter with slightly more detailed instructions at the end of the book. Zimmermann’s patterns are straightforward, her stories clear and touching, and her ultimate work a masterpiece that every knitter should own and cherish.
“The Big Book of Knitted Monsters”
Though she’s been independently publishing patterns since 2009, “The Big Book of Knitted Monsters” is the first knitting book by Rebecca Danger. The book includes 20 knitted monster patterns, detailed instructions and photographs for techniques, and information on yarn selection, needle size, and gauge. Though I wasn’t sure I could become a knitter of monsters, I’ve owned this book for less than two months and have already knit five of the patterns found in its pages. I can’t say that about any other knitting pattern book on my shelf. Knitted monsters are quick, easy, and addicting.
Even before I was a sock knitter, I owned “Favorite Socks” from Interweave Press. The sock patterns in this compilation are both beautiful and inspiring. The patterns are clear, well-written, and error-free. This is one of the most, if not the most, popular and well-known sock knitting books. Whether you are knitting your first pair of Embossed Leaves or mastering the basics with Priscilla’s Dream Socks, you should own and cherish “Favorite Socks.”
Wendy Bernard has hit a home-run with this sweater design book, including both gorgeous patterns and plenty of information to help you customize and design your own top-down sweaters. The patterns in “Custom Knits” are clear and easy to follow. The finished objects are destined to be both wearable and fashionable additions to your wardrobe. In addition, the book encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and customize patterns in order to make them your own. You’ll be a better knitter (and end up with a better result) when you do.
“Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter”
I can relate personally to over half of the stories that author Stephanie Pearl-McPhee relates in her classic knitting comedy book. “Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter” will appeal to all who love knitting, regardless of their skill level. From stories about the hunt for more yarn to finish a project to what happens to a knitter at Christmas-time, Pearl-McPhee delights readers with both laughter and “I do that!” moments. Though it isn’t filled with patterns, it will help round out your knitting bookshelf.