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The 5 Best Knitting Books Of All Time

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The 5 Best Knitting Books Of All Time

Liat Gat - Founder

October 12, 2010

I've compiled a list for you of the very best knitting books I've enjoyed throughout the years. Each book is enjoyable to read, beautiful to look at, and guaranteed to teach you something new.

Knitter's Book of YarnBooks are my favorite knitting resource.

Books are how I learned to knit, how I learned Magic Loop, and how I began to design and knit my own patterns.

To pass on the best resources I’ve found, I compiled this list for you of the very best knitting resources I’ve enjoyed throughout the years.

Each book is enjoyable to read, beautiful to look at, and guaranteed to teach you something new.

Counting down from my absolute favorite…

#1 The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, by Clara Parkes (top right).

This book will teach you to become what Clara Parkes, of Knitter’s Review, calls a yarn whisperer. After reading this book and trying one of the 40 gorgeous pattens, you’ll have a deep understanding of what yarn to choose for which project, and why.

What’s more, you’ll gain an appreciation for the varied industries that work together to provide us all with beautiful yarn. My favorite projects are the Norwegian Snail Mittens and this so so soft Classic Washcloth.

#2 Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation, by Debbie Stoller

Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation compiles 52 really original and wearable intermediate knitting projects from designers across America. My favorite projects are the Later Gator Mitts and Jesse’s Flames.

#3 Custom Knits, by Wendy Bernard

Wendy Bernard opened my eyes when it came to sweaters.

Now, no matter what your shape, you can design or modify a sweater pattern that will fit every inch of you perfectly.

I especially found the basic sweater guides in the back helpful when striking out on my own.

#4 Handknit Holidays, by Melanie Falick

This is a timeless book, absolutely filled with beautiful, winter-holiday-inspired knits.

The photography is gorgeous, the patterns feature some of the most beautiful and interesting yarns available, and the range of techniques introduced is much broader than your average pattern book.

Learn to knit with wire, double-knit, do Entrelac, Fair-Isle, mosaic knitting, not to mention knit projects with cables and lace.

Treasury of Knitting Patterns#5 A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, by Barbara Walker

Barbara Walker is the most creative mind of the century when it comes to inventing stitch patterns and designs.

Any of her four Knitting Pattern Treasuries are a worthwhile investment for when you are designing something on your own.

I’ve given you links to my list of the best knitting books on, but, if you can, please support your local yarn store when buying knitting books! Our patronage helps keep them in business.

If you enjoyed this product review, you might also like:

Tell us about your favorite knitting books. Leave a comment and share below!

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12 thoughts on “The 5 Best Knitting Books Of All Time”

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  1. Sherry Brubaker-Pollock

    One of my favorite, go-to knitting books is “Stitch Library: Over 200 Stitches for Knitters of All Abilities (Knitter’s Bible)” by Claire Crompton. It’s been a handy reference for adding decorative elements to my hats and other projects.

    And I believe Sharon Turner’s book, “Teach Yourself Visually – Knitting” is where I first learned to knit striped hats. But those were done flat, which requires seaming (blech). I’m SO happy that I eventually learned how to knit in the round!! :~)

  2. My Five best knitting books:
    June Hemmons Hiatt: The Principles of Knitting 2nd ed
    Montse Stanley: The Handknitter’s Handbook
    Melissa Morgan-Oakes: Toe-up 2-at-a-time socks
    Anna Zilboorg: Knitting for Anarchists (best ever buttonhole)
    Leslie Ann Bestor: Cast on Bind off: 54 step-by-step methods (I use this constantly)

  3. I love pattern books. Not the ones that tell you every step to complete a garment. I like “swatch” pattern books, which give just the number of rows/stitches required to form the whole pattern before repeating, and then I mix and match those to my heart’s delight. Sometimes the pattern is given “flat” and I have to convert it to “in-the-round”, and very often I will convert a pattern to begin at a different point in the repeat.

  4. Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears, was my first knitting book. For me, her sryle is perfect. She invites you into her world and opens that world with all its’ enchantment.

  5. I’m glad one of Debbie Stoller’s books made your “short list”; I always say she taught me to knit! I will second the recommendation of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books — somehow I seem to hear her voice whenever I read her work.

  6. Jacque Greenleaf

    Elizabeth Zimmermann! Creative and funny – and vastly reassuring. Two of my favorite quotes –

    You are the boss of your knitting.

    Properly practiced knitting soothes the troubled spirit. And it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.

    If you knit on circular needles, you owe a big debt to EZ. Also, she promoted knitting garments that required few or no seams. In the 50s, this was *radical*. Knitting Around is probably her best book to start with, but you can’t go wrong with any of them.

  7. I just went on and the text is pink on red texture background and I cannot read anything! Am I the only one seeing this? ONce I am in a blog site, the background is white and it’s much better. Just thought you might want to know.
    Thanks for all the info – it’s great!

    1. Hi Gaye,

      I’ve had a few people comment that it looks funny, but most people see the white background. I really don’t know what’s going on, but I’ll email you and try to get some more information and fix it. Thanks for letting me know.

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