Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Three Of The Best Books For Beginner Knitters

I've met a lot of people who are starting to knit recently. It's great, especially when I'm with our knitting group because everyone there is an expert at something and can always help a new person out, if you have a question in our facebook group someone always knows a good video but I'm the type of person that learns from books so here are my top three for new knitters.

 1) Stitch 'n Bitch.

This book was a huge deal when I first started knitting. Everyone had an opinion of Stitch 'n Bitch: was it irreverent and disrespectful? was it the only book catering to young knitters? was it the perfect beginners book? was it sloppy and just too hip?

Take it from someone who learned from Stitch 'n Bitch: It's a great book. Personally I found Debbie Stoller's personal story and the way she puts knitting into a social context engaging and respectful of the craft. If you don't skip it, ignore it exists. Get to the information. It's comprehensive, without being overwhelming. It will teach you your knit and purl without fuss and I think the Kitschy Kerchief  is a great way to learn shaping.

Big Bad Baby Blanket
After that there is the stuff that keeps me coming back. Eight years after I first learned to knit I'm still flipping through the techniques to read up on something I haven't done before (or much of before) Just last week I was using it to knit colour work.

Official Kittyville Hat

As for the patterns? There is a variety of techniques, styles, degrees of hipness. Some I'll never wear but I've knit about seven of them. My default adult hat and default baby hat are in here. More sit in both my Ravelry queue and that part of my brain where I keep all those 'some day' ideas.

2) The Knitting Answer Book

Unlike Stitch n' Bitch I never read this one cover to cover. Well, okay, I did. I'm a complete nerd so I did but you don't have too. This one is for keeping in your knitting bag, or on your kindle. Or both. When you hit a problem, whether it's a problem purling or a casting on your first lace shawl there is an answer in here.

3) Knit 2 Together

Honestly, after you've learned the basics I think the best thing to do is just knit. Pick the pattern you want and just make it. Learn any new skills you need as you come to them. Nothing is harder to learn than knit and purl anyway.
Luxe Neckwarmer

So the third book I recommend is a pattern book. Knit 2 Together is bright fun and full of stylish knits aimed at the adventurous beginner. The pattern 'First Hat' is perfect for your... first hat and as the book goes on you'll find lace, colour-work and adventure. There's always the reminder section in the back if you have forgotten your ssk or M1 (I'll confess this now, I always forget how to M1)

First Hat

The best thing about this book is that it gives the beginner a bunch of confidence to try something new. But if it's not your style? There's plenty of knitting books out there...


  1. What a great review! I'm doing a miniseries of tips for beginning knitters on my blog. Can I include a link to this?