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Bonus! Post - Knitting recommendations - Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

About Bonus! Post - Knitting recommendations

Previous Entry Bonus! Post - Knitting recommendations Jul. 31st, 2014 @ 12:14 pm Next Entry
So, tadpoleacorn asked about knitting socks. :heh: You just opened a Pandora's box - I love knitting, I love new knitters, and I LOVE enabling. :trifecta!:

First up: I own......a lot of books. A whole LOT. The folks at Half-Price books mostly recognize me on sight now....and Paypal loves me. I am going to recommend a lot of books - please try to find them used (unless you are independently wealthy, in which case - are we related? :lol:) or see if your library has them (if your library is decent, they'll have some. Ours isn't.) If you need to purchase, hpb.com is a good place to start, as is eBay. (I try to save money. With a book habit as bad as mine is...well, I have a few resources. :lol:) If you have a scribd membership, they have quite a few knitting books there.

OK, here we go. I'll put them in categories for you:

Basic Knitting:

Knitting Without Tears by E. Zimmerman - BUY it. BUY it now. It'll free you from being a blind follower, unable to knit without a pattern. In fact, buy all her books as you come across them

The Principles of Knitting by J. Hyatt - BIG book. Overwhelming. Treat it like an Encyclopedia, and look up stuff you want to learn. Very thorough. HP has it for $9.99. :wink:

Knitting in Plain English - M. Righetti - good book, not my favorite, but gives more detailed instructions than E. Zimmerman.

Knitting Rules! by S. McPhee (the YarnHarlot) - similar to E. Zimmerman, but written to a younger, more tech-savvy audience. (I recommend all her books, as well - most are essays about living as a Knitter, and are oh, so true!)

Kids Knit! by S. Bradberry - Good, basic beginner's book. Projects might be boring for an adult, but if the other books are too intimidating (so. many. words!) this one might click for you.

The Knitter's Book of Wool/Knitter's Book of Yarn by C. Parkes - good overview of the hows and whys of wool/yarn choices in your fiber projects. Some patterns, but they're really all about the fiber.

Socks:

Sensational Knitted Socks/More Sensational Knitted Socks by C. Schurch. Lots of patterns, good explanations

Socks a la Carte/et al by Raffino & Cade - Novel approach; they use flip-pages so you can mix-and-match different cuffs/legs/feet.

Sock Innovation by Cookie A. - Good, but not necessarily for beginners. Buy it, then read it after you've got a couple of pairs of socks under your belt. She's very....engineering-minded, and it shows.

Sock-Knitting Master Class by A. Budd - VERY good book, starts with "easy" socks and gently leads you to glorious color-knit ones. Comes with a DVD (that I've never looked at. :lol:).

The Knitter's Book of Socks by C. Parkes - this was an interesting read; she goes into what types of yarn are best - and why! - and then starts on the patterns. I just got this one, and actually learned something new! (I'm jaded - most sock books are just new patterns, not new info to me. This was a nice surprise!)

Other knitting subjects:

Fabulous Fairisle by J. Allen - good for learning how to do stranded knitting

A Gathering of Lace by M. Swanson - lovely, lovely, LOVELY lace patterns, from socks to shawls and everything in between. Nice eye-candy as well as a nice book!

Knitter's Stash by B. Albright - cool book that has patterns from yarn stores all over the US. You could use it for geography lessons AND knitting! :lol:

No Idle Hands by A. MacDonald - History of Knitting in America. FASCINATING for the history buff as well as the knitter. No patterns (that I recall), but very interesting reading!

Folk Shawls by C. Oberle - Shawl patterns representing the shawls from around the world. Lots of lovely stuff here!

ANYTHING put out by Interweave Press - they have lovely patterns; well-written and well-edited. "Interweave Knits" is a bimonthly magazine; "Piecework" is not just knitting but all fiber crafts (bi-monthly also); "Spin-Off" is aimed at Handspinners; "Handwoven" is aimed at weavers. I have a lot of their collections - each one was worth full-price, in my opinion.

For eye-candy and jaw-dropping designs (but for later, when you have more experience!) - anything by A. Starmore - she who shall not be named. She's re-issuing a lot of her books - finally! - but....well, she's got a reputation in the knitting community, and it's not good. Her works are AMAZING, though - worth picking up if you run across any of them.

Websites:

Knitting help - videos on just about every technique imaginable.

Knitting at About.com - lots of techniques and patterns, but all in written form.

Knitting Pattern Central - TONS of patterns, both free and paid

Ravelry - where a TON of knitters/crocheters/spinners/weavers hang out. The pattern collection is...well, it's mind-boggling (I currently have a queue that's almost to 600 :gulp: and I haven't even scratched the surface!) You could easily knit your entire family's wardrobe from the free patterns here! You need to be a member, but it's free, so.....make sure you have a huge block of free time before you dive in!

I don't have any favorite YouTube channels, but there's a LOT out there. And, there's always the opportunity to go to a Yarn Store if you get really stuck and no one around you can help (but generally speaking, it's nice to actually buy something there when you ask for help.) My problem is that the nearest Yarn Store is 1 hour away.....so I had to muddle thru and teach myself for the most part.

I haven't even scratched the surface, here - but these should get you started. I have.....well, I have 2 bookcases in the Studio. 1 for magazines (almost full) and 1 for books (OVERfull!), with most of the overflow in the bedroom/living room/homeschool room. I think that all knowledge is useful, and when I run across a book that a) I don't have and b) has at least 1 thing in it I might eventually want to knit (or has some info that I didn't know before!), I grab it and bring it home. Honestly, if the internet went down today, I'd still have plenty of stuff to knit without repeating the same things over and over again....and I'd have books with new techniques in them so I could do new things. My knitting shelves are sorted by what the books mostly are for (sweaters/socks/hats/gloves/etc) so it might take a while to settle on 1 pattern, but I'd get there eventually. :lol:

Hope this helps! I have a ton more books - if you run across one, chances are I've either got it or seen it (and didn't grab it because I have one very similar to it on my shelves). I'd be happy to discuss all things yarn!

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