Friday, December 29, 2006

Knitting Books

I have a great love for books. I also get a great deal of enjoyment from knitting. The two together were destined! It may be surprising then that my knitting library is fairly small.

The first book I got was Stitch 'N Bitch by Debbie Stoller. I taught myself to knit originally from this book, although I definitely used Knitting Help as well. The astute among you will notice that it is not in the above photo. There is a good reason for that. My dad borrowed it to make me a circular needle hanger last spring/summer. I have seen nothing of needle hanger or book since. I should really remind him that he has them.

The second book I bought was Stitch N' Bitch Nation. I admit that I haven't actually knit anything from this book, though I have thought about it. My roommate was working next to a bookstore and saw a used copy in great condition. She picked it up for me, and it has been living happily in my book stash since.

After I made my first pair of socks I bought Sensational Knitted Socks to expand my sock making possibilities. I haven't knit any pattern straight out of this book, but I have often referred to its handy foot measurements and gauge tables, stitch dictionaries, and description of techniques. This is a must have if you are interested in designing your own socks.

Next I bought Knitting Nature. I admit I was swayed by how much Grumperina waxed poetic over it. It is a gorgeous book though, and it is thoroughly inspiring. It also greatly pleases my inner geek as I am fascinated with chaos theory.

Socks, Socks, Socks came next. There are a number of really cute patterns in here. This is definately more of a book to follow the patterns than to encourage to break off on your own like Sensational Knitted Socks. Sometimes that is exactly what I want though.

Then while I was working in Madison, WI for school/work, I picked up Plus Sized Knits at Half Price Books. I have never seen this chain in new england, but it is great. This book looks new and has several cute sweaters I am thinking of making my mom. Honestly I have only really looked at the knitting patterns in this book, but I need to take it back down from the shelf and look in on the crochet ones too as I am feeling more comfortable with it.

My next purchase was Knitting Loves Crochet. I am new to crochet, but I loved the idea of incorporating this new technique (for me) with something I already enjoy. Plus the patterns in this book are really cute and inspiring.

I bought 2 store copies of books from a yarn store that was going out of business. Folk Socks by Nancy Bush was every bit as good a read as everyone has said. The history is really interesting, and the patterns are presented quite clearly. I plan on using this soon, although I just acquired it a few days before the holidays. At that time I also got Knitting Ganseys but honestly I haven't even cracked the spine on this one yet. My SO really likes the look of ganseys though, so it will be something to try this year.

And my final knitting book in my library isn't pictured here either (the alpha and omega it seems). For Solstice my sister got me Twisted Sock Sisters. I honestly hadn't heard of this book before 2 weeks ago when it was mentioned by Lime N' Violet, but this book is great! It has interesting ideas for spinning, dyeing and knitting socks. What isn't to love?

This tour of my knitting library doesn't include my binder of patterns, but I have to say that I tend to get more inspired to design my own variations from books. On the other hand I rarely just follow a pattern from a book because I just love it just the way it is, the way that I can with a pattern I buy/download/find online. So there are trade offs, but I think that having both allows me to maximize my kniting creativity.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Robbyn said...

I hadn't thought (and probably won't ever think) in terms of maximizing my creativity - even though that's clearly what's going on with me. I use books as guidelines and inspiration and then usually go on to do my own thing.

However, "Maximizing creativity" is a much nicer way to view it that having the vague feeling that there's something wrong with you because you can't seem to make something wholly from a pattern.

29/12/06 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Holly Burnham said...

I need lots of patterns and pattern books. I'm afraid I am a timid knitter and don't go off the beaten path often.

29/12/06 11:11 PM  

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