The Knitting Book


If you’re looking for one knitting book that will be your go-to resource for questions, tutorials and instructions, then The Knitting Book by Frederica Patmore and Vicki Haffenden is a great choice.  This book is referred to as the “knitting bible”.  The book covers yarn, techniques, stitches and patterns.  A complete collection of information that allows you to create your own knitting projects and accessories for your wardrobe, or home.

The Knitting Book has an impressive 4.7 star rating and when you dig a little deeper into the reviews, it actually bumps this up to a 5-star book.  One reviewer gave the book 3 stars because as an older reader she thought that the text in the book was too hard to read.  But as far as the material included in the book, this reviewer thought that it was a beautiful book.  It just goes to show you that you sometimes need to dig a little deeper when looking at reviews, because some people take points off for things that really aren’t fair (or that may not be important to you).



What reviewers love about this book:

  • A beautiful, glossy book with tons of information
  • Covers the basics, but so much more
  • Has roughly 20 pages that cover the different methods of casting on
  • Discusses different types of yarns.  You’ll be happy with all of your projects when you choose the perfect yarn to match your needs.
  • Lots of knitting project ideas.  From hats, mittens and scarfs, to tea cosies, bags and baby gifts!
  • Clear, colored, detailed photos to help illustrate everything
  • A great How to Learn to Knit book for the beginner, but full of great information for experienced knitters too.  As a 37 year knitting veteran said, if you only add 1 knitting book to your collection, The Knitting Book should be the one.


Knitted Dolls Book Review


knitted-dollsI just picked up a copy of Knitted Dolls: Handmade Toys With Designer Wardrobes.  This beautiful book is the creation of Arne & Carlos, two Scandinavian designers who first hit the scene with their book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit.  That’s another book on my wish list.  It will probably be one of my next purchases.

When I opened the package I was immediately impressed by this book.  It is absolutely stunning.  The pictures throughout the book are incredible.  So bright and cheery, it makes you want to go out and knit a new doll right away.  At least that’s how I felt.  Unfortunately I don’t have the right supplies on hand, so my project will have to wait.  I’ll be sure to post a follow-up once I get one of these adorable dolls completed.

The other thing I like about this book is it’s heft.  As a hardcover with 200 pages, this book is chalk-full of great information.  These projects are designed to be knit as separates.  Choose which doll you’d like to make and then select an outfit.  The outfits for these dolls truly are designer quality.  Nothing boring here, just fun and original ideas that you’ll love to make.  And if you let your daughter play with them, she’ll surely enjoy playing dress-up with these dolls.

Aran Knitting Patterns Book


When you feel like you want to move beyond the basic garter and stockinette stitches in knitting patterns for beginners, then take a look at Aran knitting patterns.  Aran knitting includes beautiful cables and motifs that turn your knitting into art.  You may think of the classic Irish knit sweaters as one type of Aran knit, but there are plenty of other Aran patterns to consider as you search for your next project.

Aran Knitting New and Expanded By Alice Starmore

This book by Alice Starmore is a customer favorite.  As a world-renowned author and knitting designer, Alice is known for her beautiful patterns and insight into the history of Aran knitting.  Knitting enthusiasts are thrilled that this classic book has been reprinted and republished in a new edition.  This updated version includes a new foreword from the author, new patterns and expanded sizes.

Aran Knitting PatternsThe book includes the popular St. Brigid pullover sweater, that has been updated to include smaller sizes.  Alice Starmore’s Aran knitting patterns are known for three of her personal motifs, the anchor, heart and knotwork.  Her designs use a unique technique to create the continuous line that is prevalent in Celtic knitting patterns.

The classic Aran Knitting book is on many knitter’s bookshelves and this revised edition is worthy of the same attention.  While some reviewers thought the book was old fashioned and a little dull, it is a classic after all and so it may not have the big splash of newer books.  Most reviewers rave about this book and say that it is a must have for any, knitting book collector, Alice Starmore fans, or enthusiasts of Aran knitting patterns.  In fact, a whopping 77% of all reviewers give this book 5 stars.

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Bolero Jacket: Debbie Bliss Knitting Patterns Simply Soft


I recently finished a bolero shrug that I’ve been working on for a while.  It wasn’t a difficult project, but just took me a while to finish because it was one of many ongoing projects.  I’m pleased to finally have it completed.

Closeup View of Bolero Jacket
Front View of Bolero Jacket
Back View of Bolero Jacket

The bolero jacket pattern is from the Simply Soft Pattern Book by Debbie Bliss.  Although the book is designed to be used with the corresponding Simply Soft yarn, I chose to use Mano del Uruguay yarn instead.  I fell in love with the deep red and burgundy colors in the yarn that I chose.  I felt that since the pattern for the jacket was essentially just stockinette stitch, I needed a yarn that provided some depth and character to it.  A solid color yarn would have been too boring.

I enjoyed knitting this jacket/sweater.  The pattern uses short rows to create a full collar that really adds so much to the design.  Additional detail includes a longer rib on the sleeves, which you could choose to roll-up if desired.  I enjoyed the pattern for the jacket, but the yarn was not my favorite.  Although Mano del Uruguay produces a beautiful yarn, my problem is with the consistency of the yarn.  There is great variance in the thickness of the yarn.  At times the yarn became so thin that it was like knitting with sport-weight yarn.  Other times the wool was so thick it felt like a chunky yarn.  The thicker sections I could tolerate, but the thinner sections really bothered me.  I feel that it weakens that section of the jacket and made the stitches not look as crisp.

Debbie Bliss Knitting Patterns Simply Soft

Debbie Bliss Knitting Patterns Simply Soft

There are several patterns in the Debbie Bliss Simply Soft book that I would try.  There is a Patterned Yoke Jacket for a baby that looks nice and there are several sweater and shrug patterns that I find appealing.  At this point I’ve started another project, but once I get it is completed I may start on another Debbie Bliss design.  I find her patterns easy to follow and her designs are always appealing.  Next time I may even choose one of her yarns to go with the pattern.  You simply can’t lose with her soft, cashmere yarn.


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Knitter’s Almanac Book Review


A few months ago I decided that it was high time that I pick-up an Elizabeth Zimmermann book. Zimmermann, the Julia Child of the knitting world, was a pioneer decades ago in how she approached knitting.  Her books have stood the test of time and even today can provide guidance and inspiration to knitters. The Knitter’s Almanac provides projects for each month of the year.

Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann

The Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann is a book that I would classify as an oldy, but a goody.  Written in 1974 and updated in 1981, the book has an old fashioned style.  Unlike today’s knitting books, it lacks the beautiful color photos that we are so used to seeing these days.  The book provides a black and white photo for each project and the pattern charts are hand-written by Elizabeth.  As I was reading the book, I felt like I was in Elizabeth’s living room watching her knit and work.  She is inviting, engaging and cuts to the chase.

While the patterns are not ones that I would probably find myself knitting, I still enjoyed the Knitter’s Almanac and think that it is a welcome addition to my knitting book library.  With every pattern Elizabeth provides tips and recommendations on how to adjust the pattern to suit your needs.  I think that this is Elizabeth’s most significant contribution to the knitting world; her ability to teach us how to feel comfortable enough to change knitting patterns and designs without being scared.

The knitting patterns in the book include a little bit of everything; whether you fancy Aran Knitting, socks, baby clothes, shawls or Fair Isle knitting.  And if the pattern isn’t quite modern enough for you, I think that it can still be used as the foundation for designing your own sweater.

At only $7.99 I feel like the Knitter’s Almanac is a bargain and a great book to have on hand as a resource.

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Vogue Knitting Book Review


Whether you are a beginner or advanced knitter, Vogue Knitting is one book that you should include in your knitting library.  This book provides a wealth of information, including a history of knitting, basic techniques, a dictionary on knitting stitches and patterns for knitting.

What I like about this book is that it not only provides straight-forward instructions and explanations, but it also provides beautiful color photographs that help bring the instructions to life.  As an example, the book does a nice job of outlining how to correct errors in your knitting.  If you’ve ever faced a dropped-stitch and were unsure how to pick-up the stitch without having to rip out all of your work, then Vogue Knitting would have been just what you needed.  Their step-by-step instructions show how to pick-up the stitch either with your knitting needle or with a crochet hook.  It also addresses picking-up a knit stitch verses a purl stitch.

If you are a relatively new knitter and have been working primarily on knitting hats and scarves, then this book could help you take the plunge into more complicated patterns and techniques.  You’ll be able to learn more about short-rows, color knitting and how to design your own knitting patterns.

Blocking, Assembling and Finishing can be one of the most important steps in your knitting.  This chapter will help provide all of the tips needed to ensure that your project has the finished look of a pro.   Knitting a sweater is half the battle; the detail is in the care that one puts into assembling the pieces to get a finished project that fits properly, has smooth stitches and flawless seams.  Vogue Knitting will show you how to join different stitches so that you always end-up with a virtually hidden seam.

Whether you need some help learning how to knit or just like to have valuable knitting reference books at your disposal, Vogue Knitting is one book that is worthy of its reputation.  I guarantee that this book will be one that you turn to time and time again.

Knitting On The Edge Book Review


I purchased Knitting On The Edge a few years ago, but hadn’t picked it up in a while.  I sat down a few weeks ago to run through the book to see if I could get some ideas for some knitting patterns for scarves.  As I looked at all of the beautiful patterns captured in this book, I was reminded why I had purchased it in the first place.

Knitting On The Edge by Nicky Epstein

This book is a beautiful reference for designs that can be used for a multitude of projects.  For scarf knitting patterns, designing a new sweater or knitted hat patterns, this book is sure to be a great resource for you time and time again.

Nicky Epstein has written two Knitting On The Edge books.  The first version is the ribs, ruffles, lace, fringes, flora, points & picot.  Her second book covers unique ribs, cords, appliques, colors and nouveau.  I own the hardcover of the ribs, ruffles and fringes book.  The book has 168 color pages of beautiful designs that would add the perfect finish to any project.  The book is laid-out by the type of design, so you can quickly jump to the section that fits your needs.  Each instruction includes a symbol to let you know whether the design is to be knit from the bottom up, top down or whether it is to be knit separately and then attached to your garment.  If you’re looking for scarf knitting patterns that have designs that look good from both sides, you can search the designs in the book for those that are considered reversible.

On top of providing you with dozens of designs, the book also includes 7 patterns.  From a Vintage Lace Pullover to a Layered Ruffle Bag, the patterns will give you an opportunity to put Nicky Epstein’s designs to work.  This book is the perfect addition to any knitter’s collection.  And with the addition of a paperback version of this book now available, the book is more affordable than ever.

If you’re a beginner knitter, the designs outlined in Knitting On The Edge are a perfect way to expand your knitting skills.  Simply pick-up some needles, grab some spare yarn and start knitting.  You can challenge yourself with learning a new cable pattern or how to do ruffles.  And for the experienced knitter, how about using the book to try designing your own projects?  The opportunities are endless with such a beautiful and informative book.