Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ten Books No Knitter Should Be Without

It's December 1, our anniversary. As part of the celebration, we've compiled a list of books we think no knitter should be without, and they're all on sale for 10% off today through December 10. Come into the shop, or click here to see them online.

1. Scarf Style, by Pam Allen Because it's more than we ever thought could be done with them.

2. The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, by Ann Budd Because you'll have instructions for all the basic sweaters, in many sizes, in many gauges.

3. Colorworks, by Deb Menz Because it includes so many examples and such great tools.

4. The Joy of Knitting, by Lisa R. Myers Because Allison told me I had to include it.

5. Folk Shawls, by Cheryl Oberle Because most knitters who buy it make at least 3 or 4 of the designs, and intend to make more.

6. Socks Socks Socks, edited by Elaine Rowley Because the 70 patterns include much more variety than any single-designer sock book ever could.

7. The Knitter’s Companion, by Vicki Square Because it's everything you reach for again and again, in a format that you can keep in your knitting bag.

8. Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book Because everyone should have one giant encyclopedia.

9. A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, by Barbara Walker, vol. 1-4 The original and still the best.

10. The Opinionated Knitter, by Elizabeth Zimmermann The logical complement to #2: a book that will help you think outside the box.

In Case of Shipwreck
These are my personal “desert-island” picks: ten books that, together, could keep me busy for the rest of my life. Alphabetical by title.

1. Alice Starmore, The Art of Fair Isle Knitting The color-theory section isn’t as good as Ann Feitelson’s, but for that I have Colorworks; Starmore’s stitch dictionary is unrivaled.
2. ---, Aran Knitting A brilliant, developmental examination of cable patterns and techniques. The sweaters aren’t bad, either.
3. Uberlieferte Strickmuster aus dem Steirischen Ennstal A 3-volume compendium of stitch patterns, mostly traveling-stitch work, from the Steyr region of the Enns River valley in Austria. Plus garment patterns for vests, jackets, and many, many elaborate stockings. In German, of course.
4. Debbie Bliss, Classic Knits for Kids or Bright Knits for Kids Casual, easy-to-wear stuff for real kids, several in sizes that would fit adults.
5. Deb Menz, Colorworks Hands-on color theory for those who work with fiber, including examples of all the major color harmonies (triadic, complementary, etc.) in spinning, knitting, weaving, patchwork, beadwork, embroidery, more.
6. Dalebarn Book 89 My favorite Baby Ull book of all time—includes the ladybug set, the Tyrolean ensemble, and the classic Setesdal sweater.
7. Vicki Square, Folk Bags Most of them would need to be tweaked at least a little—they’re not very sturdy—but the interpretations of a wide array of traditional containers are wonderful.
8. Meg Swansen, A Gathering of Lace I can do without the hats and gloves, but there are enough stunning shawls here to keep me busy for many years.
9. Kaffe Fassett’s Pattern Library Kaffe’s garment shapes are never the most interesting part of his work; this has just the charts (and color photos of swatches) for hundreds of his designs.
10. Nicky Epstein, Knitted Embellishments Her edging books seem kind of repetitive to me, but this one is endlessly inventive, and includes thought-provoking sketches of design possibilities for many of the techniques.

Reminder: Today's free lesson is on paired, symmetrical increases (M1R and M1L), and it's at 11 a.m.

1 comment:

Carol said...

What a fun topic!
Personally, I'd probably add either Weekend Knitting or Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick; Knitting from the Top Down, by Barbara Walker; Folk Mittens; Folk Socks, Knitting on the Road and anything else by Nancy Bush.

And The Joy of Knitting Companion. Did Lisa mention she'd be happy to sign either Joy of Knitting book for you? She would, I know it. A personal dedication would make an extra-special gift, you know.