One of the best things about a knitting hobby are the beautiful knitting books out there, filled with patterns, stories, photographs, recipes, tutorials, tips and tricks. Knitting books are your constant knitting friends, always there when you need inspiration or help with your knitting.
Cultivating a knitting book library is the best way to maintain a wealth of knitting knowledge at your fingertips. Multiple books give you different points of view about various techniques, helping you learn when a teacher isn't available, especially for those times when in mid-project you need immediate help and the LYS is closed.
This list should give you a great idea of what to look for at amazon, your local library or bookstore. They are the best knitting books for beginners and anyone who wants to learn how to knit.
The Best Learn to Knit Book
Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes Elizabeth Zimmerman is the patron saint of knitting and her easy to read directions will have you knitting in no time!
The Most Fun Learn to Knit Book
Stitch N Bitch The Knitter's Handbook by Debbie Stoller is chock full of fantastically fun knitting patterns. Some people think she single-handedly shaped the resurgence of knitting as a popular hobby among young people.
Best Knitting Reference Books
The Principals of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt is a knitting classic that was originally publishd in the 1990's and then went out of print, promptly sending the price of the existing copies through the roof. The new version is revised and updated and provides detailed information about many knitting methods and explains the pros and cons of each technique. Definitely the textbook of knitting.
Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley is a readable description of nearly every every knitting technique imaginable with excellent illustrations. Once you've got the basics of knitting down, you can read this book front to back and get a better understanding of how different knitting techniques work. This is a book I keep returning to whenever I am uncertain that I'm doing something correctly.
Best Book to Learn How to Read a Knitting Pattern
Kate Atherley is a legendary knitting pattern tech editor. Many knitting pattern designers swear by her ability to ensure that a knitting pattern is written clearly and correctly, with knitting pattern best practices in mind. In learning to knit, having multiple books at your disposal is important. I recommend that knitters start with a basic book, like Stitch and Bitch, then invest in a reference that has lots of illustrations. Until now I didn't have a great resource to recommend to help knitters understand the nuances of knitting and why certain techniques are chosen over others, and how to prepare a knitting project to ensure the best end product. Kate Atherly's book Beyond Knit and Purl walks knitters through each genre and aspect of knitting -from lace to colorwork, from casting on to knitting in the round in detail so you fully understand how to do a knitting technique and why.
Best Book to Teach Yourself How to Knit... Again
Maybe you learned how to knit when you were younger and you've forgotten, or you just want a book of simple patterns in chunky yarns to get you knitting again. Sarah White's book of baby knitting patterns is a great place to start, especially if the reason you want to knit again is the impending arrival of a new baby.
Quick and Easy Baby Knits, by Sarah White whill have you knitting again in no time. This book of adorable and useful baby items will make your new child feel warm and welcomed in the world -and have you back in knitting form again.
Best Book to Teach You How to Cast-On
Casting on stitches is one of the most difficult things to grasp when you're a new knitter. If you want a little extra help Cast On, Bind Off by Leslie Ann Bestor will show you the way. You won't just learn the beginner cast ons and bind offs, you'll learn a bunch of them and understand why one might be better than another for a given knitting project.
Best Books of Knitting Finishing Techniques
On this occasion it's a toss up between two books. Finishing techniques can be notoriously difficult to grasp and having two resources can often provide a more complete picture of how the most finicky technique is accomplished.
Finishing Techniques for Hand Knittersby Sharon Brant is well photographed and contains simply beautifuly patterns to learn each technique. Successfully knit every pattern in this book and you could be considered a knitting master.
The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nanci M Wiseman offers pros and cons for many of the techniques she discusses, helping you to choose the right one for your project. Excellent photos and binding makes this reference nice to have open next to your latest challenging knit project.
Best Book of Scarves
Scarf Style by Pam Allen. Scarf Style has 31 scarf patterns to tickle every fancy. Try your hand at lace knitting, cables and color work. Scarf Style offers opportunities to learn all of these techniques with a minimal investment of yarn, but a maximum impact of design. Personal favorites: Forbes Forest, Ene's Scarf, Interlocking Balloons and Backyard Leaves.
Great gorgeous styles to inspire you. In fact, all of the books from the Style series from Interweave Press are drool worthy, inspiring and informative including Lace Style, Wrap Style, and Color Style.
Best Books of New Scarves
Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr turns scarf knitting upside down. If you're sick of knitting the same boring old scarf, check out this book. The designs are innovative without being overly fussy. Their simplicity sets the stage for these kinds of scarves to become new classics for a new era.
Best Gifts to Make for the Holidays
Holiday Knits by Sara Lucas and Allison Isaacs provides great gift ideas for the December holidays, but employ a little creativity and you can use different colors and motifs for these gifts year round. Every project is useful and thoughtful!
Best Single Skein Project Books
One Skein by Leigh Radford is a treasure trove of simple gift knitting. I love the baby gifts and accessories for men. This is my first choice when I'm thinking of knitting something special for a friend or family member.
One More Skein, by Leigh Radford inspires me because it's full of great projects that aren't too difficult and pack a big punch. They're visually beautiful while still being easy and quick to knit. They're the kind of projects that wow non-knitters when presented as gifts. It's especially awesome for holiday knitting as there's something for everyone inside.
Best Books of Inspiring Patterns
Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick depicts knitting as an idyllic pursuit and evokes the feeling of drinking a warm cup of tea, or taking a long hot bath just by reading. Don't have time to knit? Read this book and you'll get all of the relaxing benefits without the hard work. Favorite patterns: Reverse Bloom Flower Washcloths, Farmer's Market Bag, Perfect Pie Shawl and the Fingerless Mitts.
Best Books to Learn About Yarn
The Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes has projects for every type of yarn. She describes every type of fiber and gauge and provides projects for each. The lace and color work patterns are especially striking and I love Ollie the Octopus.
The Book of Wool, by Clara Parkes is the sequel to the Book of Yarn and if you're looking for an understanding of why certain wools behave in different ways, then this is a great purchase for you. It has a terrific balance of patterns and information.
Best Book to Figure Out What To Do With Your Random Bits of Yarn
Simple Knits With a Twist, by Erika Knight has a ton of fun and unusual projects to help you pare down your yarn stash. There are lots of great patterns for the home -pillows, toys, bags, rugs and even an Ikea chair cover. It's what I read when I need to shake up my yarn stash.
Best Books of Knitting Patterns for Men
The Knitting Man(ual) by Kristin Spurkland features patterns for the everyman. The shapes are simple, but striking and provide excellent opporunities for color work. The accessories are outstanding and make great gifts for the man in your life.
Men's Knits by Erika Knight. Where The Knitting Man(ual) is more quirky, Men's Knits is much more traditional. If you're looking for patterns to knit for your dad, or grandfather these are the patterns for you. Men's Knits is really for men of all ages -it's now a go-to book for me when knitting gifts for the men in my life.
What's your favorite knitting book? What are the knitting books that have taught you how to knit? Let us know in the comments.