newknittersguidelogoAs part of our New Knitter's Guide we're sharing all of the items that will help new knitters immerse themselves into knitting culture. The Yarn Harlot is one of our most prominent writers. A recommendation from her can send a knitting pattern's popularity into the stratosphere. That's why we've occasionally referred to her as the Oprah of Knitting.

If you've been knitting for a little while you may have heard whisperings of "of course you should knit this, The Yarn Harlot has made 8 of them". Who is the Yarn Harlot anyway and how can you find her? The Yarn Harlot is actually Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Canadian knit blogger extraordinaire. She gives talks on knitting, such as "This is Your Brain on Knitting" and teaches knitting classes all around the country. She along with Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts are the hive minds behind the Sock Summit knitting convention.

You could call her our fearless knitting leader, but she would probably scoff and refuse the title. However, she was the only one able to breathe sanity into the hoards of knitters upset with the US Olympic Committee when they stopped Ravelry from holding the Ravelympics and made them rename the Ravelympics to something boring like The 2012 Games.

The Yarn Harlot is the knitter with the most influence and authority in North America, if not the world. She speaks the truth about knitters and celebrates their idiosyncrasies -especially the things that non knitters would consider crazy. This helps knitters themselves realize that they are not alone in their knitting challenges. It makes knitters feel ok going completely insane trying to find that missing sock needle or re-knitting that sleeve for the fifteenth time.

She embraces knitting excellence whether it's in well-designed and thoughtfully tech-edited knitting patterns, or encouraging knitters to tackle difficult skills in the first knitting Olympics in 2006. She is the author of many knitting books that support and expand the 21st century knitting community. If you want to understand this latest wave of hand-knitting in popular culture all you need do is read the entire oeuvre of the Yarn Harlot.

There is a Yarn Harlot book for every stage of knitter. Read on to learn which book is right for you. These are listed in order of publication.

yarnharlotsecretlifeofaknitterYarn Harlot - Secret Life of A Knitter

This is the book that started it all, a book of humorous knitting confessions that prove that it's not crazy to be so passionate about knitting. This is a book for beginning and longtime knitters. The beginners will learn to avoid the mistakes that the Yarn Harlot makes and the long time knitters will rejoice in the shared experiences of knitting catastrophes.


atknitsendAt Knits End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

The shorter version of Secret Life of a Knitter in little fun-size quotable bites. This is the book to have when you are having some serious knitting trouble and need to laugh.



yarnharlotknittingrulesKnitting Rules - The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Tricks

This is a great book for beginner knitters. If you want to know the easiest ways to knit hats and socks, understand stash management and your local yarn shop this is the book for you. It's a learn to knit book and knitting culture book all rolled into one. This is the best book to keep in your knitting bag in case you need a simple knitting pattern.


yarnharlotcastsoffStephanie Pearl McPhee Casts Off

This book is the most focused on knitting culture. Why do knitters do what they do and where do they go to do it. This is the book on knitting travel, yarn conventions, knitting politics, knitting heroes and more.


yarnharlotthingsilearnedfromknittingThings I Learned From Knitting Whether I Wanted to or Not

Knitting as the great personal educator. This is a continuation of the essays from The Yarn Harlot's first book Secret Life of a Knitter.



yarnharlotfreerangeknitterFree Range Knitter

Stephanie writes stories from the perspectives of all the different roles of the knitter, the beginning knitter, the experienced knitter, the frustrated knitter, the knitting author, and even the gift knitter. This is a book about what happens to knitters when left to their own devices.



YarnHarlotAllWoundUpAll Wound Up

This is the Yarn Harlot's latest book and some say her darkest. If you've read her blog you'll know that she's faced many challenges in the last couple of years and this book isn't nearly as light as her previous efforts. This is a good thing and represents growth on the part of the writer. If you want to meditate on how to use knitting to push through difficult times this is the book for you.


If you're a beginning knitter buy these three books and you'll be well on your way to being a part of the knitting community (and maybe even avoid a noobie knitting mistake or two in the process):

If you're having a rough time with your knitting:

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