Great Basic Knitting Books

Knitting Patterns, Stitch Patterns, Knitting Hints & Tips

Here are some great basic knitting books that teach general techniques, knitting patterns, stitch patterns, yarn composition, and general knitting hints and tips.

There are hundreds of knitting books that cover everything from introductions to knitting to advanced techniques to knitting patterns. While it’s hard to learn how to knit just from a book, books can help build upon basic techniques, and they’re always good for reference and general hints and tips. Here are some knitting books that are a useful addition to any knitter’s library.

General Instructional Knitting Books

There are many general knitting books that are good for knitters who are just starting and need an explanation of the basics. Knitting for Dummies, by Pam Allen, does a good job of covering these basics and includes everything from basic knit stitches and techniques to how to fix common mistakes on how to knit that first garment.

Knitting 200 Q&A, by Rita Taylor, is a well-organized, spiral-bound book with a question-and-answer format and helpful color pictures. It covers such topics as tools and materials, working in color, cables and lace, garment shaping, and general knitting hints and tips.

The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, by Clara Parkes, covers everything a knitter would want to know about yarn and is illustrated with beautiful pictures. It covers every kind of yarn fiber and what each one is best used for and how to care for it. It also explains how yarn is spun and dyed and how ply affects yarn. There are also knitting patterns, a garment care guide, a glossary, and an explanation about yarn weight.

Stitch Pattern Books

Stitch pattern books, or stitchionaries, teach stitch patterns that can be used to embellish any knitting project. They teach such stitch patterns as combinations of knits and purls, cables, and lace, and beautiful pictures illustrate each pattern. Erika Knight has edited the Harmony Guide stitchionaries: Knit & Purl, Lace & Eyelets, and Cables & Arans. Each guide begins with general knitting instructions and a glossary of knitting abbreviations, and each book is peppered with general knitting hints and tips.

The editors of Vogue Knitting Magazine have published several volumes of the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary: Volume 1: Knit & Purl; Volume 2: Cables; Volume 3: Color Knitting. Each stitch pattern comes with written instructions and a chart, and each book has a glossary of abbreviations.

Garment Knitting Books

There are many garment knitting books that teach basic techniques as well as patterns. The Sweater Workshop, by Jacqueline Fee, explains the basic construction of a knitted sweater as well as basic variations. It also works the knitter through a sweater sampler that teaches every technique used in sweater construction. A knitter familiar with this book will be able to knit any sweater pattern as well as design their own.

Getting Started Knitting Socks, by Ann Budd, teaches basic sock construction and knitting techniques, as well as how to measure for a good fit and how to use any yarn to construct a sock. There are also stitch patterns for variations on the leg and cuff design.

Fun and Fiction Knitting Books

Knitters love reading about other people who love to knit. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s The Yarn Harlot is a collection of funny essays about her life as a knitter. Kate Jacobs’s Friday Night Knitting Club is a touching book about a group of women who support each other through life’s problems. There are also many knitting mystery series, for example, the Knitting Mysteries series by Maggie Sefton, starting with Knit One, Kill Two.

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