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Available at Amazon

by Leslie Helakoski, Lee Harper (illustrator)
Harper Collins
$16.99, hardcover

Here’s a kids book for any fiber fanatic who rarely follows patterns as written. Woolbur is a free thinker, not a rule follower. He’s not hurting anyone, he’s just following his bliss. Still in the story, as in life, there are objections – to not being shorn, for dyeing himself blue, for making spinning and weaving fun – to each admonishment he answers “I know, isn’t it great?”

Woolbur knows the secret to being happy: sometimes you just have to let your freak flag fly!

Available at Amazon
Knit So Fine: Designs with Skinny Yarn
by Lisa Myers, Carol Sulcoski, Laura Grutzeck
Interweave Press

I am a huge fan of fine yarns and the design stylings of the three authors, so I knew I would like this book before I ever saw a copy. What I didn’t count on and what surprised me in the most pleasant way, is how much these women love knitting and how it shows in their designs and their words about the craft.

It is a comfortable book; it feels like you are knitting with these women, not being talked to. The designs are comfortable too – not intimidating – doable, wearable and lovely. They take the alleged agony and fear out of knitting with fine yarn, with a simple ‘try it, you’ll like it’ style and if you do, you will.


Available at

How To Knit In The Woods: 20 Projects for the Great Outdoors
by Shannon Okey
Mountaineers Books

What better place to use knitwear than on a camping trip? You’ve got your basics – sweaters, socks, hats, blankets – this book has many cozy versions of those standards (be sure to give the Snake in the Woods Cardigan a look).

But the twist here is the extras: knitted placemats, a knitted cooler sling (to hoist your cooler up and away from critters), washcloth and towel, shoe inserts and a knitted lace camp stool. Even if you don’t camp all these can be quite useful in the great outdoors of your backyard.


Available at

The Mary Frances Knitting and Crocheteting Book; or Adventures Among the Knitting People
by Jane Eayre Fryer
Lacis Publications

Such a unique treasure! The Mary Frances book series also includes adventures in the kitchen, garden and sewing room.

In this book, originally published in 1918, Mary Frances meets the knitting fairies who are jealous of her adventures with the thimble fairies and won't rest until she learns what they have to teach her. The book is a story about Mary Frances' adventures, told in quaint early 20th century language, where each tool in a knitter's bag gets a name and has a voice. It begs to be read aloud.

Peppered with simple patterns from doll clothes to baby gear and finally sweaters and even Red Cross knitting guidelines, the reader [which is presumed to be a girl, but doesn't have to be!] gets introduced to the world of knitting in a gentle, encouraging way. The instructions get more complex near the end of the book when the reader may be ready for them, making this a volume a young knitter can grow up with.


Available at Knitting Out Loud

No Idle Hands
by Anne L. Macdonald
Read by Kymberly Dakin
Audiobook abridged
4 CDs, 4 hrs 46 min
Knitting Out Loud

Another delight from Knitting Out Loud.

No Idle Hands tells the history of knitting from the individual’s point of view. This book gives a real sense of the day to day needs that knitting filled. We may forget that the knitters that came before us knit because they had to, not for relaxation or creativity. Our reader manages to covey the thought provoking ideas as well as the humor Macdonald has in her book.


Available at Amazon

Inspired to Knit: Creating Exquisite Handknits
by Michele Rose Orne
Interweave Press
SR= 34”-55”

There is so much and such deep information in this book you really need to read it to get the full impact. Of course you could just lose yourself in patterns. They are challenging and intriguing. I found myself reading patterns just to figure out how she did that. But after your knitting is done and you do read the book, you will learn a great deal.

The book is a garment-designing workshop. It teaches how to choose colors, yarns, stitches, how to select and draw a silhouette, and how to write a pattern. It even teaches the more elusive – how to find, recognize and capture inspiration and transform it into a garment.


Available at

The Little Box of Socks
by Charlene Schurch, Beth Parrott           
Martingale Press

Are you having sock withdrawal? Sock master Charlene Schurch and co-author Beth Parrott have 20 new sock patterns to fill your sock needs. All are easy, but not boring; some for variegated, some for solid yarn. Each pattern is complete on a folded card, no carting a whole heavy book in your knitting bag.

What sold it for me was that each sock comes in several sizes – my large calves thank you.

Available at Namaste

by Namaste
$59-69 (depending on retailer)
Dimensions: 18" long, 9" high, 7" wide
Shown in dusty rose, raspberry [discontinued]
Available in Camel, Rust, Black, Dusty Rose

Namaste makes vegan-and-pretty knitting bags. This bag that could double as a handbag, and you just might have trouble deciding which you'll use it for. Luckily, it's big enough to do double duty.

As with all Namaste bags, it's well made, attractively detailed and lined with multiple pockets. This bag features a thin center zippered divider to hold little loseables, and the divider breaks the big bag into two compartments. Both have pockets on the walls, and either would suit well for knitting projects and notions or your wallet, cell phone and makeup bag, plus a good-sized knitting book. You could easily fit a sock-in-progress or a good part of a sweater in there; super huge projects are best saved for a bigger, less divided bag.

The double straps fit comfortably over your shoulder, but aren't so long that the bag will drag on the ground if you carry it in your hands. And the closure is a clever illusion buckle -- it actually fastens with a magnet hidden underneath. It's not my favorite closure on a bag, but it looks so good, I'm willing to overlook the awkwardness in opening and closing.


Available at

Closely Knit: Handmade Gifts For The Ones You Love
by Hannah Fettig
North Light Books

The knitting in this book is almost exclusively stockinette, yet not one project has that, “not another stockinette project” feeling. Flipping through this book is indeed like walking through a gift shop, the variety is deep and there are little surprises throughout. The book is divided into gift recipients: mothers, daughters, men, kiddos and friends, with most projects being accessories.

Each pattern is classified by how much time it takes to make. The focus is on quicker projects – things that you can make to give this year, and even have enough time to make a few for yourself.


Available at

Sweater Surgery: How to Make New Things with Old Sweaters
by Stefanie Girard
Quarry Books
$19.99, hardcover over spiral binding

Geared to teens and tweens, this book hands you 35 step-by-step patterns to outfit an entire wardrobe from thrift shopped sweaters. The illustrations are so straight forward – where to cut on the old sweater and where to sew for the new garment – that the written directions are nearly superfluous [this is a good thing!].

The back of the book is stacked with a gallery of 65 designs, which don’t have directions but would be easy to figure how to make using the techniques from the front of the book.


Available at Amazon

Knit Aid: a learn it, fix it, finish it guide for knitters on the go
by Vickie Howell
Sterling Publishing
$7.95, hardcover, spiral bound

Tiny, affordable and easy to read, this is a good book to add to a "learn-to-knit" gift for a friend who's been bugging you for a lesson. The hardcover/spiral binding is a big favorite combination of mine, and this book is almost bomb-proof in its construction, making it perfect to throw into a knitting bag without fear of destruction. I like!

Not in love with the illustration style, though; I wish the step-by-step pics were less quirky and easier to follow.

Lots of noob-friendly basics are in here, including a handy section on internet abbreviations and resources, standard sizing, and much more, including a needle-size gauge and ruler.



Available at

Debbie Bliss Home: 27 Hand Knits for Living
by Debbie Bliss
Trafalgar Square
$12.95, hardcover
SR= 39”-47”

Debbie Bliss brings her iconic style to home décor. Pillows, blankets, bags, a handful of wearables are all knit with the luxury of simplicity.

A spot of color, a texture stitch on a basic shape at just at the right moment has become the Debbie Bliss standard. Pairing that look with her own plush yarns makes for a book of patterns you’ll want to fill your home with.

Available at Needle Arts Book Shop

Don't miss the free 8-page PDF brochure that Needle Arts Book Shop owner, Marsha White, has written on Interpreting Japanese Knitting Patterns

Hand Knitting Technique Book
Japanese text with illustrations
$19.95 each

I'm really fond of Japanese knitting books, even though I don't speak a word of the language. That's because Japanese knitting patterns aren't written out in words -- they're charted. And in my opinion, Japanese charts are clearer than the ones we use in North America.

This book is a great introduction to Japanese knitting. Although there is written Japanese text, the illustrations are huge, clear and easy to follow. A variety of cast ons [some are quite unusual], crochet techniques and knitting stitches are shown in great detail, step by step, and easy to follow. Intarsia, two-handed knitting, increases, decreases, a variety of short-row methods...more than I can fit in this little review space.

My favorite thing is how each stitch is shown -- the yarn is illustrated as if it were thick spaghetti so you can follow the path of the yarn in every technique.


Available at Lacis

Knitting Languages
by Margaret Heathman
Watson Guptill
$19.95, softcover, spiral bound

This book is not pretty or fancy. The cover's kind of flimsy. But that's absolutely irrelevant, because this is one of the most useful books an online knitter ever could have in their library.

This simple spiral-bound book has translations for knitting terms in 11 different languages, in both directions [so there's English/French and also Français/Anglais, depending on which language you're looking up]. Inside you'll find Danish, English [both UK and US versions], Estonian, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese [handy for the book reviewed above!], Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish knitting terms listed and defined.

A fabulous resource!


Available at

Knitted and Felted Toys: 26 easy-to-knit-patterns for adorable toys
by Zoe Halstead
Krause Publications

I love knitting toys, especially if the knitting is interesting and the results are cute and endearing. This book delivers. There are a range of patterns, from simple felted mice to more intricate character dolls, like the cowboy or the princess. There are cute, character-giving touches on each of the toys, like the wee hat on the garter stitch pig's head. With a range of animals (including a unicorn) this book has something for everyone, adult or child. My favorite is probably the mommy bunny, who keeps her finger puppet babies safely in her apron, until you want to play with them.

The book also has an excellent "Getting Started" section, with clear descriptions and photos on how to sew up your toys and how to add the embellishments that add character and fun to your toys. I'm glad this book is on my shelf, and will be much used in the future.


Available at Amazon

Retro Knits: Cool Vintage Patterns for Men, Women and Children from the 1900s through the 1970s
by Kari Cornell and Jean Lampe, Editors
Voyageur Press
SR: 32-48"

Vintage patterns are a tease. First, the yarn is likely long gone [unless you've got some from an ancestor's stash]. Second, vintage patterns rarely offered gauge measurements or schematics, so good luck substituting modern yarns! And third, the sizing is silly small for both sexes [the largest standard size is somewhere around a current women's or men's medium, based on Knitty's size charts].

This book, then, will be welcomed by fans of vintage knits who've not been able to knit along until now. Some sweaters still run small, but editors Cornell and Lampe have tried to add sizes at the top end wherever possible. Unfortunately, the cool vintage one-piece bathing suit isn't one of them, but there are lots of options to choose from. Kids and men's garments are also included as are socks and other accessories. Definitely worth a look.


Available at

Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves
by Nicky Epstein
Nicky Epstein Books
$29.95, hardcover, spiral bound

This book has many faces. It's a felting book full of chunky scarves that feature recognizable motifs from nature. It's a colorwork book full of intarsia, fair isle and embroidery. It's a texure book with sumptuous cables, airy lace and delicate beading. It's a construction book with scarves that are woven or cut or assembled from a multitude of individual units. It's a scarf-that's-not-a-scarf book with scarves transformed into pseudo-vests using frogs or buttons or zippers. These are my favorites.

Clearly, Nicky Epstein isn't stuck in one style of design, construction or even color. You can tell she loves it all, from felt to fuzz to fine lace. There's a little bit of everything in here and the styles are so different from project to project that surely there must be a scarf for every knitter in this book.



Available at Nancy's Knit Knacks

Spinning Project Kards
Nancy’s Knit Knacks
10 cards for $5.00

I have great aspirations to being organized in my spinning, anal, even. I come up with great plans and systems that I only partially follow through on. When these Spinning Project Kards came, they were a revelation. Here is the most basic information I want to keep about spinning projects, whether it’s a skein of yarn or a sweater knitted from handspun, captured on an unlaminated 3x5 card. Even the least organized spinner (me!) can keep organized with these.


Looking for fiber reviews? They're on their own page, right here!

Crochet Designs for Kids
by Lucinda Guy
Trafalgar Square Books
$22.95, hardcover

cute crocheted clothes for kids!

The Gentle Art of Domesticity:
Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home

by Stewart, Tabori & Chang
$35.00, hardcover

The super-cool Jane Brocket's book on domestic delights now available for pre-order in North America. Full of her signature style in every crevice. I've read it, and it's fabulous.

Knitters ain't quitters

by AuntyCookie

a print of such cuteness!

Freehand etched yarn vase

by BreadandBadger

Seriously. She etches each design by hand, one piece at a time. Super cool.

I love to knit ceramic necklace

by SurlyRamics

not really surly. but very shiny!

Knitting is Sexy necklace

by CupboardScraps

you know it.

Knit Wit Sterling necklace

by FigtreeJewelry


Vintage button knitted in sterling

by AmberMayhem

how freaking cool is this?

Knit Wit bling necklace
by Modern Yarn

in sterling silver
with real Swarovski crystals!
19" chain, 1.5" wide pendant.

Tattoo-style knit necklace

by SwallowKisses