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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Non-Fiction Favorites in 746.4: Knitting!

Posted by Amanda E.

I learned to knit about five years ago.  I’m self taught, and by that I mean I learned mostly from the books that were available to me at the library, with a few helpful Youtube videos thrown in.  The Edwardsville Public Library has cultivated a great collection of knitting/fiber arts books.   If knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, dyeing or any combination of the above are up your alley, I recommend you browse the 746.4s in our non-fiction section.  It should keep you occupied for awhile!

The following is a list of some of my favorite knitting books:

I knit my first hat from a pattern in this book. In fact, Simple Knitting is where I got the patterns for quite a few of my first projects.  It has well written instructions that are aimed at the beginning knitter and her designs are things that I still wear and use to this day. 

A classic.  Knitting’s current revival owes much to Elizabeth Zimmerman and her teachings.  She helps the beginner learn to knit and also how to understand knitting, how to not just follow a pattern but know why it is written a certain way and how to tweak the pattern for your own ends. 

The ultimate dictionary of knitting.  Seriously.  I ended up buying a copy of this one for myself because I had it checked out so often.  Anytime I’m hung up on something I look it up in here.   Bring a strong bag if you’re going to check this one out.

I’ve never knit anything in this book for a man.  They are all for me!  Knight’s yarn choices and patterns are clean and crisp and classic.  She is one of my top five favorite designers.  Her patterns are very well written.

I think I’ve knit about 20 of the 25 hats in this book.  A few, like the Pebbled Beanie and the Brier Toque, I’ve knit more than once.  An interesting variety of very wearable hats.  I learned quite a few new techniques from this book at the start of my knitting life.

Morgan-Oakes teaches the magic loop technique in this book, which is not nearly as mystical as it sounds.  Magic Loop allows two socks to be knitted at one time which effectively quells ‘Second Sock Syndrome’.  Great sock patterns here but learning magic loop is what makes this book awesome.  You can use the technique for anything that comes in pairs.  So, socks and gloves basically.

I’ve turned to this one for last minute gifts on a few occasions.  It also has patterns that are great for that gorgeous yarn that you only thought to buy one skein of and have no idea what to do with.

I’ve never knitted one of the patterns in this book but I’ve referred to it several times.  It has great information about shaping.  It illustrates a variety of decreases and increases.  I’ve incorporated the information from this book into patterns that I worried would look too baggy or boxy on my, with great success.

Lace knitting is my jam right now and it all started with this book (and is fueled by a healthy Ravelry obsession).  I absolutely love making triangle shawls with sock weight yarn.  This book has quite a few gorgeous shawl patterns and some lovely stoles and gloves and a great guide, in the beginning, for how to read a lace chart and the different methods of beginning a triangle shawl.  I recommend Elizabeth’s Cowl for a repetitive beginner’s lace pattern.

This book cracks me up.  It is basically what it sounds like from the title, a few basic patterns for a knitted doll and a full wardrobe for him.  The tiny sweater patterns are what make this book for me.  I want to wear the doll sized cardigan. 

Half of the reason I love to knit is because of my love for yarn and fibers.  This book is a great guide for learning to dye your own yarns.  There are tutorials for dyeing with Kool-Aid and with Acid Dyes.  Most of the tutorials use tools that you probably already have around your house.  Kool-Aid dyeing in a crock-pot?  Yea, it was totally fun.   This one is another that I’ve had checked out so much that I had to buy my own copy.   

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