Beginner's Knitting Books, My Experience

Well I got a few books being a new Knitter and have some “reviews”. The first thing I bought was a knitting kit from Boye’s, “I Taught Myself Knitting”, that came with 2 needle sizes (6 and 8’s), and all the starting gear for only 10 bucks. The book is okay for starting stuff, but the patterns made me laugh so hard! :roflhard: They are very very 80’s, stuff nobody would ever wear unless they only shopped at Goodwill Discount Stores. (The stuff is too dated for the regular Goodwill stores hehe).

The second book I got was “Ready Set Knit” by Shasha Kagan . It has some great projects, others that are very ugly, but as far as it teaching me anything about knitting, it failed. The pictures and explinations on the beginning stuff were not helpful at all, and for 20 bucks at Michaels, it wasn’t worth it.

The last book I bought and LOVED was “First Knits” by Luise Roberts and Kate Haxell . It is broken into sections for each type of stitch, starting of course with the Knit Stitch. It then has projects that use that type of stitch, so you feel like you’re really progressing fast, since you start projects ASAP! It also has workshops at the end of every new technique, and they have amazing pictures. I’m very happy with this book and am learning a lot from it. The only down fall is it tells you to only buy one kind of yarn from one certain company. I think they should just tell you the weight and let you decide on your own. If you have any brains though, you can figure it out and buy what you’d like.

I hope this helps some new knitters in the market for good books.


i have that first one you mentioned too and the patterns are a mess! :roflhard:

Great reviews. Yes; I do wish that pattern makers would give more information about the yarns for given projects. I think it would be lovely to say:

Yarn: Model was made using 3 skeins of WOTA (Worsted Weight, 110 yards/50 grams, 100% wool)

Most of the time they will only give the name of the yarn and sometimes the color. YOu then have to go hunt for the yarn on line, find out what weight it is then go find an acceptable substitute. Having the weight, yardage, and fiber content would be excellent information. Maybe even a note about other yarns that might (or definitely wouldn’t) work. For instance I made a hat not long ago and bought some worsted weight like the pattern called for, but my worsted weight had no body. It was too wimpy for the project and just didn’t have good form even after blocking it.

Rant rant rant. :smiley:

I would like to add my rant to yours!! How am I supposed to know what to sub for what???

I have First Knits and think it’s great too. Of the knitting books I own, it definitely explains and demonstrates things the best (farrrrr better than the first book I got, the one I supposedly learned to knit from, which was Learn to Knit by Debbie Bliss). I’ve only made one thing from it - the first scarf, which I LOVE! - but there are a few other things in it that I might make some day. But I still go back to it as a reference if I’m having a problem with a pattern.

It is a pain that all the patterns are done with (expensive) Rowan, but she does include info at the back of the book about the weight and so forth to help with substitutions.

You can learn ALOT by going through that process…more frequently, patterns will list the gauge of the project, which gives you enough info to switch it up if you like. Just like knitting feels awkward in the beginning, choosing yarn can be the same way. You will learn to recognize that something that knits up at 4.5 sts per inch is a worsted wt yarn, etc. And, of course, depending on your individual tension, you might not use the needle sz called for in the pattern…you may need to go up or down a sz or two.

The best resource, imho, is… you can search by fiber content, weight, etc. A beginner, however, is better off hanging out at a yarn store and reading labels and feeling things.