Books that go past the basics

Do any of you recomend any books or websites that go past the basics. I’ve learned knit, pearl, increase, decrease, picking up a dropped stitch and the basics of joining seams but where do I go from there?

[COLOR=“Magenta”]I found out the basics from knitting magazines, then just decided to go for it, picked a pattern and learnt new stitches as and when needed by using forums such as this and Its worked really well for me and i now feel fairly confident, and if it fails the worst thing to happen is froggin!!![/COLOR]

What have you made so far? The best idea is to just find a pattern you’d like to make and start. You can find lots of free patterns on the internet. There is always someone here willing to help if you get stuck.

That sounds about all you need to know to start in on a pattern you’d like to make. Just pick one and we’ll help you with what you don’t understand.

One of the best books I found when I first started wanting to go beyond knit and purl was Claire Crompton’s Knitter’s Bible. It has good instructions, lots of different stitch patterns in lace, cabling, knit and purl, gansey and edgings. There are sections on casting on, binding off, short row, problem solving and projects. Great book in my opinion. Mary

Check your local library. Instructional books, and knitting pattern books, run the gamut and offer different ways of presenting information on diff skill levels. Find one that speaks to your way of learning and affords a challenge. This is also a good way to try projects or techniques w/o the expense of buying the book. If you find a particular book is a ‘must have’ then it’ll be money well spent. What works for one person may not work for another.


I agree that the magazines and websites are helpful. The “little project” here at KH is a great way to master new techniques and see how they work together.

Having said that, I must tell you that I love my [I]Vogue Knitting[/I]. In fact I love it so much that I bought the spiral bound version [I]Vogue Knitting Quick Reference[/I] so I don’t have to ever be without it. (I loan out the little one or take it with me when I go on long trips. I know, this is sick.) It has great step-by-step pictures and instructions for many cast-ons, binding off, stitches, construction, patter stitches, etc. It is also organized in a manner that is intuitive for me.

I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that my above post didn’t really answer your question. So, here are the two suggestions that I have for “what’s next?”

Knitted Shawls, Stoles, & Scarvesby Nancie M. Wiseman is a fabulous book of projects that work you through many different intermediate and advanced techniques. The lay out is straight forward and through fashionable projects a knitter learns: basic shaping, diagonal knitting, textured patterns, slip stitches, cables, short rows, lace, garter stitch squares, interlocking diamonds, entrelac and intarsia. The pictures and diagrams are well done. I enjoyed learning new techniques on projects that were more forgiving and shorter than a jacket or sweater. Many of my friends are now sporting them.

The other suggestion I have is finding a booklet with different washcloth patterns. I have one by Leisure Arts that I have used many times when I am teaching someone to knit. Again, washcloths are smaller projects but large enough to give you practice on the patterns. They help one to “see” rows, the effects of yarn forwards, and how design elements work together. Also, my daughters like to make homemade soap. We wrap a bar of soap in a pretty washcloth for a personal gift.

Okay, speaking of dishcloths, there’s a website with over 100 dishcloth patterns with different textures, stitch patterns, pictures in cloth, etc… Dishcloth Patterns

There are three basic kinds of knitting books: reference books, technique books and pattern books. (And of course some are combinations of the above.)

I’d invest in a good reference book first. The Knitter’s Handbook by Montse Stanley and Vogue Knitting would be my first two choices. The Big Book of Knitting is also good. What these books do is give you options – you may know one way to cast-on or increase, but they list dozens so you can choose the right one for your project. When you come upon a term you don’t understand, the reference book is where you look it up.

Technique books are in-depth volumes dedicated to one type of knitting: cables, lace, colorwork, socks, top-down sweaters, designing, etc. You collect them according to your interests. I’d get The Knitters Handy Guide to Patterns and/or The Knitter’s Handy Guide to Sweater Patterns, both by Ann Budd. They contain dozens of “master patterns” that let you knit any sweater you want with any yarn. There are charts that do the math for you.

Pattern books are just that: designs to knit, often by one designer. Or collections of scarves, purses, etc. The problem is, you can spend $30 on a book by, say, Debbie Bliss or Teva Durham and only find one thing in it you want to knit. I’ve got close to 100 books in my knitting library and this is the smallest category.

Hope this helps.