I want to buy a new knitting book I want to ask you all if you have any recommendations. I hate buying books online to find I don’t use them. I want a book with patterns anyone can knit with good pictures and patterns I can understand. I don’t need a book that teaches you to knit. All the books I have a whole half of the book teaches you to knit. I just want patterns. If you have any magazines or the ones that come by E-mail Ill look into that to.

Have you tried the library? I try to get as many from there as I can before buying.

Hi Paul,

I have tons of pattern books (way more than I need or use) and there are few that I have that I could say I’ve used more than one or two patterns from. All of them have the obligatory section on how to knit.

I spend a lot of time researching the books I want online and at the library. I check out reviews on Amazon and look for the books that have the “search inside this book” feature. I’ve also found that you can browse through pages from many books on KnitPicks site. The closest library from me has a decent selection of knitting books and the one in the town over has more.

At one point I joined a Craft book club so that I could do that 4 books for a dollar thing and I got several books that I would have paid a lot more for. You just have to watch those clubs and once you have fulfilled your membership obligation, drop out, cause the shipping costs can be high and if you forget to keep track, they will send you books you don’t want or need.

At the risk of boring you to death with any overly long post – you might want to look into books by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Her pattern writing style is a challenge for many (there are yahoo groups dedicated to working out her patterns and decifering her instructions) but once you have cracked her code, you can make almost any garment in any size, using any yarn gauge you want. She has patterns for hats, socks, mittens, baby garments and blankets, and sweaters in every shape and size.

She is very chatty in most of her books but what I’m finding is I’m learning things about knitting that the other prettier pattern books just don’t teach – a real understanding of how a knitted piece goes together. Once you get that kind of information, the things you can do with knitting needles and yarn can be impressive.

Ok, I promise I’ll stop soon, but as for magazines, every once and a while I find one (like the books) with a pattern or 2 that I will make (I find Interweave Knits usually has the most patterns for me) but for the most part I read them for the articles about knitting techniques, book reviews and product reviews. Vogue Knitting patterns generally intimidate me (except for the Very Easy Very Vogue ones) but there are some great articles in there. Meg Swanson, Elizabeth Zimmerman’s daughter, has a column in Vogue that seems to highlight techniques that her mom taught, and I hate to miss that.

I hope this helps a bit and is what you were looking for.


Yes, it’s me again. I just wanted to mention the online knitting magazines as sources for patterns. is a great pattern source as is MagKnits. I haven’t spent that much time on Magknits but Knitty has loads of patterns and great articles as well.

You should also consider Ravelry, if you haven’t already signed up and can bear the wait if you haven’t.

Ravelry allows you to database the projects you are working on, those you have finished, what you want to work on next and your yarn stash.

Then you can search for patterns and see how many people are working on a pattern, what yarn they are using, how the project is progressing and whether or not they are happy with the results.

Ok, really, that’s it.


I absolutely LOVE my copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting. I actually read it cover to cover because it’s so interesting. The patterns are unique and beautiful and easy to follow.
I also just read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s (the Yarn Harlot) [U]Knitting Rules![/U]. It’s not really a pattern book per se, but it’s very informative. It has “recripes” on how to make something with alterations etc. I also read that one cover to cover…

Thanks for all your advice ! Thats great, and thats why I love this site. I am on the waiting list for ravelry I have been for months. I hope I will be in any day. There are around 2000 people in front of me. Ill see ya when I get there

The book I use most often is Cables Untangled.

I also have Cables Untangled and I love the patterns (I LOVE cables), but I find a lot of them are too hard for me! I’m an advanced beginner and I wouldn’t attempt some of the more complicated pattersn yet, but if you’re able to complete advanced patterns, then by all means, it’s a great book.

Wow this was so helpful! I’ve not heard of Elizabeth Zimmerman but I know I could use her books. I have so much trouble adapting patterns to a size or yarn. I wish my library had knitting books. It just doesn’t!

I have spent a small fortune buying books… the one I have used the most is “Knitting for Dummies”… it has lots of patterns… hats, scarves, sweaters, socks , etc and they are geared toward the beginner…It has lots of swatches to knit to practice basic techniques… like lace, increase decrease, using color with slipped stitches… felted scarf pattern, beginner sweater in the round… there is a lot of info in that book…

If one is set on having BOOKS and wants ONLY PATTERNS, I don’t see what else fills the bill other than yarn company publications.

I have knitting for dummies, It’s probably my best knitting tool

I have and love Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel. She explains how to modify a garment to fit [I]your [/I]body. I also second Knitty. There are patterns for anything you can think of.
I also like “Yarn Girl’s Guide” books. They do describe how to knit in the beginning of the book, but they have good basic patterns.
If you like to modify or design stuff, try “Sweaters in every Gauge” (or something similar to that, the book is packed right now). It has a bunch of classic designs, so you choose what you want to make and your gauge and follow the chart to make it. It’s pretty cool.
Sorry for writing a book. I hope this helped your decision making!

I also haunt the library before buying. I have found some that I’m glad I just didn’t buy outright because there was maybe 1 or 2 patterns I liked and 20+ more that I didn’t. But I have also found some unexpected books…usually older publications that were great (found Zimmerman there :heart:)

I love her books and I have decided that coupling her universal instructions with patterns in the Vogue Stitchionaries make the best designs…not that I have made tons of stuff…just plans right now. But that’s what’s great aboutZimmerman. She teaches you how to plan and use your own imagination.

I also agree that anything from Interweave Press is wonderful. I am loving their sock pattern publications (right now enjoying "Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs"cloud9).