Looking for a good knitting book

I need a book with how to’s that covers a wide range of knitting subjects. Anybody have any favorites you’ve used that have been helpful? It doesn’t have to have patterns in it. I’m looking for more of a primer.

This one is a MUST in every knitters library…


This is going to cost you a lot of money, but it is the book to end all knitting books-- you won’t need to buy another one, ever. Unless it goes back in print and they’ve been threatening that for about 8 years now with no results: The Principles of Knitting by June Hiatt. I was originally about $40 and now, used, can be anywhere from $100 - $400. But that tells you how valuable it is.

I have this one, and I love it. I even carry it around in my school bag sometimes.

I love the Reader’s Digest books. I espeacially find this onevery helpful. It shows how to do basics, but it shows patterns for a TON of stitches.

I have to agree that the Reader’s Digest referrence books are very useful. Not just the needlework ones either.
Have two copies of this one…[I]{Link below}[/I] (In different crafting libraries within the house so they are within easy reach) and find it most useful. It has the added bonus of being filled with lacemaking techniques both knit, tatted, crocheted and bobbin, amongst others. All dwindelling skills.
I personally love to reclaim old objects and bring them home. Check your local used book stores for great old knitting/needlework encyclopedias! I’ve one I treasure pre WW1 and another slightly younger that has over a hundred different knit lace stitch patterns in it with illustrations! Also picked up as reclaimed for a pittance of a price.
You might think to visit your local yarn store and see what they recommend. It’s a great way of spending your dollar so that it remains in and supports your local crafting community too.

I second sandy’s suggestion of “The Principles of Knitting”. It will tell you almost everything you need to know. I keep going back to my copy for information. You may be able to find it at a more reasonable price somewhere.

You may be able to find it at a more reasonable price somewhere.

If you can find if for less than $100, I would grab it up. The prices listed on eBay are 1 in the midst of being bid on for $83, and I will be surprised if that’s the final bid. The others are $154 (plus shipping from the U.k., and this is an almost 600 page book), $175, $266, $276, $286, $287. Amazon has copies for $140, $147, $170, $175, $200, $222, $250, $252, $260, $295, $307, and $354.

The really unfortunate aspect of this is that June Hiatt does not see a penny from these sales. Simon and Schuster has been overwhelmed with requests to republish and they say they are very willing to. Apparently the problem is that Hiatt is is taking forever on the revisions and there is nothing anyone can do about that. This has been going on for [I]years[/I]. I wouldn’t expect a resolution-- or a reprint-- anytime soon.

I just found “The Principles of Knitting” at the local library!!! YIPEE!!!:woohoo:

I’m hoping to find other recommended books there too! Don’t forget the library when trying to find books!


Yay!!! There was a thread somewhere-- maybe on Ravelry?-- that people weren’t even able to find a copy in their libraries because they’d get stolen. It is the unicorn of the knitting world! Great that you could get one at your local. By the way, that one that was on eBay just went for $99+. Pretty cheap given some of the other listed prices!

my dh got me “When Bad things happen to good knitters”

easy way to fix mistakes and flub ups in knitting :slight_smile:

It think this book is cute and useful, but I agree with some of the online reviews of it that it can be frustrating. The images aren’t as helfpful as they should be. I have a lot of problems with pictures that have very choppy instructions. If I’m looking to fix a mistake I need a very detailed step by step by step.

I find that most instructions aren’t as detailed as I need them. Maybe thats just me, but if there’s not an accompanying video I get lost. It took me forever to realize from reading instructions that for a SSK you needed to pass the stitches back to the left needle after slipping so that you could knit them. Instructions never tell you that you have to pass back before knitting, they just assume.

But I digress. The instructions seem to be buried in anecdote. A better index would be great for this.

The Reader’s Digest Book by Montse Stanley is the one I go to most often.

But Vogue Knitting is almost as complete and, I think, better organized.

For solid how-to instruction rather than reference, I like the Sally Melville trio, The Knitting Experience. There are three volumes: The Knit Stitch, The Purl Stitch and Color. They are step-by-step and very detailed, and the projects for each step are very wearable. Her style is warm and personal.

My 2 favorites are the Montse Stanley (who is female by the way-- I have never heard of that name, before!) and June Hemmings Hiatt’s Principles. I’ve never not been able to find an answer to my question between the 2. I got the Stanley book when it first came out and stupidly didn’t get the Hiatt because of the $35 price. I broke down a couple of years ago and paid $169 on Amazon. I couldn’t believe I spent so much money on it but I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it.

Count me as skeptical as to the Principles book actually being worth $200. I’ve never seen it (and probably never will for that much money!). Does it do the knitting FOR you? :rofl: Actually I would love to get a look at it, just to see what all the craziness is about.

My first knitting book was Teach Yourself Visually Knittingand I still like it as a reference. The link is for a newer edition than the one I have. That with the knitting videos on this site are still my 2 main references.

Another resource is the Techknitting blog, which has a large archive of info. However, it is a bit more advanced. Keep it in mind for a couple months down the road! :slight_smile:

When you get to finishing a garment, I highly recommend Nancie Wiseman’s Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques. It’s really helpful when seaming your first sweater, for example. And Vicki Square’s book Knitter’s Companionis a nice little book to take with you on the go if you need a refresher about making a buttonhole or Kitchener stitch. I wouldn’t use it as an only reference, though.

Can you tell I love to talk books? There is a good sale on knitting books right now at Knitpicks (through early Feb, I think)!

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting is a very good book. I taught myself to crochet with Teach Yourself Visually Crochet.

I bought Principles when it first came out so I only paid the original purchase price (before Amazon came along, so not even with a discount!). If I lost my copy, I would pay $150 - $200. Here’s why. It’s almost 600 pages long. It it very, very detailed and the explanations are extremely specific. You don’t need any other books, except possibly stitch dictionaries and for that, the 4 Barbara Walker books are definative. It depends why you knit and what you’re trying to accomplish. I knit for the challenge of perfection. I want to knit as if I were a professional. Having the very best books and tools are important to me, and I’m willing to spend the money to do it. I have a friend who is a great cook. She puts her money into the best (and expensive) pots and pans and has all the (expensive) French cookbooks written by the masters. I enjoy cooking, but a decent pot from Sears and Better Homes & Gardens Family Cookbook is fine for me. She just learned to crochet and is happy with her brightly colored plastic Susan Bates set. I want to have the very best knitting technique and finishing methods and will redo and redo until I get it right, but if a roast comes out a little dry, I don’t blink an eye. Even without that kind of goals, I think Hiatt’s book is worth it. Most people buy a few books on general knitting, which would total the cost of the Hiatt book, and so have spent the money anyway. Actually, if I could have only 2 books on knitting, I would choose Principles and Janet Szabo’s I Hate to Finish Sweaters Guide. A slim but great volume on all the little details of making things look incredible.

And I do wish Techknitter would come out with a book! What a great source of information!

I have several books, some general knowledge some specific like socks. I use them all occasionally, but more often than not when I need to know something I come to the internet. As a very beginner I needed to have something beside me and I found that printing out the basics from Lion Brand very helpful.