Essential Knit Books

I was surprised by the interest when I mentioned some technique books I use so I thought they were worthy of a page of their own.

These are my two favourites which are in and out of the bookshelf regularly.

Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters by Jane Crowfoot

ISBN 1-903975-84-0 Published by Search Press

This book is a must if you’ve mastered the basic knitting techniques but your garment still look at bit amateurish. It’s full of very clear photos and well explained techniques. I goes into enough detail but doesn’t get too scholarly and make it so complicated it’ll scare off a new knitter.I mentioned this book in my post on the Fab Finishing Course I took at my local John Lewis Store, run by Jane.

Most notably, I learnt mattress stitch from this book – an absolute must for well finished garments.

I have also referenced how to make my decreases slant left and right, sew on button bands, shortrow shaping, sewing in sleeves, shoulder seams, button holes, icords, Fair Isle and how to sew in a zip – see Zipperisation of Brooklyn.

Knitter’s Handbook by Montse Stanley

ISBN 07153 1286 3 Published by David & Charles

I have a love/hate relationship with this one and I certainly wouldn’t give it to a beginner but it’s an invaluable reference book that has saved me when I needed it.
I worked up to it usually after consulting Jane Crowfoot’s book first. These days I tend to look at both books to see which explanation I like best.
I mentioned this book in my post Arrg, I’ve broken my knitting (amongst other).

The book is wonderfully detailed but rather pompous and overly technical in the way it’s written. I’m used to technical Computer Manuals detailing the bowels of computer operating systems so wasn’t phased by this – some might find it offputting!

If you can get past the sometimes strange and awkward writing style, the explanations and pictures work well for me.

This book was my total saviour when I had to graft a rib onto a pattern of knits and purls *shudders at the memory* 😳 Detailed pictures of knit, purl, rib and garter stitch grafting. More detail than I had ever wanted to know but invaluable to find when I needed it.

I also poured over this book for hours when learning Fair Isle technique.
It lacking in some areas. The advice on zips is brief and includes, “Try and avoid zips. Their stiffness does not mix well with the elasticity of hand knitting.” It’s also not the book to buy to learn mattress stitch. Buy Jane’s book for that.

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