Read Any Good Knitting Books Lately? – The 2008 Knitting Bookshelf

2008 was a great year for enhancing my knitting library. I attribute this to my interest in learning more about lace knitting and to expanding my other knitting skills.


Here’s the list of knitting books that I acquired this year. I have broadly categorized them.


Lace Knitting 

  • Lace Knitting of Estonia by Nancy Bush. A wonderful journey into the history and knitting of this specialized form of lace. The Nupp sets this form of lace apart. I hear that it flies off the shelf of every knitting store. Even Amazon has none in stock. I made my mother the Triinu Scarf. 
  • Victorian Lace Today A combination of a picture journey documenting the evolution of Victorian Lace with wonderful full color pictures and wonderful patterns that can be used as is or combined in other forms to create your own unique pieces. I adapted one of the patterns for my wedding shawl. 
  • Lace Style Part of Interweave’s “Style” series. This book contains some great patterns and shows readers how lace can be incorporated into a variety of different garments. I made the Essential Tank Top, a beautiful piece which is stellar, and started the Lilies of the Valley Shawl (which is currently in hibernation).  
  • Heirloom Knitting gives the history of lace knitting as well as a great collection of stitches and patterns. This is a British book which can be pricey due to the exchange rate.

 Knitwear Design

  • Designing Knitwear by Deborah Newton. A great reference book on how garments are constructed with several patterns as a bonus. I use it for reference and eye candy.  
  • Knitting: A Step-By-Step Guide edited/authored by Sandy Carr and Josie May. The book was published by Portland House in 1990. I picked this hardcover book up in The Strand, a New York City book haven, for about $15 and it’s bargain! It is a wonderful of information about knitting and designing sweaters with schematics and illustrated techniques including 48 patterns for women, men and children. One drawn back of these patterns is that the yarn used is no longer available and no yardage is given which means guesstimate! While the patterns tend to be big and bold styles that haven’t ignited my desire yet, the information about design is really well organized and useful, especially when I decide to change a pattern on the fly.  
  • Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns It’s surprising that it took me this long to add this stitchnary to my collection. (Probably due to the fact that I already had a variety of other sources.) My major gripes with the book are the lack of charts since I like the visualization and the use of one swatch containing multiple stitches. I tested several patterns from this book for my mother’s black scarf. 

Designer Focused Books

  • Jean Moss’s Sculptured Knits. I found my copy of this book hidden away at a Barnes & Noble and have been in love with it ever since. It appealed to my desire to learn more about creating textures in my knitting. It has a diverse array of patterns for women, men, children and home. I love the Woodstock Sweater and Saffron Tunic that I made and have at least one pattern queued up for my husband. The one gripe I have with the book is that the sizes tend to run large and that the yarn estimates tend to be high as well. Very few of these patterns have been knit by the members of Ravelry.  
  • Viking Knits by Elsebeth Lavold. Since I was longing for this book, one of my knitting friends found it discounted on the web and sent it to me. I had seen Elsebeth Lavold’s Hild sweater at the Knitting Connection and wanted to get the pattern. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any copies at the time. I thought that it would be a great way to get into testing the cable waters of knitting. Elsebeth Lavold has studied Viking motifs and translated them into cable knitting patterns.  
  • Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. A gift from another of my knitting friends who knew that I loved Mason Dixon Knitting for its insight into how to use knitting to create everyday functional products. This second volume expands their use of knitting techniques and adds patterns for a number of sweaters and other products. While the section on fair isle knitting is enticing, I may wait another year before trying my hand at it. Please look for their Bathrobe and After Dark Nightie to appear on my 2009 Knitting List!  

For those of you who thought that I was going to write about the knitting club chic lit that has appeared, I am sorry to disappoint you. I own several of these books including one that was a gift from a client who knew that I knit. Since these books all involve some major disease or other personal crisis, I haven’t been able to pick them up.


What did you add to your knitting bookshelf this year?

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