Friday, February 27, 2009

Books: for brand-new or nervous knitters

I love knitting. I love knitting books almost as much! I love to read about techniques, ogle the gorgeous fair isle or aran sweaters, read about how others do what they do when they ply two sticks and a string. I love to read ... and knit ...

Another thing I love is recommending knitting books. Many people ask me for advice on this book or that ... or I give them my critique even if they don't ask! I take pride in sifting through the knitting twaddle that's out on the market (and there is quite a bit!) and only recommending the ones that I own (or really WANT to own) in my personal knitting library (which, needs must, be kept small so dh doesn't go over the top).

As I said, I love recommending the good knitting books. For instance, here's a blog post on a fairly exhaustive bibliography I put together back in 2007; then there was the post about discovering two books with my designs in them; a post about MY book; recommended books on sock knitting; a post about some recent "finds"; and my most recent post on books for those who wanted to go beyond garter stitch.

But today, I found a book that will help all the beginners and nervous knitters out there. This is one that I am so impressed with and can't believe it was published 4 or more years ago and I'm just seeing it now. This will be my new "go to" suggestion when folks ask about starting out or wanting to go a bit ahead.

First Knits: Projects for Beginning Knitters by Luise Roberts and Kate Haxell is a perfect book for those who have never knitted ... but want to try ... as well as for those who have started knitting but don't understand some of the technical terms or want cool but easy projects, etc.

This book will guide you slowly, step by step, through your first garter stitch projects including how to measure a swatch, "get gauge" and other techniques. Then you'll move on to purling, ribbing, cabling, shaping, colorwork, button-holes, and more! The illustrations and text are very understandable and detailed.

The projects you'll make include garter stitch booties, garter stitch hat with flaps, cushion cover, backpack, heart cushion, adorable stuffed rabbit, knitting a true, in the round cap, cable handbag, lacy shawl, jacket socks, striped throw and a baby jacket. And these things are not only really cute, they're useful and fun and span old and young alike.

Although this book is a paperback, the cover is made of heavier-than-usual stock with overleaves that include basic abbreviations, tips and other information for quick reference.

This is definitely a book to add to your wish-list if you want to knit ... or want to knit better ... or want to teach someone else! Really excellent!


Susan said...

Thank you, Mary! This really does sound like exactly the sort of book I was looking for.

Carmen said...

Thanks so much Mary. I just bought Getting started with Socks by Ann Budd right before Lent started! I'm glad to see it on your list. Thanks for all your knitting advice.