This winter I had the pleasure and privilege to get to know some of you a bit better through my knitting workshops in Bungendore.
It is absolutely wonderful to meet so many lovely people and to connect through a shared interest in knitting and craft. Thank you all for coming along!
I brought along a few books that I find particularly useful both for beginners and for those who are very serious knitters.
You have asked me to put together some book recommendation, so here they are:
Elizabeth Zimmerman "Knitting Without Tears"
Elisabeth Zimmermann (1910-1999) is widely credited for reviving knitting in the US in the 1960s and 1970s. Even though "Knitting Without Tears" was published a long time ago in 1971, I think it still has a place in a knitter's library today.
Yes, it looks a tiny bit dated - all photos are in black and white, the drawings of knitting techniques are hand-drawn, and if you love books with glamorous photos of beautiful women and handsome men wearing gorgeous or outlandish garments, then this is not for you.
However, once you have overcome those expectations of colour illustrations and modern-style knitting instructions filled with at times confusing abbreviations, you will realise that this book is a treasure trove of advice, ideas and techniques that will be useful to all knitters, no matter whether you are a beginner or have been knitting for years.
Elisabeth talks to you like a friend through her books. Her diction is beautiful, conversational yet elegant. I particularly appreciate that she does not pretend to be the ultimate know-it-all, either, as she writes herself: "The Books don't know everything. They know a great deal, but not everything. Take anything you find in an instruction book, including this one, with a large grain of salt. If it doesn't make sense in your particular circumstances, pay no attention to it; seek further. There are scores of different ways of doing things in knitting, and none of them are wrong, but they are sometimes unsuitable." (page 52)
Those who have been to my workshop will realise that this is also my philosophy: There is no absolute right or wrong. There are some techniques that work better than others, but in the end, you need to work out what works best for you.
June Hemmons Hiatt: "The Principles of Knitting".
The second book I bring along to my workshops is "The Principles of Knitting" by June Hemmons Hiatt.
The Principles of Knitting is a 700+ pages encyclopaedia of knitting and covers everything, from the history of knitting, different knitting methods (English/continental/continental combined/bi-directional/knitting for left-handed... you see there are far more knitting methods than most realise!), circular and flat knitting, multiple ways of casting on and binding off plus all other techniques you may need.
Again, this is not a new book but it has stood the test of time.
The Principles of Knitting was first published in 1988 and republished in 2012 with the re-emergence of knitting as a popular craft. There are no glossy colour photos but there is so much to read and learn that it is one of my go-to books on knitting and it has earned a prominent position on my bookshelf.
Vogue Knitting Magazine: Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book.
The third book I usually bring along to my workshops is Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book, which was edited and published by the editors of Vogue Knitting Magazine.
Vogue Knitting is a beautifully presented book with colour photographs and colour diagrams. It contains detailed descriptions of all the techniques you need, information about different types of yarns and fibres, tips on how to finish your project so it looks professional and neat, information on how to care for your knitted garments as well as instructions on how to change patterns and design your own.
The stitch dictionary is really useful with diagrams and photos that are precise and helpful. The text is clear and well written. The subtitle does not lie - this is the ultimate knitting book for knitters of all levels.
The amount of work and research that went into this book is impressive: Over fifty specialists under the direction of Vogue Knitting magazine editors were involved in compiling everything you need to know about knitting. They researched hundreds of knitting books. They trialled all technique described in the book. No wonder it took three years to finish!
Vogue Knitting - The Ultimate Knitting Book is worth getting if you are serious about knitting and would like to perfect your style.
All books are available from Bookdepository.