Craft Chat

Inspiration from Books (of course)

I learned to knit in high school (or was it middle school?) and I learned it all from a book.  I needed a real-life person (thank you, Megan!) to help me get the hang of the pacing and problem-solving, and then I could turn to books for further inspiration.  As you know, I’m a big fan of children’s picture books, and I also love instructional books for kids because it makes the process–whatever the process may be–that much less intimidating.  Bright colors, simple language, and lots of pictures are what I need to learn!

So before I started a little knitting project, I sat down by my handy-dandy bookcase to leaf through my knitting books for some inspiration.

This was my first knitting book and my all-time favorite to recommend for those learning to knit:

Kids Knitting, by Melanie Fallick

Love it!  There are all kinds of cute projects and illustrations to show you exactly what you’re doing.  The instructions are spelled out step by step, but the book doesn’t limit you to the knit and purl stitch.  It also covers knitting in the round, following a pattern, cable knitting, and the projects range from bean bags to puppets to sweaters and hats.

This is my go-to book when I want a simple pattern to follow.

My one other book is also a children’s how-to-knit book called The Workshop Book of Knitting, by Ursula von Wartburg.

I keep this mostly for sentimental reasons– this was my grandmother’s book, and I can’t find it in print online.  It’s copyrighted for 1973 and it’s pretty straightforward with lots of black-and-white photographs.

The only thing I don’t like is that it creates new names for stitches to make it “easy” for kids, but that almost makes it harder– to learn a new language and then try to covert it in your head to the “real” terminology.  But the projects are really cute, and it’s not like the code is impossible to crack.  Have to keep this book to preserve knitting history!

I used to own other knitting books, but honestly they were beyond my skill level, so I gave them away.  I have only ever attempted hats, scarves, afghans, and a few dolls.  Maybe I’ll expand my range this year, but for now I’m happy with my two knitting books and of course, the online world.  If you’re looking for a good knitting site (with plenty of free patterns for all skill levels) take a look at Ravelry (click for the link here).  You have to create an account, but it’s free and pretty easy to navigate once you’re inside.

I’m happy to have entered back into the world of knitting!

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