Spinning yarns: Exploring the books on knitting

As someone fairly new to the realm of knitting, and also a bibliophile, I’m naturally drawn to the craft aisle in the bookstore. I love the pictures of beautiful handmade garments and complex stitching.

But the surplus of craft books can feel intimidating at the same time. I read patterns all the way through, just to be sure that there won’t be any surprises midway of some intensely complex stitch that’s lightyears above my skill level. One day, my goal is to be able to read patterns with confidence, sure that I understand from start to finish.


In-process pillow for my living room following the pattern from Project #7 from The Very Easy Guide to Cable Knitting by Lynne Watterson. This is the book that taught me how to cable knit. I’ll share my love of this book in a later post. 

The best books for learning techniques tend to have clear instructions with good corresponding photographs. That’s how I first fell in love with Lynne Watterson’s  The Very Easy Guide to Cable Knitting (1). It’s a fantastic book for learning cable knitting techniques and I highly recommend it.

Some books are definitely better than others, as I’ve had to find out the hard way. I purchased a book of patterns at the library book sale and then tried to knit my first pair of socks.


The Sock Fail: It started out promising with a cute cable design, but once I reached the heel this pattern was toast!

The pattern started off bad with a miscalculation in the number of cast-on stitches to the number of stockinette stitches used after the ribbing was complete. I started over three times before I realized the pattern was wrong, not me. (It was also my first attempt knitting in the round AND knitting a sock.)


My small collection of craft books. I often take advantage of the large selection available at the local library. It’s a great way to sample patterns and different authors.

Even though I like to experiment and create my own patterns, I love to also read books and try out patterns designed by others much more skilled than me because it helps me progress my skills. This becomes a way for me to learn, practice my techniques, and find a a great way to relax. Over the next few weeks I’d like to be able to share the books that I love, in the hopes that others will also find these books as enjoyable as I do.


  1. The Very Easy Guide to Cable Knitting by Lynne Watterson, 2010, St. Martin’s Press, NY

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