31 August 2012

What's in my library

I don't buy a whole lot of crafting related books, I usually reference the internet for techniques that I want to learn and I vastly prefer patterns from Ravelry to those in dedicated pattern books.  However, there are a few books that I do own and reference frequently.


Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont:  If you are new to spinning or if you are fairly experienced, I would wager that you can learn something new from this book.  The photos are wonderfully descriptive and she perfectly describes (at least for my learning style) a variety of techniques.

The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius:  If you love fiber, this is such a fun book to just pick up and flip through.  There are so many amazing fiber options out there and this book describes many of them in detail.  I especially love how they provide great photos of the raw fiber, spun fiber, and knitted yarn to give you an idea of the texture.


Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callahan: Much of what I learned about dyeing is from this book.  It provides detailed instructions on so many different techniques and the chapters are so well written, this woman knows what she is talking about.


The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt: This is a new addition to my knitting library.  This is probably the most comprehensive knitting resource I have ever seen, as soon as I opened this book I wanted to read half of the chapters.  The only problem I have with this book is the lack of photos in sections describing complex techniques.

Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson: This is the only pattern book that I have ever found where I love every single design in it.  I learned to do toe-up socks two-at-a-time from this book, her instructions made so much sense to me and the photography is gorgeous.

What are some books that you just had to buy or continue to keep coming back to?


  1. I'm going to look for the Hand Dyeing book, as that is something I've always wanted to try.

  2. Socks from the Toe up! And also Stitch and Bitch, which I have yet to make anything out of, but love the patterns and instructions.

  3. I have half of those books, too, and if I every decide to try dyeing or toe-up socks (again) I'll be sure to check those out!

    I actually buy a lot of pattern books, I haven't knit much out of them yet but I just really love the inspiration.

    As far as a really useful 'learn something' book I adore Clara Parkes' "The Knitter's Book of Yarn" and "The Knitter's Book of Wool". I will be getting "The Knitter's Book of Socks" one of these days, as well.

  4. Such a useful post as always! I only have the encyclopedia book and I completely agree with you about the lack of photographs. I've been admiring the spindle book and fiber book for some time now, I will have to move those up on the list. At the moment I'm not enamored with books so much as I am with magazines!

  5. I've got "Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Knitting" and there are scads of photos and figures; it'll be my lifesaver once I start designing. As far as knitting goes... can't go wrong with EZ's "Knitting Without Tears."

  6. I rarely buy crafting books as well. With all of the work on the book, I've noticed a shift in what I look for when buying a book. I've been buying based on photographs and book layout. I've been studying what works and what doesn't work in different books.
    I think I'll have to take a closer look at the Sock From The Toe up. It looks gorgeous.

  7. When I first started spinning, I bought Spinning Designer Yarns by Diane Varney, and referred to it constantly. It was out of print for a while, but it looks like it's available again.

    A few years ago I finally bought myself all the Elizabeth Zimmermann books, and I love them all! Even though I'm not likely to make many of her patterns, there is so much amazing technical information in there, and her writing made me think about knitting in a different way than I had before.

  8. Thanks for this wonderful review of your favorite "go-to" craft books. My craft book library is teeny tiny (I have over 2,000 books of other genres) so I try to keep my craft world relegated to yarn and needle stash instead. Still, you've got me interested in checking each of these titles out. Hand-dyeing is on my list of things to do before 2012 is over!

  9. Ahhh Books! My first love! (We've been together for a very long time!) for as much as I enjoy them my personal collection (of craft books) is quite small. I am dedicated to the library, and it's not unusual for me to have 15 items out at a time. I'll be adding your suggestions on fiber and dyeing to my list of requests. My recent go-to books have been all about the granny square (of course!!)
    Thanks for sharing your faves - and for all your kind comments!
    Happy September :)

  10. I'll have to add that dyeing book to my want list :O).
    I love Ann Budds' beginning sock book. I love knitting my socks the old school way!

  11. We share three out of the five above, but I'll be looking at Respecting the Spindle and The Principles of Knitting next trip to B&N

  12. Maybe I should have gotten that sock book instead of the sock pattern that I bought. Maybe I would have finished the socks I started for my husband three years ago.

  13. I mostly reference the internet and the very, very, very small one room library near where I live in the middle of nowhere. :-) The Socks from the Toe Up one looks especially appealing to me. I will have to see if our little library can get it for me. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I tend not to buy knitting books either. The two I have are stitch pattern libraries, that I got when I started designing. The Hand Dyeing book looks gorgeous!

  15. I'm a bit the same, with the prefererence for internet over books. But I am interested in that dyeing book!!

    I do find myself buying vintage books though. Just for interest more than actual making of the patterns though.

  16. four of the five books you listed are on my go-to shelf.

    I also reach for The Knitters Book of Wool (Clara Parkes) a ton.


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