Sundry Saturday: The Revisions are coming! (by Kellie)

Filed in Uncategorized by on January 8, 2012 1 Comment

Wow, what a week it’s been here at our little home on the web! You all are fantastic! I have half a dozen posts planned and in draft mode thanks to all the comments.

Our pal Sarah asked about our favorite knitting reference books, so I thought I’d take a few column-inches to give my answer. I hope Gwen will chime in as well.

The knitting reference books that I turn to most often are, in no particular order:

  • Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt 
  • Reader’s Digest Knitter’s Handbook by Montse Stanley
  • Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmermann
  • Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann
  • Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting
  • Folk Socks by Nancy Bush
  • The Knitter’s Guide to Sweater Design by Carmen Michelson and Mary Ann Davis
  • Barbara Walker’s Stitch Treasuries (1 and 2 mostly) 
Why do I love them? For some, it is the way they are written. For others it is purely the amount of good information. You’ll notice that not one of them is recent-all are from nearly a generation ago or more.  Each author in the above list has a very different style, and on many points they disagree. I kind of like that, though. I like having my own Cabinet of Top-Level Knitting Experts discussing knitting techniques around an imaginary conference table and feel that I can only benefit by learning different ways and digesting different opinions. 
A couple of these books are about to be or recently have been reprinted, which always forces me to think about whether or not I should buy the new version. The simple, completely unhelpful-to-you answer is that sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. If it is a comprehensive revision, with new words and picture,  or my current copy is really worn out, I’ll consider it. If it’s just a facsimile of the original or is basically the same except with one new chapter or the addition of a new pattern or two, I probably won’t. Being a bibliophile and an inveterate collector of books, it’s very tempting to always have the latest and greatest. There is a kind of security that comes from knowing that I have access to the information, even if I never crack the book open. In an effort to reduce and simplify in my life, however, I am resisting that urge to buy books and endeavoring to extract all the information I can from the resources already in my possession. The above books, though plain rather than fancy for the most part,  are the ones that always seem to have what I’m looking for, and so they remain my favorite and most recommended books. 
I do have a few more recent tomes that are on the way to becoming indispensable, but I’ll save those for another post. 
Do tell! What are your favorite knitting books?  

Tags: , ,