Beginning Knitting Book Round Up!

My first beginning knitting class is coming to a conclusion and I want to make sure to give these new knitters some great resources to take with them into their future knitting adventure.

I know I would recommend Stitch N’ Bitch for sure, it has great illustrations and tips for things like picking out yarn, but what else? Stitch N’ Bitch isn’t everyone’s style. Not everyone wants “hip” for their knitting projects. Some want “classic” or “elegant” or “fun” but not “teen fun”. You know what I mean? I like it for me, but that’s me.

I’ve seen a lot of good reviews of Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti:

According to many of the reviews it’s great for beginning knitter to more advanced knitters. Maggie writes in a fun tone – explaining the woes of button holes and giving some great tips on how to detect when a model is positioned to hide bad shaping. There are a few projects, but I haven’t found much on them except the baby sweater, which seems cute. I would say good for the info, maybe not the projects? What do you think?
Next on the list that I found was Teach Yourself Visually – Knitting:

I’ve seen this book around and when I’ve looked through it, it seemed pretty good. It has a lot of great reviews and projects ranging from beginning to intermediate. A baby sweater to an adult sweater for woman – which actually looks pretty classic. Only one review on amazon claimed it wasn’t “visual” enough – which I found ironic considering the name of the book, haha. I can’t say it’s true or false though. A lot of the other people (74 I think) said it was great for a beginning knitter. You can search inside to get a little preview for yourself.


I love Vogue books. I’m worried that I’m just bias in saying that I like Vogue Knitting’s The Ultimate Knitting Book the best. From what I’ve read a lot of other people do to.

The sweater patterns I saw on Ravelry weren’t my style, but the important thing is that the information is really solid. A good source book for sure.


One of my knitting students picked up the Knitting Answer Book at the library and it really is packed full of great information. It’s a good reference book, but not unnecessarily a good learning to knit book. If you already know how to knit, or are just getting starting, I would pick this book up and give it a look for sure. I think just about every library has a copy – which is a good sign.


Now then there is the question of “what’s a good beginning knitting project book?”

I think Weekend Knitting has a nice range of beginning (fingerless mittens) to more complex (that hat pattern I still can’t figure out for some reason). It was the book that I bought and said “I’m going to learn how to knit someday just so I can make these projects”. And I did learn. And my first projects were from this book – but I had a great yarn shop that let me ask all sorts of questions and walk me through a few of the patterns (like the backgammon board project).


I also really like Mason Dixon Knitting – it’s another book with a really great range of projects for the home as well as garments. And I love the writing and photography. I will always remember the line “just let me slip into something a little more knitted” (or approx that, not an exact quote).


I haven’t knit from these two books, but I’ve read through both of them and the projects look classic, simple, and straight forward.


So what book helped you learn how to knit? What were the first project books that you knit from? What’s your favorite knitting book of all time?

I think I’m going to repeat this post next week for beginning crochet. So be thinking about that too and make sure to comment on that post as well!

Best wishes and happy knitting!


ps – I almost forgot!
The March issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly is in the shop!

You can get a one month subscripton
or three month subscription or
the zine only.
You can also get the February issue of clm if you missed out on it last month.

March subscriptions are on sale until Friday, February 13th and will all be sent out Wednesday, February 18th!

5 thoughts on “Beginning Knitting Book Round Up!

  1. Hi Kristin ~
    I’m self-taught and when I made the jump, I picked “Knit Scarves” by Candi Jensen. There are 16 scarf patterns that introduce you to stipes, lace knitting, stranded color knitting, and some good basic stitch patterns/variations.

    I just discovered “Book 1: The Knit Stitch” by Sally Melville. As suggested, all of the patterns are done in the knit stitch but its got GREAT technique explanations and illustrations. Rosemary has the whole series at the shop so take a look next time you’re there.

  2. I actually taught myself to knit and crochet with those ubiquitous Leisure Arts pamphlets you find at the craft stores. But my favorite knitting instruction books are probably the ones by Sally Melville, the Knitting Experience books. Great photos, details and projects.

  3. All crochet patterns were a complete mystery to me until I picked up The Happy Hooker. Debbie Stoller does a really good job of giving step-by-step instructions (with illustrations to match) in crochet stitches and patterns. After I figured out a few from her book, I was able to understand other patterns better. I go back to that book again and again for refreshers.

  4. Thanks for this post – I’m a knitting newbie, but am in the process of moving across an ocean so I can’t be buying new books right now. I’ll save this post for after the move and then hit the library/bookstore!

  5. The first book that the instructional areas really made sense to me was Sally Melville’s “The Knit/Purl Stitch”. I just wish her projects were a little more hip. I like your book selection – I have “Knitting In Plain English” but I agree with you that I think it is better as an insstructional book than a project book. I agree with you that the Mason Dixon Knitting Book is great for beginners and offers some pretty creative ideas in blankets, etc. I also like the “Getting Started: Knitting Socks” book. Easy for the newbie sock knitter with different pattern repeats to try in the back. Great post!

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