Knitting in the Library

I was wondering what you would consider important knitting books for a permanent collection at a public library. I want to come up with a list diverse in subject matter (beginner's, advanced, technique, patterns, stitch dictionary, design, ethnic etc.), as well as a relatively timeless list which avoids trends as our library is not particularly well funded. The current collection's downfall is that it contains books which are not very well written, books of patterns/projects which are outdated/just plain corny, and not much in the way of technical information. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Marshall's picture

All of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books. She totally changed the way I looked at knitting. Just my 2¢ anyway!

I have to add Barbara Walkers Treaury series.

gardenguy42's picture

I agree with Marshall. For sheer inspiration, ease of understanding, and inspiration they can't be beat!I would recommend all of EZ's books and DVDs as well as those of her daughter, Meg Swanson.

As reference books, all of Barbara Walkers' "Treasury of Knitting Patterns" books.

I would also add the following titles, which I use constantly to inspire and improve my knitting:

"Vogue Knitting Quick Reference: The Ultimate Portable Knitting Compendium"
A little bit of just about everything you need or want to know, with excellent illustrations and clear, precise instructions.

"The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques" by Nancie M. Wiseman
Well-written, easy to understand, clear, thorough, and the best part is the Pros and Cons of each technique. Really helps you choose the best technique to get the best finishing.

"Big Book of Knitting" by Katharina Buss
One of the best books I've bought for expanding your repertoire of professional-looking techniques. Includes just about everything the beginning knitter and the intermediate to advanced knitter needs to know to produce professional looking garments and designs.

"The knitter's handy book of Patterns" and "The knitter's handy book of Sweater Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges" both by Ann Budd
What bang for the buck! Basic patterns for everything from scarves to mittens to gloves, to vest to cardigans to pullovers, all easily followed and with lots of room for creativity like adding your own stitch pattern. I love both of these books!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

albert's picture

The Kaffe Fassett books- short on technique, but mind expanding on color and design.

V's picture

Vogue Knitting, The Ultimate Knitting Book by the editors of Vogue Knitting (hardcover) would be perfect for the library. I have the old one, but I think it has been updated recently.

-Doh! Looks like Gardenguy has already mentioned this (which is the updated version).

Kerry's picture

Vogue Knitting (hardcover) is a great reference book covering just about everything, I've had mine about 20 years and find it the one book I keep going back to. I'm new to EZ, enjoy her writing immensely, but haven't got round to making anything from her books yet. There are so many good books that may be too specialised, lace, Fair Isle, socks, etc.

If I could only have one book, it would be Vogue Knitting.

Asplund's picture

To avoid repetition I'll just add "The Art of Fair Isle Knitting" by Ann Feitelson and anything by Alice Starmore.

scottly's picture

I find The Knitter's Handbook very useful and I love the contemporary language of Stich 'n' Bitch though I hope the title isn't too risque for the public library. As for diversity I think one of the books geared toward male knitters should be included. I also think there is a timelessness about the Folk knitting books (Folk Hats, Folk Vest, etc.)

Albert is right on with the Kaffe Fassett books. I think that these are some of the most famous books on knitting.


Asbjörn's picture

Well, our Library does have Stitch 'n' Bitch Crochet so it mustn't be too risqué. _____________________________


StuartWS's picture

I never ever leave home without my copy of The Knitting Answer Book by margaret Radcliffe. It's got clear, concise instructions for most every technique you could need, and the diagrams are very well done. I would also consider Tara Jon Manning's Mindfull Knitting and Compassionate Knitting as well. In them, she provides a nice discussion on Knitting as a spiritual practice (like meditation). Of course, I also second the recommendations for the Walker Treasuries and the Zimmerman books.