The Best Knitting Books
Before I even start to talk about the actual patterns and contents of these books, I have to mention…no, rave about the photographs. Most craft book photos are sub par at best. These photographs are modern, saturated with color and filled with young, vibrant, beautiful people. The photos make knitting and crocheting look cool and trendy and for an art form that has an old maid stigma, that is no easy feat!
While I am raving about how stunning the photos are, it must be said that it is the patterns in this book that lend themselves to be photographed so well. In Knitting 24/7 there are patterns from everything from a Linen Market Bag (which will be the first pattern I attempt when I find time) to cozy sweaters. The patterns are really modern and everything from the accessories to the clothes are something a modern woman would wear. This is not your Grandma’s knitting book! Besides the Linen Market Bag there is a pattern for some incredible The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary but my favorite pattern in the book is by far the Travel Shawl.
The men’s wear book is modern just like the women’s wear book. The photos are equally stunning, partly because of the hunky male models even my husband said it looks like they pulled some of the men right out of the hills of Ireland! Most of the patterns are what you would expect; sweaters, scarves, mittens and hats but the patterns put a modern spin on those classic looks to make everything feel fresh and contemporary.
The afghan book made me swoon. I was born and raised in North Dakota and now live in Minnesota so I know the value of a good blanket. Blankets are not just home decor that look good, they are a key to surviving Mid West winters. The afghans in this book are beautiful. There are a variety of different styles and levels of difficulty. I have to admit, when I get the time to make one of the afghans from this book I am keeping it all to myself. There will be no sharing and I will definitely not wrap it up as a gift for someone else! That said, there is no better gift then a home made blanket so if you are slightly less selfish than me, I would recommend any of these afghans to make as a gift. In fact, I would be glad to send you my address!
In all three books the photos are wonderful, the patterns are modern and unique. I would wear everything in the Knitting 24/7 book… that is after I get this baby out of my belly and loose the baby weight! For now I will have to stick to the socks and mittens. The men’s book offers great tips like, “Keep it simple. Most men want functional clothing – not works of art.” And the afghan book makes me want to grab my purse and head to the yarn shop!
These are great books. That said, I wouldn’t recommend them to first time knitters, a novice knitter could handle some of the simpler patterns, but I think that these books would be a bit discouraging to a first time knitter or crocheter. The instructions are easy to follow if you know the basic stitches. I learn best by pictures, step by step pictures. I struggle with reading though directions and being able to understand what they are asking of me. These books offer easy to read diagrams but don’t have picture by picture how tos for basic stitches. If you fall in love with these books like I did, I would say go for it, buy them but also pick up a beginners knitting book to use as a reference.