The Knitter’s Book of Yarn. There has been a lot of conversation about designers using expensive yarn in their projects and if you’ve been following the blog for a while you’d know I don’t have a ton of money to spend on yarn right now. When you combine that with “I want to do my own thing” you find yourself in a place where you need an understanding of how you can use yarn to your benefit. Clara Parks walks you through this process by providing information on how different fibers work up. This includes information on warmth, drape, pilling, when to use single ply vs triple and so much more. Despite the textbook appearance, this books is both interesting and informative. I can honestly say it provided me with several “oooohhhhh that’s why that happened” moments and has empowered me to manipulate yarn to work for me.
Knit to Flatter. I’m not someone who spends a lot of time thinking about what to wear or how clothing looks on me, but this was an interesting read that changed my views on sweater making. What I mean by that is it’s the first time in my knitting career that someone pointed out most sweaters are designed with a specific body type in mind and you have the power to knit them for your body instead. For me, this often means ignoring waist shaping because I like a boxy sweater, but Amy Herzog also provides insight into manipulating stitches to add shaping where your body needs it. Herzog also had some great tips about loving your body too (like stop looking at it sideways!).
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot’s Guide to the Land of Knitting. Or anything by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the yarn harlot) for that matter. The Yarn Harlot is entertaining and fun to read, if you can get you hands on an audiobooks she’s fun to listen to too (and reads her own books!), but this is a book I keep on my shelf when I need to help people understand my world of knitting and why I can enjoy it for hours at a time. Having read everything I can get my hands on, I will caution you that the themes of her books do start to repeat themselves.
The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater. Another enjoyable collection of Essays written by a knitter. This one puts the boyfriend sweater curse into perspective and makes you think about whether or not knits are destined for someone. Something I can’t help but agree with.
Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece. I had the pleasure of attending a class taught by Gail Callahan and I cannot stress enough how she has changed the way that I view color. Callahan’s philosophy goes beyond the color wheel (literally, she created her own grid system) and has you daydreaming of dying your own yarns. This is a book that I reference time and time again.
Harvesting Color. Honestly, I haven’t done as much as I could with this one. That being said I love the idea of foraging and would love to apply the activity to my craft as well as to my cooking. Rebecca Burgess provides beautiful pictures and detailed information about where to find plants to dye in different colors and how to use them. It’s one of the books that I’m inching to take out of storage so I can start plotting for next year.