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Old 05-25-2007, 01:52 AM   #1
AnnaT
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Best starter pattern book?
Could someone please recommend a good starter pattern book? I have to buy books sight unseen from Amazon, so it's hard to choose. I do have Debbie Bliss's How to Knit, but most of the patterns are for children.

Twinkle's Big City Knits looks interesting, but thought perhaps I should stay with something more basic. I also considered Big Girl Knits, as nothing ever seems right for me "up top" . I also considered the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd, so I wouldn't get all freaked out by yarn substituting all the time.

I am a new knitter, and am pretty comfortable with the basic aspects of knitting. I just haven't attempted any sort of garment yet.

My dream is to someday make Rogue (http://www.girlfromauntie.com/patter...gue/detail.php) but I know I am not ready.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:04 AM   #2
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The Big Girl Knits book is really wonderful but I'm not sure its for a beginner. But if you bought it you would not be sorry you had it.

What kind of things do you want to knit? I have a lot of books that I love but if you give us more of an idea of what you'd want to make knit that may help.

I like the book "One Skein Wonders". That has a lot of smaller projects in it but all sorts of things. Maybe you can find it at your local book shop to see it in person then buy it on Amazon for less.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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I recommend the first 'Stitch and Bitch' book, or a book I've got got 'The knitter's Bible'. They are great, the patterns are laid out simply and the step by steps are great, If you could only get 1 I would get the Stitch and Bitch.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:14 AM   #4
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The question is not "which pattern book" but "which knitting book."
Before anything else, you need a good technique book that contains answers to the questions that inevitably arise when you are learning to knit (and there's no end to learning about knitting). The books you mention are okay for learning beginner techniques but you'll quickly outgrow them.

The three best choices, in my opinion, are:
  • Vogue Knitting: the Ultimate Knitting Book
  • Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley
  • Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti
The first is authoritative and easy to use. Not cheap, but consider it a lifetime investment. Great illustrations.
The second is quirkier but so packed with information that I can't live without it.
The third is like having a good teacher at your side.

The videos on this site are also very good for learning individual techniques.

When you've got your technique book, consider "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" by Ann Budd, which you mention. It'll help you make anything you want, in any size, and in any yarn. Indispensible.

THEN you can start thinking about pattern books. You'll find that they can be an expensive habit: a $25 book may contain only one or two patterns you are really interested in making. You may be better off buying individual patterns online from designers whose work you like. This site is one example, but there are hundreds: highcountryknitwear.com

Depending on your interests, you might also want a sock book, a scarf book, a mitten book. The descriptions on Amazon are not bad but the comments from readers are very useful in helping you decide whether a book is for you or not. Or ask about specific books on this forum. (Several other knitting forums have ongoing book threads.)
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Quiltlady View Post
What kind of things do you want to knit? I have a lot of books that I love but if you give us more of an idea of what you'd want to make knit that may help.
That's part of the problem. I am just not sure. I think I'd like to make a sweater with bell sleeves.

Originally Posted by Quiltlady View Post
I like the book "One Skein Wonders". That has a lot of smaller projects in it but all sorts of things. Maybe you can find it at your local book shop to see it in person then buy it on Amazon for less.
I have looked at that book several times on Amazon and wondered how it was! I would give anything to go to a book shop, but my town is kind of smallish and we don't have an English book shop (I'm an American living in Greece). It's online ordering for me, or having my mother get it for me and mail it. Either way, I can't look at it first.

Originally Posted by Nobones View Post
I recommend the first 'Stitch and Bitch' book, or a book I've got got 'The knitter's Bible'. They are great, the patterns are laid out simply and the step by steps are great, If you could only get 1 I would get the Stitch and Bitch.
I wondered about the SnB book, because it's so popular. I just wasn't sure if it had a lot of cute stuff, when I think I should start out with something more basic.

Thanks, both of you! I can narrow my search better now.
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by knitasha View Post
The question is not "which pattern book" but "which knitting book."
Before anything else, you need a good technique book that contains answers to the questions that inevitably arise when you are learning to knit (and there's no end to learning about knitting). The books you mention are okay for learning beginner techniques but you'll quickly outgrow them.

The three best choices, in my opinion, are:
  • Vogue Knitting: the Ultimate Knitting Book
  • Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley
  • Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti
The first is authoritative and easy to use. Not cheap, but consider it a lifetime investment. Great illustrations.
The second is quirkier but so packed with information that I can't live without it.
The third is like having a good teacher at your side.

The videos on this site are also very good for learning individual techniques.

When you've got your technique book, consider "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" by Ann Budd, which you mention. It'll help you make anything you want, in any size, and in any yarn. Indispensible.

Thanks for the recommendations! The Knitter's Handbook has been in my Amazon shopping basket for some time now, but I was afraid to buy it. :rollseyes: This is because I was a tiny bit disappointed with Bliss's How to Knit. That has good directions, but I didn't want to make anything in it.

Yes, the videos on this site are wonderful. There's so much information on the internet as far as instruction goes, but I think this one is the best. And the forums are fabulous, too.

Originally Posted by knitasha View Post
THEN you can start thinking about pattern books. You'll find that they can be an expensive habit: a $25 book may contain only one or two patterns you are really interested in making. You may be better off buying individual patterns online from designers whose work you like. This site is one example, but there are hundreds: highcountryknitwear.com

Depending on your interests, you might also want a sock book, a scarf book, a mitten book. The descriptions on Amazon are not bad but the comments from readers are very useful in helping you decide whether a book is for you or not. Or ask about specific books on this forum. (Several other knitting forums have ongoing book threads.)

Thank you for your advice. Here is my knitting library: A folder full of printouts of instructions from the internet, a folder full of printouts of interesting stitch patterns, Wendyknit's book, which has lots of nice patterns, Debbie Bliss's How to Knit, and Folk Socks (which is waaaaaaay too hard for me, but has good step-by step instructions for a basic sock). So you think going with The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns is the next step?
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:19 AM   #7
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If you already know the basic basics -- how to cast on,
knit, purl, increase, purl and bind off -- then yes, the Ann Budd book is a good next step. After all, a bell sleeve sweater is just a basic sweater with more increases at the bottoms of sleeves.

The other books I mentioned will deepen your knowledge, though.
I mean, Stanley's book contains about 30 ways to cast on and many ways to increase and decrease, each with different advantages. (As I said, you could spend a lifetime learning to knit and still not know everything.)

I forgot the mention the Sally Melville "Knitting Experience" series: "The Knit Stitch," "The Purl Stitch" and "Color." They take a completely unique step by step approach to learning, with every detail well illustrated. The projects help you learn each step, and they are generally good-looking, ranging from scarves to coats and plenty of nice sweaters.

Last edited by knitasha : 05-26-2007 at 12:21 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-27-2007, 12:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by knitasha View Post
If you already know the basic basics -- how to cast on,
knit, purl, increase, purl and bind off -- then yes, the Ann Budd book is a good next step. After all, a bell sleeve sweater is just a basic sweater with more increases at the bottoms of sleeves.

The other books I mentioned will deepen your knowledge, though.
I mean, Stanley's book contains about 30 ways to cast on and many ways to increase and decrease, each with different advantages. (As I said, you could spend a lifetime learning to knit and still not know everything.)

You have given me some things to think about. I only know one way to cast on and bind off. I have instructions for others, but have never been in a situation where I needed to learn another. I do agree that learning is endless in knitting. I am fascinated about that, that something so seemingly simple can actually be so complex.


Originally Posted by knitasha View Post
I forgot the mention the Sally Melville "Knitting Experience" series: "The Knit Stitch," "The Purl Stitch" and "Color." They take a completely unique step by step approach to learning, with every detail well illustrated. The projects help you learn each step, and they are generally good-looking, ranging from scarves to coats and plenty of nice sweaters.
These books do sound good. Thank you. In my searching on Amazon for knitting books, I never came across these.

Did you see the orange mini-dress on the cover of 'The Purl
Stitch'? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Knitting-Exp...0240163&sr=1-4
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:34 PM   #9
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I second Nobones' recommendation of the Stitch n' Bitch book. If you go to the website you can look at the pictures of the finished patterns available in the book. The "to dye for" sweater has what I would consider bell sleeves.

I've used at least four of the patterns from this book, and plan on using several more.
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:57 PM   #10
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You can go to the books at knitpicks -http://knitpicks.com/knitting+books.html and click on `view more images' for a look at some of the projects in the books.
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