Everyone has their favorite best knitting books ever.

The go to knitting books be it for reference, designs or just plain Knitting p*rn. Mine has changed over the years for sure as I move from hobby knitter, to fiber art knitwear designer. The other day I was in Barnes and Noble for the first time in what seems like a year. I used to be an art director for a craft book publisher Lark Books which was owned by Barnes and noble, so frequenting the book store was what I did both as a book designer and a knitting fanatic. As I wander up stairs of the shop I stopped in front if the knitting book section to check out the latest. I was surprised at how out of touch with the latest knitting books I am. I mean keeping up with the publishing trends was such a regular thing for me. But now, not so much.

I suppose in an attempt to dial down industry inspirations and forge my own path of knitwear design,

I have gotten a little out of touch with what is out there.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my knitting books. I have an obscene number of them from when I was a book designer. But in all honesty, there are only a few that I would say that I consider my can’t-live-without knitting books. I consider them my bibles because they have formed my theories for sweater construction

So here are my 3 best knitting books ever I could not live without.


#3 Custom Knits: Unleash Your Inner Designer with Top-Down and Improvisational Techniques

It is not because I think the patterns in this book rock (which by the way they do). It is because in the intro the tips for custom fitting sweaters are fantastic. There are instructions for making a personal dress from with household materials. This book is a little old, but there is a second book, Custom Knits 2: More Top-Down and Improvisational Techniques

#2 Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes

I could probably have a list of just Elizabeth Zimmerman books. She is the master of improvised knitting. I learned to knit through a community class, we used her this book. Aside form her objection to ever having to purl a stitch, I think her patterns are innovative and written loose enough to invite as much creative process as you see fit.


#1 Knitting in the Old Way: Designs and Techniques from Ethnic Sweaters

Hands down my all time favorite inspiration. Part history book, part tutorial. At first glance this book appears to have no real patterns in it. But when you are knitting traditional patterns the old way you did not use patterns, you used theories and traditions. This book makes my inner engineer are warm and fuzzy. I am sure it is a love it or hate it thing with this book.  This book gets my creative juices flowing.

I am sure that my must-have list will fluctuate over time. For example, there are some great stitch treasuries out there, but since I am working with wildly hand dyed yarn and hand spun yarn, I really am not looking at stitches. But these three, have been my go to books for years.

What are your favorite must-have knitting books of all time? Leave me a comment below, post it on the Facebook page or shoot me an email

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So all that creative knitting mojo? I have been using it to design pattern-free intuitive sweaters with my hand spun and hand dyed yarns. I call it BiOKnitting. Think like a fiber artist, design like a fashion designer. Wanna learn how?

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