Knitting and Crochet Book Reviews

How I wish I knew how to knit and crochet. My grandmother could knit and crochet the most beautiful things. She tried to teach me, but because I'm left handed, everything always seemed all backwards and upside down, and I could never figure it out.

Luckily, several readers have been kind enough to share reviews of their favorite knitting and crochet books!

Vogue Knitting Magazine

Tallahassee, Fl

I am not a perfect knitter, an experienced knitter, or even a knitter first. However, in my spare time I am a knitter. I am a self-taught knitter and love the feeling of accomplishment, but so many books and magazines assume you already know everything and can jump right in.

Vogue Knitting doesn't expect you to run before you can walk or purl before you can knit. Instead they have patterns for varying levels of expertise and many articles that can interest all readers from those who have just begun to knit to those who have read hundreds of similar articles, but still find something interesting and new to add to their repertoire.

These magazines are written toward every level of knitters. However, crocheters who do some knitting on the side can find information they want or need within these covers as well, so it is not strictly knitting. It has information for spinning, dyeing, crocheting and, of course, knitting.

The only thing that I would suggest to Vogue Knitting to change about their magazine is the number of issues per year. One simply cannot get enough of their articles and patterns and needs to be offered their help more and more.

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Loom Crafts with Knifty Knitter

by Alisha James
(Billings, MT)

I have had Loom Crafts with Knifty Knitter for a year now and use it more than I'd like to admit to. This book shows you how to use the loom with detailed instructions on how to create a slip knot, secure the knot to the peg, several knitting variations and then knitting off variations.

Just about every step comes with clear pictures to assist in completing the step. It really makes it easy, especially because I am a visual person and it's hard to just read what to do.

There are twenty one step by step projects narrowed down Babies & Toddlers, Cuddle Up, Let's Play (children's toys) and finally Family Crafts. My favorite project is the Mommy and Me Blanket. It comes with the option to use different color combinations and you can even make the blanket smaller to fit a small child. The best part is that you basically make several small squares and connect the squares to make a blanket.

The book has a handy spiral backing so that you can fold it to the page your working on without having to awkwardly hold the page open while it keeps trying to close on you.

Anyway, this is a great book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone new to loom knitting and even those familiar and wanting new patterns.

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The Prayer Shawl Companion by Janet Bristow and Victoria Cole-Galo

by Sharon
(Tucson, Arizona)

The Prayer Shawl Companion: 38 Knitted Designs to Embrace Inspire & Celebrate Life contains 38 patterns for shawls to fit in with the charity knitting movement known as the Prayer Shawl Ministry.

The shawls range from those designed to help ease someone’s grief to those designed to celebrate momentous events in someone’s life. Also included in the book are stories of individuals who have knit these shawls and stories of individuals who have received these prayer shawls.

There is also a description of the mission and spiritual basis of the Prayer Shawl Ministry and guidance on how to knit in a peaceful, creative, and spiritual manner. The shawls are knit in a variety of knit patterns and yarn types, and all are interesting and attractive. The patterns are mainly for the advanced beginner or intermediate knitter, but some patterns are accessible to the beginning knitter, and there are several that will challenge and interest the experienced knitter.

Well-known knitwear designers such as Jean Moss, Nicky Epstein, and Kaffe Fassett, as well as individuals who are involved in the Prayer Shawl Ministry contributed patterns for the book. This book is a great resource for those interested in becoming involved in the Prayer Shawl Ministry as well as for those interested in making beautiful shawls.

Lisa's Response

Thanks for your book review, Sharon. My grandmother was given a prayer shawl two years ago when she was in palliative care. The shawl was made by someone from my aunt's church, and it gave her and other members of my family a lot of comfort knowing that others were thinking of my grandmother and our family through a difficult time.

It meant a lot to know that someone had put love and care into each stitch to make the shawl that helped to keep her comfortable in her final days.

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Stitch and Bitch Crochet - The Happy Hooker

by Lindsay Urtel
(Buffalo, Ny, USA)

Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller is a fantastic and fun crochet instruction book, perfect for both beginning crocheters and those of us who've been doing it for a long time. Debbie gives interesting commentary, straightforward instructions, and helpful tips to make crocheting interesting and easy. The personality that she has infused into this book is what makes it so fabulous. This book also includes patterns that range in difficulty and are for everything, from hats to gloves to purses to dresses.

I pick up this book every time I start a new crochet project and use it as a reference in case I need help deciphering a vintage pattern or making a stitch I haven't made before. The author explains everything from making a chain to creating a button hole and tying off. She even has a whole section dedicated to granny squares, and a purse to make out of them! I have also made some of the projects in the book and find them to be well-written patterns and fun to make.

So, if you've never crocheted before, buy this book. You won't regret it. If you already know how to crochet, but need some new inspiration, this book will be exactly what you need as well. Teens will love this book as well, partly because of it's "naughty" title, but mostly because the tone of the book is fun and simple.

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Knitting for Dummies

I love Knitting For Dummies.

I tried knitting several different times on my own and with family and friends attempting to show me how. I was unable to get the hang of it. I visited several craft stores attempting to talk to people, look things up or just get general information about how to knit.

Finally, I found the book "Knitting for Dummies" and glanced through it. It seemed fairly self explanatory and show pictures. I purchased Knitting for Dummies and read through it while attempting the different instructions it gave and examples.

By the time I was half way done with the book I was knitting a sweater. I found the book to be very easy to understand and it gives great examples and illustrations. It was easy to follow. I do not know the author but I believe that you can pick this book up at any craft store. I would recommend this book to someone who wants to learn how to knit.

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Crochet World Magazine

by Donna Taulbee
(Balch Springs, TX)

Being a subscriber to Crochet World Magazine for several years, I have to admit this is one of the best crochet magazines on the market. As a matter of fact, I let my renewal lapse for a few years. I found myself returning to their magazine once again this year. It has great projects for beginners to advanced in every issue. I look forward to the next issue to see what new project I can start. I would highly recommend this magazine to anyone who loves crochet or wants to start learning to crochet. Projects range from children's toys to sweaters, afghans and even filet crochet.

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