November 01, 2023

Bookish. - Issue 27

Bookish by amirisu

My current favorites.  Reviewed by Meri



Knitting in Plain English

Maggie Righetti
Published in 2007 by St. Martin's Griffin
304 pages, $21.99 USD
ISBN: 978-0312353537

Knitting in Plain English is a comprehensive troubleshooting book on knitting. Based on the her decades of experience helping knitters, Maggie covers the majority of potential hurdles that knitters may come across, from yarn selection to finishing. She repeatedly mentions that people who make craft books are not necessarily experts in that craft, and encourages us to trust our own judgment and ignore the instructions sometimes. I believe even advanced knitters can pick up a few very useful tips from this book! I am looking forward to getting a copy of her sweater design book, too.

Knitting from the Top

Barbara G. Walker
Originally published in 1972, Published in 1996 by Schoolhouse Press
183 pages, €33
ISBN 978-0942018097

I’ve actually had this book for several years, but hadn’t read it closely enough to understand its true value. The book explains how to knit any kind of seamless knitwear without buying a pattern. You don’t even have to do complex calculations. All you need is basic third-grade level math and a tape measure. As she puts it, “I don’t much care for numbers, they make me sleepy.” You just knit top-down, try it on, and stop where it fits the best. I especially enjoyed the Reversible Pants and Seamless Sweater sections.

Knitting Without Tears

Elizabeth Zimmermann
Published in 1971 by Fireside Books
128 pages, $20.00 USD
ISBN:  978-0684135052

It is one of my dreams to translate Elizabeth’s books into Japanese. We have approached the publisher with our conditions, but perhaps they were not attractive enough. I honestly can’t imagine the books would sell very well, but Japanese knitters need her insight and encouragement. Knitting Without Tears is a collection of her essays, with themes that vary from chapter to chapter. The first chapter showcases her opinions and advice on basic techniques, while a later chapter explains how to knit bottom-up seamless knits in various forms. Highly recommended for leisurely reading.

Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans: Fishermen's Sweaters from the British Isles

Gladys Thompson
Published in 1979 by Dover Publications, Inc.
173 pages, $18.95 USD
ISBN 978-0486227030

This is actually one of the first knitting books I ever bought when I dived into knitting in my thirties. I was determined to make a Guernsey sweater, bought some yarn, then couldn’t figure out the instructions. In addition to actual sweater instructions, this book contains some history and a precious stitch dictionary with stitch patterns that are commonly seen in traditional Guernseys and Arans. It was the dictionary part that I had been using this book for since then, but now that I look closely, I can actually figure out the sweater instructions, too!