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Message Board > Knitting Lounge > Best book for absolute novice ( Moderated by JEF)

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Best book for absolute novice
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CathyWeeks
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CathyWeeks
Intermediate
MN USA
Member since 9/5/08
Posts: 702
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Subject: Best book for absolute knitting novice Date: 2/5/09 3:02 PM

Ok, I've started teaching myself to knit, and I'm not finding it easy. I've mastered the slingshot cast-on and the knit stitch. In the "teach yourself to knit" kit (or whatever it was called) that came with 2 sizes of needles, a book, and a few other tools I've got no idea how to use, it said to knit 10 rows and then bind, and then start the next stitch. I decided that I would keep knitting until I achieved 10 rows with no mistakes so now I have this 8" long scarf where I FINALLY got 10 rows with no holes or whatever. So instead of binding it off, I'm going to learn the perl stitch next, and just keep going until my daughter has a doll scarf.

Anyway, I'm wondering what's the best book for learning to knit?

I'm considering the following:
Teach Yourself Visually: Knitting

My husband thinks this company's guides are really good, and the overall reviews are good (4.5 stars from 71 reviewers) but a few reviewers thought the writing and photos were terrible, and confusing.

Knitting: The Complete Guide

The above link is pretty new - it was just published last summer, and there aren't any reviews yet. But it looks cool.

The Complete Beginners Guide DVD

I'm hesitant to get the last one, because I think I can find videos that demonstrate, for free on the internet. But it's so universally recommended, I can't quite strike it from my list.

Does anyone know anything about these resources? Can anyone recommend a book?
-- Edited on 2/5/09 3:02 PM --

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My (mostly) green sewing blog: http://NapkinLady.blogspot.com/

Diana M
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Diana M
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 4/19/04
Posts: 927
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Date: 2/5/09 4:56 PM

I'm not familiar with any of those that you posted, but this is the one I used to get myself started a few years back:

All New Teach Yourself to Knit

I still find myself referring back to it, and it's got some great useful projects in it, as well as an author who writes like a dear auntie looking over your shoulder!

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Sewing fills my life. And my living room, and bedroom, and closets, and car . . .
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The advantage of a food allergy is that I get to choose the restaurant.

Sewing Joe
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Sewing Joe
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Date: 2/5/09 5:16 PM

I'm a huge fan of Stitch & Bitch by Debbie Stoller. The patterns in it are most assuredly not my cup of tea (but I'd love to be young enough and hip enough for them to be). She's funny, and I find her instructions very clear. It's the first book I check when I have a question.

When you want to move up to run with the big dogs (I stay on the porch mostly myself), anything by Elizabeth Zimmerman or Maggie Righetti is always a good read.

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Joe in New Albany, iN

2BSewing
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2BSewing  Friend of PR
Intermediate
VA USA
Member since 3/7/05
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Date: 2/5/09 6:48 PM

I have the Teach Yourself Visually: Knitting book and it's pretty good. One of the reasons I purchased it was for the pictures and the steps. I'm using it as a resource for the first sweater I'm knitting. I just did a post on my blog about the knitting books I use.

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misscoleen
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misscoleen  Friend of PR
Beginner
NY USA
Member since 2/22/07
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In reply to CathyWeeks


Date: 2/5/09 9:37 PM

Hi Cathy, I realize that you are asking about a good book but I thought I would mention an on line how to knit videos site. This is where I learned how to knit. knittinghelp.com I have this site in my favorites and always refer to it when I pick up the needles after not knitting for a while. HTH coleen

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misscoleen

plazaglass

plazaglass
Intermediate
FL USA
Member since 12/22/07
Posts: 127
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In reply to CathyWeeks


Date: 2/5/09 9:51 PM

I have to second the Stitch n Bitch recommendation. Very clear explanations of the basic mysteries.

CathyWeeks
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CathyWeeks
Intermediate
MN USA
Member since 9/5/08
Posts: 702
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In reply to misscoleen


Date: 2/5/09 11:03 PM

Thanks Misscoleen,
It's because of sites like this one that I'm hesitant to buy the DVD. I've also found decent videos for how to do individual stitches at Youtube, and after I watched them, then the instructions in my rather poorly written books suddenly make sense.

Anyway, I've looked at a couple of their videos, and they are indeed helpful.

Cathy

------
My (mostly) green sewing blog: http://NapkinLady.blogspot.com/

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 8/24/02
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Date: 2/5/09 11:10 PM

I taught myself how to knit using a book written to teach children to knit. My library had several different ones. The books assume you know nothing and the diagrams are easy to follow.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

misscoleen
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misscoleen  Friend of PR
Beginner
NY USA
Member since 2/22/07
Posts: 211
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Date: 2/6/09 10:29 AM

Cathy, I am the same way. I find the books hard for me to follow but once I see the instructions in video "I get it" I do have one book from my MIL, can't think of the name, but it is old, very retro, showing 1950 to early 60's models but the instructions are still the same! You should have a couple of good books - there is something to be said about holding a book and turning the written page! Even though I do not own any DVD's if someone highly recommends one I would be inclined to buy it. I'm sure that they have tons more info then the free stuff on line and probably instructions on how to complete an entire project.

diane s, I had someone give me their childs How to Knit Book to use and it was really, really helpful - just my speed - ha!

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misscoleen

Aleah

Aleah
Beginner
CA USA
Member since 1/9/05
Posts: 186
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Date: 2/6/09 11:48 AM

I third the Stitch and Bitch series suggestions. The pictures in those books are incredibly helpful.

These days I'm knitting mostly from patterns in the Debbie Bliss Baby Knits for Beginners book, but the pictures in that book are not at all helpful. So I use the Debbie Bliss book for the patterns and keep the Stitch and Bitch books in my knitting bag for reference when I need to learn a new technique.

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