I'm really enjoying participating in Nonfiction November*. This week's subject is:
Be the Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert: Share a list of nonfiction books on a topic you know a lot about. Or, ask for some advice for books on a particular topic. Or, put together a list of nonfiction books on a topic you’re curious about.
Those of you who are regular readers (and I know there've been a lot of new readers lately as well, so *waving* "HI!" to you newcomers) won't be shocked that I've picked knitting as my topic of expertise. The word "expert" actually makes me uncomfortable, because in knitting there is always more to learn, but I do work in a knitting shop and make part of my living by teaching people to knit, so it's pretty safe to say that I know more about knitting than most people do. So, here are five books I recommend on the subject.
Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook by Debbie Stoller When Stoller, co-founder of Bust magazine, came out with this book about ten years ago, it introduced a whole new audience to the idea that knitting can be very cool. I love this book for that influence alone, but it's also a fantastic beginner guide that teaches the basics and contains dozens of patterns for easy (but fun) projects.
Knitting From The Top by Barbara G. Walker Once you're ready to dabble in designing your own projects, this book--frumpy cover notwithstanding-- is indispensable. Barbara G. Walker is a knitting legend. I got to meet her a few years ago. She was 75 years old at the time and wearing an anarchy t-shirt. She signed my book. We had lunch. She read my tarot cards. She sold my friend a sparkly hand-knit jumpsuit for a Ken doll. That was a weird day. Weird, and AWESOME.
440 More Knitting Stitches from The Harmony Guides series An intrepid knitter armed with a good stitch dictionary is pretty much unstoppable. This is one of my favorites because it has a bit of everything--basic textures, cables, lace, colorwork, etc. For a craft that only has two basic stitches--knit and purl--the number of possible variations is mind-boggling. Some are easier than others, of course, but the challenge can be part of the fun. If you can't get inspired looking through the Harmony Guides, you might not have eyeballs.
Knit Socks! by Betsy Lee McCarthy "Knitting your own socks?!? What a colossal waste of time!"--me, years ago. I was a skeptic for way too long, but eventually I succumbed to peer pressure (fellow knitters can be very persuasive) and gave sock knitting a try. It's fun! And you can make socks that fit you impeccably (a bonus for weird-foot-sized people like me). This book is the perfect intro to sock knitting. Its instructions are extremely clear and it offers a variety of styles to make.
Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch Of course, if you're like most people who get hooked on making socks, you won't be content to stick with the basics. This book opens up a wide, crazy world of socks for every size foot in every thickness of yarn, using a variety of techniques. You could literally make thousands of pairs of socks using this book and never repeat yourself. With this book, you'll never need to buy another sock pattern again. Having said that, there is also a sequel, just in case.
*Missed my post for the first week of Nonfiction November? Here it is.