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Available at Amazon

Knitting Lingerie Style: More Than 30 Basic and Lingerie-Inspired Designs
by Joan McGowan-Michael
Stewart, Tabori  and Chang
$29.95 hardcover
SR= 34-53", when there are bra cups – up to a D; bottoms 34-44"

Joan McGowan-Michael works her design magic in 30 designs that will tickle your inner pin-up girl. Now these are not just vaguely inspired lingerie designs – Joan knows about shaping and about shapely bodies. She walks you through knitting bras, garters, slips -- all manner of beautiful, feminine, vintage inspired underthings. And her selection of tanks, cardigans and pullovers is delicious, and definitely meant for public view.


Available at Amazon

Felt Frenzy: 26 Projects for All Forms of Felting
by Heather Brack and Shannon Okey
Interweave Press

A beginner’s book of felting that explains it all. The tools, the fiber the tips the tricks, it’s all here and it’s here for four different types of felting – knit, then felt, wet felting, needle felting and Nuno felting (my personal felting favorite). Even though I know a bit about felting, the tips and info sprinkled through the book, written in conversational style had me reading every word. And there are patterns two, not just a handful, but 26 – basic, not too complex and infinitely customizable for your personal felting desires.


Available at Amazon

The Close-Knit Circle: American Knitters Today
by Kerry Wills
Praeger Publishers
$39.95 hardcover

Fellow knitsters, you know our little knitting hobby has hit a nerve...not when the media chooses to embrace it – Julia, Cameron, yeah, yeah; new yoga – check. Zzzzzzzz.

We are truly something when ACADEMIA notices us. This book is part of The American Subcultures series. This academic book does not contain any stitches or patterns. That being said it’s an interesting read, though if you are a passionate knitter, you won’t find much new here.

I do love that it really captures a moment in knitting time – the knitting groups, the online world of magazines (Go Knitty!), blogs and knit alongs, fiber festivals and knitting charities. There are 5 pages of footnotes, and that alone makes me giddy.


Available at Amazon

Runway Knits: 30 Fashion-Forward Designs

Potter Craft
$32.50 hardcover
SR= 32- 41"

Berta Karpetyan’s name has been all over Vogue Knitting's pattern section for years. It’s surprising that it’s taken so long for her own book to come out.

Not familiar with Berta’s work? She’s the founder and design goddess of Karabella Yarns. And she's the type of designer that can take something seemingly simple as a v-necked pullover and pull, push, or twist it just a little, make it striking, make you look twice when you flip through the book.

Available at Amazon

Knitting with Gigi
for kids ages 8 and up
by Karen Thalacker
Martingale & Company, $16.95 hardcover

Knitting with Gigi Kit
$24.95 USD, softcover book with knitting needles
and 2 skeins of yarn

Gigi McGreedy already knows how to knit. In fact she’s knit so much, her mom suggests she start knitting for others.

Told in rhyme and step-by-step instructions with engaging illustrations. Gigi encourages and teaches kids to knit, for themselves or others. I can talk about how charming this book is, but the proof was my 8-year-old daughter stealing away with the book, saying, “ I like the drawings, mom”, and then calling for needles and yarn a few minutes later.


Available at Lettuce Knit

Porcelain buttons
$3-8 each, depending on size

From smaller than a dime to large enough to cover your palm, Earthenwood has been making buttons of all sizes for many years. Popular with knitters everywhere, they offer a beautiful way to finish your handknit creations!

Strong but very light, they're a perfect compliment for handknit fabric and can be made in almost any color in the lovely variety of patterns they offer. Leaves, vines, flowers, abstracts. All lovely.

Sez their website: "Our porcelain beads, charms, and buttons are fired to high temperatures, which make them very strong, similar to glass. They are very unlikely to chip and break with normal use." They also caution that, because they're ceramic, they're not invincible -- so treat them with care when washing.

You can order them to your exact specifications from their website, or contact Lettuce Knit, which stocks a large assortment of Earthenwood buttons of all sizes and colors, pre-made and ready to ship right away.



Available at Amazon

Fitted Knits: 25 Designs for the Fashionable Knitter
by Stefanie Japel
F&W Publications
SR= 26-44"

Stefanie Japel not only understands knitting, but she understands why we knit – to be creative, to challenge ourselves, and to look great in interesting and fashionable garments.

The ever-popular Glampyre, a frequent and beloved contributor to this magazine, has created a book of patterns that are not only beautiful to look at, but are constructed with great thought. All are knit top-down – this is a great place to start if you’ve never knit top down – and many of the patterns are simple without simplistic results. These are garments that are fashionable today and will still be in five years. Because Stef knows that everybody is different, she has including techniques for customizing her patterns to fit your body. Go Stef!

Available at Amazon

Lacy Little Knits: Clingy, Soft & A Little Risque
by Iris Schreier
Lark Books
$19.95 hardcover
SR= 32-45"

Iris Schreier is the creative genius behind Art Yarns, delectable, beautifully hued luxury yarns. So she, better than anyone, knows how to showcase them to their fullest. In this third book featuring her yarns, she doesn’t disappoint.

The designs feature her yarns beautifully, but her designs are, more importantly, interesting to knit and flattering to wear. Her signature directional knitting is still evident, but this book focuses on lace. From a tiny dollop of lace on a directional tank to garments that are cascades of lace. Lovely.


Available at Amazon

Family Knits: 25 Handknits for all Seasons
by Debbie Bliss
St Martins Press
$29.95 hardcover
SR= 34-50" women’s sweater measurements

Debbie Bliss’ designs are the knitting equivalent of comfort food for me. Don’t know what to knit? Need the comfort of a stylish, but plain-ish pattern to knit during Lost? Debbie all the way.

Her new book of patterns focuses on everybody in the family, from in seasons from beach to snow. Plain, modern, and pretty perfect.


Available at Amazon

More Sensational Knitted Socks
by Charlene Schurch
Martingale & Company

The elements that made Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks an outstanding sock book are here with new sock and stitch patterns. Only quibble: the stitch patterns are placed at the back of the book away from the sock patterns, so I have to either flip back and forth between the two or photocopy (for my own very private use) the stitch pattern I want to use. Like I said, a mere quibble.

This book has been added to my desert island book list.

Available at Amazon

Teach Yourself Visually: Handspinning
by Judith MacKenzie Mc Cuin
Wiley Publishing

Teach Yourself Visually is a series of books that not many people know about. Perhaps, it’s the plainish packaging or not-so-much advertising, but if you haven’t checked out this series, you are missing out.

The Handspinning book, written by sought-after teacher, Judith Mackenzie McCuin, is a marvel. It is the most detailed beginning book of spinning I’ve ever seen. 202 pages with an average of 3 photographs on every page, it covers fiber, preparation, how to spin on a hand spindle and a wheel, plying, dyeing, spinning novelty yarn and even hand and wrist exercises and stretches for spinners.

An exhaustively thorough, enlightening book.


asd asd

Knitter's Bling t-shirt by Knit One; sizes S-XL; $32

Crazy glitzy fun! In white or black short-sleeved shirts decorated with adorable clear sparkly crystals, now you can proclaim your love of the craft loud and clear, day or night. The Knit One website says you can order up to a size XL, but I believe you can get a 2X if you ask. So ask! Machine washable [inside out], dry flat. Cause you don't wanna kill your bling.


Available at Amazon

Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters
by Sharon Brant
Trafalgar Square Books
$24.95 hardcover

A good basic finishing book. It begins talking about finishing long before you actually finish a garment, with choosing, substituting yarns, garment fit and alteration. Then it delves into the actual knitting – casting-on, short row shoulder shaping, buttonholes and bands, etc. Best, not often found in finishing books, Brant discusses mitred corners and the lining of garments.

Instructions are short and to the point and illustrated with photographs – you can actually see where to pick up, pin, etc.


Available at Amazon

Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter
by Alison Hansel
Wiley Publishing
SR: 28 –54"

Pardon the pun, but this is a charming book. If you are not a fan of Harry Potter, move along, this isn’t for you. For the rest of us I’m happy to report that the patterns in this book are so clearly developed and executed with the ardor only an obsessive fan can generate.

There are patterns for garments in the movies – the initial sweater, quidditch sweater, Ron’s animal cracker hat ; things inspired by things in the movie, Molly’s robe, a blanket based on the Weasley clock, and things I hadn’t thought of, that make me smile, like a wand cozy.

In fact I smiled the entire time I spent with the book, since it captures the magic creativity of childhood.




Available at Lexie Barnes

Kitty [circ, shown in Dutch Treat, left]
& Betty [straight, shown in Viona, right]
knitting needle cases

$50 each

It's no secret that I love what Lexie Barnes makes. She has an inner coolness that seeps into every project she designs, plus as a mama, she gets that we want practical bags that can survive knitterly abuse and still look great.

New from Lexie are her needle cases. Kitty holds circs [see interior below left] and Betty [below right] is for straights and/or crochet hooks. That doesn't mean you couldn't use 'em for anything else that you see fit. DPNs in Kitty, maybe? Kitty also comes with sturdy cards that you can label as you see fit. I put my wood, bamboo and plastic circs on the left and metals on the right, and one indicator card per row tells me at a glance what I've got and what's gone missing. It also zips up tidily, even when fully stuffed [see pic at left]. Beautiful, bulletproof storage for your needle collection.



Available at FlipKnit

Flip Knits
- Combination & Western Knitting
- Combination & Western Purling
- Right & Left Slanting Decreases
- "Grandma" Knit & Purl Increases

by Annie Modesitt
$4.99 each

Anyone who has ever taken a class with Annie Modesitt, or even just looked at her patterns, knows that this is a woman who wants knitting to be fun.

For Annie knitting is fun, but not frivolous. You will always learn something from her because the fun makes it stick in your head. Her new set of books are a perfect example of the marriage of fun and learning.

Remember the little animated flip books when you were a kid? I think I spent an entire summer making them when I was 10. These flip books are filled with up close photographs that teach you knitting skills instead of how to do a cartwheel.

Knitting features Annie-style combination knitting and western style knitting; Purl, both ways too;
Left and Right Decreases; "Grandma"Knit and Purl Increases (knitting in the stitch below) are laid out in old-school flip animation in each compact volume.

The best part (besides feeling 10 again) is that you can stop on any single image and study it until it makes sense to your brain.



Available at Yarnmarket

by Della Q
15"w x 5.5"w x 10"h
100% Silk

Della Q has made beautiful silk bags that knitters love since launching her company in 2004. This one is jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

Made of pure silk, embroidered on the front with flowers and vines, this is the most luxurious of knitting bags. You could wear it as a purse with a formal outfit and not be out of place.

Pockets inside will hold notions, cellphones, whatever -- and there's a big zipped pocket on the opposite side for extra safekeeping. Metal feet keep the pretty bag off dirty surfaces.

Different colors are available at different retailers. Yarnmarket has it in green or purple. Della Q shows it in brown. Yum.


Available at Amazon

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Storey Publishing

Tired of trying to explain our world to your non-knitter friends? Have you taught someone to knit, but they're not quite sure what's normal and what's freakishly obsessive? [Hint: obsession is normal.] This book validates our knitting world, putting into amusing prose the lessons we've learned the hard way, or are in the middle of learning right now. I'd suggest you keep your copy with you so you can pass it around when someone gives you that look the next time you're knitting in line at the movie theater.

Steph says everything we're thinking -- or have yet to put into words -- better than anyone. You'll find yourself nodding as you read, which can't be any weirder sight to a muggle than sock knitting.


Available at Amazon

Knitting Never Felt Better:
The Definative Guide to Fabulous Felting

by Nicky Epstein
Sixth & Spring Books
$29.95 hardcover

This book is made up almost entirely of photographs of swatches which demonstrate the properties of felted knitting better than any other book on felting, simply by showing everything up close and personal. There are before-and-after swatches using different fibers; swatches showing dimensional felting; a big section on shibori; swatches for texture stitch patterns featuring cables and lace; appliqué felting; color felting with intarsia, embroidery and entrelac; even bits on felted-and-sewn felting using sewing patterns; and fruit and veg sculptural felting.

Sprinkled through the book are tips from Nicky and her readers. My favorite? A list of the best yarns for felting.





Available at Timeless Totes

Knitting bags by Timeless Totes
Knitting duffel:
[above, shown in Stitch Leaves]

Darla tote: $22
[top left, shown in Teal Damask]

Knitter's travel case:
[bottom left, shown in Kiss 'N Tell]

These bags are tantalizing...utility and affordability! But they're a tease, because right now, they're not so easy to find. [I saw them at the needlearts trade show but have yet to see them for sale in person anywhere.]

The Knitting duffel is a spare bag inside, with one simple zipper pocket -- all lined in nylon. But its shape is unique, it's not too big and the angled zipper allows it to open really wide so you can get into every corner. The handles are leather-look vinyl. This one is my favorite, though I'd love it better with a light-colored lining so I could see inside more easily.

The Darla tote has a zippered pocket and two slide-in pockets on the inside -- all pockets are lined in vinyl! The straps are simply nylon webbing, colormatched to the bag.

The Knitter's travel case [despite the not-my-taste lip-print fabric] is a brilliant design. The structure of the bag is expandable, so the two outside vinyl pockets will hold a LOT of stuff! There are also two slimmer inside vinyl pockets for thinner things. A very handy bag.

Their website doesn't show any of the new fabrics I saw at the show [like Teal Damask and Stitch Leaves shown above], but if you click "Distributors", you'll find retailers in almost every state in the US and one in Canada. Or try this: call their toll-free number and see what they've got in stock and what it costs. A cryptic website shouldn't keep you from a good bargain. Call 877-909-3020.


Available at Amazon

The Best of Vogue Knitting Magazine
Sixth & Spring Books
$29.95 hardcover

100 articles gathered from the first 25 years of Vogue Knitting. Useful, helpful and fun [the covers!]. Remember the Threads magazine collections of knitting articles from the early '90s? It’s like that but better and bigger.

I must include a caveat for the two knitters out there who do not find Elizabeth Zimmerman’s or Meg Swansen’s ideas useful, helpful or fun -- 33 out of the 100 articles are either by or about them. For the rest of us [especially those of us who missed them the first time around], this is a special treat.


needlecase closed

needlecase open
Hard-covered needle case
by Splityarn

Beautifully handmade by Caro!
Different fabric choices available

Sheep door mat
17"h x 30"w
made of coconut fiber
by Lantern Moon

Stitchkeepers by Rollie
sturdy endcaps joined by a stretchy cord
to keep your sock-in-progress safe!

The original danglefree stitch marker
lots of sizes, colors, beads to choose from
by Entrelac
$0.75 each and up

Martini Sock Blockers
sizes S, M, L
@ Scout's Swag

Maryjane's Stitching Room
full of charming farmgirl-style projects
by Maryjane Butters
Potter Craft

200 Ripple Stitch Patterns
in knitting and crochet
so you can join the ripplealong!

by Jan Eaton
Krause Publications