We may be a month into 2012, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back at the best of 2011. This list is a compilation of the top 11 (get it 2011..11) knitting books from last year. They include everything from great hat pattern collections, to finishing technique and sock knitting workshops, and a bucket list just for knitters.
2011 gave us some great books, more than we can fit on this list. But here are some of our favorites.
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11. Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers by Ann Budd
This is easily one of the coolest book to come out in 2011. Ann Budd is an incredible sock knitter and teacher and this is a must have for anyone interested in taking their sock knitting to the next level. Also it includes a DVD!
Sock Knitting Master Class showcases methods for designing and knitting creative socks, featuring signature elements and techniques from 16 top designers. With patterns divided into two sections by top-down and toe-up construction, Sock Knitting Master Class explores such techniques as cables, twisted stitches, lace, stranded colorwork, entrelac, shadow knitting, and intarsia worked in the round. Plus, you’ll discover inventive ways to start and end socks, shape heels and toes, and knit the soles.
10. 200 Fair Isle Motifs: A Knitter’s Directory by Mary Jane Mucklestone
The comprehensive guide to Fair Isle knitting motifs. The mysteries of Fair Isle are revealed! 200 Fair Isle Motifs offers simple solutions to the seemingly complex technique of stranded colorwork. From simple single row patterns to complex all-over motifs, you’ll find colorways that will thrill and inspire your knitting, whether you’re a beginner or experienced knitter.
9. Stashbuster Knits: Tips, Tricks, and 21 Beautiful Projects for Using Your Favorite Leftover Yarn by Melissa Leapman
Stashbuster Knits gives you the absolute best way to use—and enjoy—your treasured yarn collection guilt free. Leapman offers valuable step-by-step guidance on organizing and shopping your stash to inspire creative new knitting ideas and color combinations. Then she gives you 21 ingenious projects for men, women, children, and home that are designed so no one will ever guess they were made from odds and ends.
8. Alice Starmore’s Charts for Color Knitting: New and Expanded Edition (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) by Alice Starmore
An internationally recognized authority on knitting design and instruction presents charted patterns from her personal source materials. Alice Starmore includes her own geometric and nature-inspired motifs as well as traditional patterns from around the world, plus practical instructions on incorporating them into unique designs. Suitable for beginning and advanced color knitters and for both hand and machine knitting.
7. The Knitter’s Life List: To Do, To Know, To Explore, To Make by Gwen W. Steege
Novices and masters alike can read about qiviut from the musk ox — and then check it off their list once they’ve made something with that luxury fiber. They’ll explore classic sweater designs and visit the yarn-friendliest cities. They’ll discover brave folks who delight in yarn-bombing; master intarsia; and even try spinning, weaving, dyeing, embroidery, and crochet. With all of this irresistible content to devour, knitters will keep coming back for more challenges to take on — and check off from The Knitter’s Life List!
6. Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace by Wendy D. Johnson
Many knitters are intimidated by lace, but with a little guidance anyone can create beautiful pieces. Wendy demystifies lace knitting by thoroughly explaining the basics and offering the best techniques to create the most intricate-looking patterns. Ranging from a lightweight seashell camisole for summer to a thick cowl for winter, Wendy presents projects that are surprisingly easy and fun to create and great to wear year-round.
5. knit, Swirl! Uniquely Flattering, One Piece, One Seam Swirl Jackets; Foreword by Cat Bordhi by Sandra McIver
Sandra McIver’s incredible jackets have been all the rage. Her innovative design has caught the eye of the knitting world and it will never be the same.
Within the lavishly photographed pages of knit, Swirl!, designer Sandra McIver presents 18 designs that flatter all figures, each based on the innovative one piece, one seam circular construction she calls a “Swirl”. Using simple knitting techniques, she creates elegant sweater jackets in four dramatic silhouettes and three flexible sizes.
4. The Knitter’s Book of Socks: The Yarn Lover’s Ultimate Guide to Creating Socks That Fit Well, Feel Great, and Last a Lifetime
by Clara Parkes
2011 brought us some great books on sock knitting, few as anticipated as this third outting by queen of yarn Clara Parkes.
In The Knitter’s Book of Socks, Clara Parkes shows you how to knit socks from yarn up, following the sock yarn life cycle from its foundations to its final moments on a proud foot. By understanding a sock’s basic needs—elasticity, strength, and moisture management—you’ll learn how to play with these tools like building blocks, confidently combining fiber, twist, ply, pattern, and clever stitch tricks to construct your perfect pair of socks.
To help put these principles into practice, The Knitter’s Book of Socks also offers 20 fresh, original patterns from today’s sock-design luminaries, including Cookie A, Cat Bordhi, Ann Budd, Nancy Bush, Anne Hanson, and Melissa Morgan-Oakes. The socks presented here run the gamut from simple knit-and-purl combinations suitable for beginners to innovative designs with lush colorwork, swirling cables, and delicate lace.
3. Weekend Hats: 25 Knitted Caps, Berets, Cloches, and More
by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre
The clever designs of Weekend Hats will have enthusiastic knitters everywhere rejoicing in year-round hat style. Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre have brought you the best in designer knit hat patterns from 21 amazing designers, all in one beautiful and fun-loving collection. All the designs in Weekend Hats are ideal projects for travel, gifts, or sneaking in between larger knit projects. Whether you’re interested in comfort, style, or just knitting enjoyment, Weekend Hats is your all-in-one resource for creating want-to-wear knitted caps.
2. Classic Elite Quick Knits: 100 Fabulous Patterns for Wraps, Socks, Hats, and More (Classic Elite Yarns)
by Classic Elite Yarns
Pair soft, supple yarns in eye-catching colors with timeless yet contemporary designs and you have answered every knitter’s dream. For more than 20 years, the studios of Classic Elite Yarns have created enduring patterns that beg to be knitted with their sumptuous products. In this pattern collection, a follow-up to best-selling Classic Elite Knits, the focus is on quick-to-make accessories. Knitters of all skill levels will love this value-packed collection of 100 patterns for socks, wraps, hats, gloves, bags, scarves, and more. Knitters can indulge themselves or find something to knit for every member of the family. The 120 color photos showcase the range of high-quality yarns as well, including cotton, wool, bamboo, angora, cashmere, and blended yarns. Classic Elite Quick Knits will keep knitters’ hands busy for a long time to come.
1. Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters
by Deborah Newton
The word “finishing” fills many knitters with dread. Some even abandon projects rather than complete the necessary steps to achieve beautiful, wearable garments. Now, notable knitter and designer Deborah Newton shares her expertise and love of finishing techniques in an on-the-page master class. Deborah patiently takes her student-readers step by step through the ins and outs of blocking, seaming, edging, and embellishments, giving them the confidence and skills to create professional-looking knitwear. In addition to Deborah’s expert instructions, the book includes patterns for 12 sweaters, jackets, and scarves, many with variations.
So what was your favorite knitting book of 2011? Did we miss something? What order would you put them in? Add it in the comments!