Crafty Man

Staff PicksBellevue/William O. Lockridge Library

Crafty Man

One of the hobbies I do that raises eyebrows quite often is knitting. There are so many people I encounter on a regular basis who are just downright surprised that not only can I knit, I'm pretty good at it and I actually enjoy it. Maybe it is because I'm male. Maybe it is because I might not look like someone who is particularly crafty. I don't know the reason, but I do know knitting. Here are a few books that I have used in not only learning how to knit, (being self-taught), but which also serve as good resources once people get started.

Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie Stoller
I love telling people that I used this book as my main resource when I was teaching myself how to knit. Everyone always gets the most shocked expression on their face, even if they're used to curse words. This book by Debbie Stoller is one of the easiest to follow teaching books I've ever used. This book is the first in a series that includes one on crochet if you want to move that way. Filled with helpful diagrams and explaining the process of knitting quite well, this book is one of the essentials of learning if you're just starting out with knitting.

Knitting for Dummies by Pam Allen
As with any broad topic, I went looking for this book when I was just starting learning to knit. I've always enjoyed how the "For Dummies" books are very good at explaining things without making you feel the pressure that might come with being a novice. Pam Allen excels at explaining the basics of knitting and even some of the more complicated stitches and even provides example patterns. This book was a great help to me when I was learning, and even after I had mastered the basics, it served as a good reference for my work as I progressed.

Knitting with Balls by Michael Del Vecchio
Once you have mastered the basics, you need to make things. Knitting with Balls is one of the best books about knitting things specifically for men and features mostly pictures of men doing the knitting. It's a men's knitting book through and through. One of my first large scale knitting projects, a sweater vest that I still have and wear, came from this book. If you are male (or even if you're not) and enjoy knitting, this book has some very nice patterns.

Men's Knits by Erika Knight
Like Knitting with Balls, this book is not intended solely for use by men, but it has patterns for knitted objects that are more oriented toward the male physique. Inside are patterns mainly for sweaters and scarves as well as other clothing. There's even a pattern for a zip-up sweater which I have still not mustered the courage to take on. A great source for patterns but light on the instructional side, as with most pattern-oriented books.

Stitchionaries by Vogue Knitting Magazine
The Stitchionaries are one of the best resources for different types of knitting stitches. Published by the same people behind one of the most popular knitting magazines, Vogue Knitting, the six volumes of the Stitchionaries include images of a swatch of each kind of stitch, the written pattern instructions, and the diagram of each type of stitch. With only a few teaching moments included in these books, they serve more as a reference for anyone that's working on a custom project. Useful and pretty to look at, these works can inspire even the most novice of knitters to create great projects that everyone will love.