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Recommended Knitting Books for Beginners

Jane Howarth itcherTempted by knitting but swamped by the number of knitting books on offer?  Try one of these. Enough instruction to get total newbies on the right track, patterns to keep you inspired – these books will keep you going past that inevitable wobbly stage.
~ Jane Howarth

Good knitting books for beginners should take you through all the basics, but they’ve got to be inspiring too.And yes, it’s guaranteed you’ll find something gorgeous but hideously complex and want to jump right in.


It’ll be chaos.  Add a post-it and come back to it once you’ve got some practice.

I’ve been knitting for a while, and sure, I knit a fancy stitch or two from time to time, but truthfully? The beginners’ level projects are still hard to beat for fun, relaxing knitting with great results.

What Should You Look for in a Great Knitting Book?

Just like the essential beginners crochet books, each one of my recommended knitting books for beginners gives you a little something extra. I’ve been knitting for a while now, and I still love them.

And the essentials, of course – all the basics, fun projects and they don’t assume you’ve got a secret stash of knitting knowledge.

They’ll have you knitting away in no time. Well, ok, it takes a bit of effort, but the instructions aren’t weird so that’s half the battle.

Ready to Learn Some Amazing Knitting Skills?

Imagining how cosy you’ll be in that handmade scarf? Having visions of your sofa being instantly populated by handmade cushions?

I think I have just the thing for you.

`Learn to Knit, Love to Knit´ (2012)

Designer: Anna Wilkinson

What I Want to Learn: How to Start out and Move On
Learn to Knit, Love to Knit
Image source: pinterest

They’ve given us a really clear demo section, thanks to the nice, chunky yarn they use in the photos, so you can actually tell which bit’s going where.

But onto those items!  What can you actually make?

It starts out easy-going, but quickly moves on to ambitious things, so if you’re the type that wants to move on right away you can do it without buying a fresh book.

I’m a closet mitten fanatic – they’re so fun to make, and fast too. Seriously, I have so many more mittens than it’s reasonable for one person to own.

Just take a peek at the cover and you’ll see why I fell in love with this book. Oh yes, those are some cute wrist warmers.

And they’re not the most technical thing you’ll ever learn, but I dare you not to be charmed by the cute pompoms.

This book pops ‘em on a scarf and glove set, but oh my goodness, the possibilities are endless!

`Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner´ (2008)

Designer: Aneeta Patel

What I Want to Learn: Absolute Essentials
Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner
Images source: knittingsos

Aneeta Patel is the queen of Knitting SOS, where she’s been troubleshooting knitters’ problems for years – and you might have seen her on TV too.

So her book is totally appropriate for even the newest of beginners. Yes, even if you’ve never so much as held a knitting needle in your life, she’ll put you on the right track.

You can find all kinds of hints in here, and the projects are current so you’ll get all sorts of admiration for your new hand knitted stuff.

My favourite things about this books?  Just look at the colours and the tempting yarns!

`Easy Knitting: Vintage and Retro´ (2014)

Designer: Janis Utton, supervisor Nicki Trench

What I Want to Learn: How to Knit Vintage Inspired Things with a Contemporary Feel
Easy Knitting: Vintage and Retro
Images source: octopusbooks

Easy Knitting: Vintage and Retro kind of sneaked onto the list.  It’s not a full-scale beginners’ book, but it’s definitely perfect for newbies.

How can I describe it?

Let’s say it’s great if you’re a beginner on a roll.  Things going well?  Found out which end of the needle to use and talked those stitches into staying on it?  Excellent!  Now try this book.

I’ve got to admit, Nicki Trench is one of my favourite designers, and though she just lent a helping hand to this project that’s still a good sign.

The patterns are easy to follow, and the instructions are really clear. Those instructions will help you make all sorts of sweet heritage stuff, like the lace effect design on the cover.

It’s part of a series, so if this book clicks for you, there’s more where that came from.

`Tea Cosies´ (2007)

Designer: Various, edited by Virginia Brehaut

What I Want to Learn: How to Make a Fun Tea Cosy (and Learn New Skills)
Tea Cosies
Image source: bookdepository

This won’t be for everyone, but oh my goodness, if you love kitschy cuteness, this is the book for you.

It’s not totally aimed at beginners – as in, it’s not designed just to teach you all the ins and outs of every aspect of knitting – but it does have a great section talking through the stitches.

Again, great if you’ve got the hang of a basic stitch and want to start a fun project.

Because each cosy is a manageable size, and each one is completely different, you get the chance to add new skills in a way that’s not too scary.

If you love it, check out the sequels – fun pompoms, animals, themed cosies, the tea warming possibilities are endless!

`Easy Knitted Scarves: Twenty to Make´ (2013)

Designer: Monica Russel

What I Want to Learn: Practice New Stitches and Keep Cosy
Monica Russel book
Image source: simplyknitting

I’ve met Monica Russel at craft festivals, and she’s so enthusiastic, I can’t help but see that shine through in her patterns.

Don’t you just want to wrap yourself up in these cocoons of fuzz?

Patterns include a really nice variety of skills and yarn types, so if you want to have a go of chunkier knits or lacy ones, you can go ahead and do it without the commitment of a whole chunky or lacy knits book.

Don’t go straight for the fanciest (yes, I know they’re gorgeous), you’ll get there though.


What Are the Best Beginners Knitting Books?

So are you itching to pick up one of these books and get started? I know I am!But there are lots more books out there (and I’m always looking for my next mitten fix) so get commenting and tell us what you’d suggest.

Did it straighten out your yarn mishaps? Inspire you to make something awesome?

Let’s hear it, what are your recommended knitting books for someone who’s just starting out?


Hi, I’m Jane, BA (Drama, Film and TV) and MA (Cultural and Creative Industries). When I’m not writing about creative things, I’m designing or planning them. If you’re brave enough to risk an avalanche, look behind the stacks of books and DVDs and you’ll find me balancing a cup of tea, a handful of knitting and a cupcake.
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