Learning a new craft can sometimes feel daunting, almost impossible but with just a bit of help and the right kind of reading, it wouldn’t take long for a complete beginner to master knitting or crochet. But of course even finding a good textbook isn’t necessarily easy, so we selected four of our favourite publications that will help you getting started from complete scratch. Two of them are dedicated to crochet and the two others to kitting. What they all have in common to be exhaustive, covering all the fundamentals of those crafts as well as offering a wide range of patterns designed to help you practice and strengthen your new skills. Obviously different authors have different approaches of their craft so each of those books features their own styles that make them unique and so might appeal differently to individual learner.
First on our list is a Beginner’s Guide to Crochet by Sarah Shrimpton. Each pattern introduces new techniques or stitches which are presented to the readers through short tutorials. This is great if you like to choose patterns depending on what kind of skills they would allow you to improve rather than for their aesthetic quality only. Many of them are small enough to be completed quickly and can be tackled as small exercises helping you building technical strength. These includes bracelets, bunting, coasters, dishcloths, leg warmers, soft toys and many more. Once you feel confident enough you can move on to some other bigger projects such as the classic granny squares blankets, rug, basket or the mahooosive cloud cushion. By the time you finish the book you’ll have all the skilled required to become a proficient crocheter.
Beside having all the qualities listed in the first paragraph, A Crochet workshop by Erika Knight distinguishes itself by the diversity of the 20 patterns it offers. Basic dishcloths can be found alongside slippers, pet bed, cardigan, laptop case, clutch, mitts as well as a wide array of blankets and accessories. As any of Erika Knight’s publication, this book is beautifully illustrated with pictures and explanatory drawings to help you visualise each elements of your pattern. A Stitch Library is also included offering explanations on how to create 16 different kind of stitches. This is perfect for ambitious beginners that are unafraid to start project that can be a bit more challenging and time consuming. However bear in mind that Erika Knight wrote this book targeting absolute novice, so even if you never crochet before you should be able to follow her patterns.
For those keen on learning how to knit, we would suggest you to read Learn to Knit Love to Knit by Anna Wilkinson. It seems that the biggest misconception beginners might have about knitting is that it would take them forever before they’d be able to make a jumper or a pair of socks. However this couldn’t be further away from the truth, because with a bit of help and practice, anyone could knit a jumper easy peasy. Following that logic Learn to Knit, Love it Knit proposes a wide array of stylish patterns such as jumpers, cardigan, tops, hats, mitts, socks, especially designed for beginners. Those type of projects can be very satisfying for young knitters as it helps them to realise how capable they are. Beside, many of them also features technical elements such lace, colour-work or cable, that would allow you to push your knitting to the next level.
Projects from Knitting Smitten by Jessica Biscoe are overall a bit more basic and quicker to knit which make them perfect to practice lots of different techniques in a shorter period of time. Those kind of shorter patterns would also suit better learners that feel overwhelmed at the idea of starting straight away with big designs. Another way to look at it, it’s to think about the cost of individual projects. Obviously knitting a cardigan with cables will be more expensive than knitting a pair of plain mitts or a headband. Thus as a beginner you might prefer to dedicate a smaller budget to your knitwear. Knitting Smitten is also one of the rare book that equally teaches to knit in the English and the Continental method. This can be very handy if you want to experiment with both of the method first to see which one suit you best.
Christmas is swiftly approaching so if you know someone eager to learn knitting or crochet, we hope this article has given you some valuable gift ideas and helped you figure out which of those book would suit them best!
Until Next Time… Happy Knitting!