Are Knitting Books Now Obsolete?

As a writer and lifelong bookworm, I love finding a new knitting book, newly published and on display in the bookstore. But lately, I’m finding myself less and less enthusiastic about newly published collections of knitting patterns, even if they are beautifully designed hardbacks with full color illustrations and photos. Nice to look at, but…?

As some of you know, I often have the special treat of reviewing brand new books digitally, well before they hit the market. In reviewing new knitting books, I’m seeing a trend that makes my eyes glaze over. Many – if not all – of these new knitting books assume I’ve never picked up a pair of knitting needles in my life. These books offer voluminous tips on how to get started, what tools I need, how to choose yarn, and even how to make the most basic of stitches. Lord knows I’ve covered that territory umpteen times before. 

So when I eagerly pick up a new knitting book, I inevitably skip large chunks of introductory material and skip straight to the new patterns. The patterns are usually fine; but do I want to buy an entire book just for a few patterns?

In the meantime, a plethora of interesting and innovative patterns are now available on multiple platforms for just a few bucks a piece. Why buy a book of info you don’t need, when you can buy only what you want for much less? 

And as for instructions on how to knit, it’s all about video these days. I rarely figure out a new stitch from two-dimensional illustrations on paper. But show me a quick video, and I’ve got it under my belt in no time.

I’m going to make a pronouncement (because it’s my blog and I can): Knitting instruction books are obsolete. If you want to learn how to knit, do a search and find a video. If you want a pattern, check out Ravelry, Etsy, or who knows what other platforms are out there in cyberspace. 

I love books, but time and innovation move forward. 

Happy Knitting! Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls. 

Copyright 2022 Cynthia Coe

Legal Disclosures: I provide links to products (including books I have written), and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases (which means I may get a very small fee if you click through the link and buy something).

4 thoughts on “Are Knitting Books Now Obsolete?

  • I still look for Knitting Books at yard sales and online. The how to videos are just not my thing. I would rather read a discussion on a stitch than try to both watch and write down notes at the same time. I just read The Prayer Shawl Chronicles which was thoroughly wonderful, and just purchased two more to give away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m thrilled that you liked Prayer Shawls so much!!!! Thanks so much!!! You made my day!! (I admit…I do buy knitting books at the used book store – there’s some gems in those oldie but goodies). Blessings, Cindy

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  • Totally agree. I’ve never even opened the knitting books I picked up at the Public Library’s annual sale a few years ago so I’m glad I didn’t pay much for them. I prefer my patterns online so I can use Knit Companion to keep track of the row I’m on. The only “book” I use is Cast-on Bind-off which I have as an e-book.

    Liked by 1 person

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