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).

Knitting & Cats Don’t Mix – Or Do They?

 Sitting down for a nice, calming session of knitting, and who turns up to “help”? The cat, of course. When my cats Scamper and Milo see me sit down in my favorite chair with a wooly skein of yarn beside me, to them, it’s an invitation to play. 

Knitting with cats is both the most wonderful thing in the world and the most annoying. A soft, furry creature with big yellow eyes plops down on your lap and purrs right as you take out your knitting needles. What a knitter to do? You want to knit, but you don’t want to run off the cutie pie sitting on your work-in-progress, either. Eventually, the cat gets exasperated by those sharp sticks waved in front of his face, and he moves along. Or you push him.

A ball of yarn is the ultimate temptation to cause mischief for a cat. My cats usually know not to mess with my knitting yarn, fearing an almighty tongue-lashing that comes with batting around a yarn ball attached to a sweater under construction. But sometimes, a cat just needs to play with what is obviously a toy provided for a cat’s pleasure. Occasionally, I let the cat play…until the ball of yarn is roped around six pieces of furniture and knotted into a mess requiring a half hour of untangling. Then it’s time to “re-think” my policy of cats and yarn.

The problem with cats and knitting is that many of us seriously love them both. Both are warm, fuzzy, and lovely to look at. Both knitting and cats require attention from our hearts and our hands. Cat People are often Knitting People. And in those moments when the two clash and chaos breaks out, I hope we’ll remember that really, what’s a little frayed yarn and knots when you have the pleasure of seeing a cute little kitten batting about a “just right” ball of yarn?

Blessings on your cats (and yarn), Cindy

New Resources of the Week:

Knitted Animal Friends: Knit 12 Well-Dressed Animals, Their Clothes and Accessories by Louise Crowther. This charming new book tells you how to knit and construct adorable animal toys. There’s a cat pattern, of course, along with other critters including a dog, mouse, hedgehog, and clothes for all of them. Perfect for making gifts for children or for trying something new and fun. Coming on May 7, available for pre-order at a good discount

Jill’s Beaded Knits Bitshas some new Abacus Counting Bracelets, along with some cute new stitch markers. She handmakes her products and ships them out pronto. I recently treated myself to some new stitch markers, but I’ve not tried the abacus counting bracelets yet. I’d love to hear from anyone who has.

P.S. This blog is completely independent! I recommend books and other items I’ve read/used and like. Books are usually provided to me free through NetGalley and their publishers.