Book It! My Favorite Interweave Books from 2009

Not many people are fortunate enough to live a life of books. I've been surrounded by books for my entire life—from Pat the Bunny as a baby to my favorite mystery of this year, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Books can be such an important part of a person's life. I've laughed (Bridget Jones's Diary) and cried (The Bridges of Madison County—don't judge me!) and read days away in lounge chairs, my hammock chair, and in bed (Harry Potter, anyone?), and I'll bet many of you have, too.

Everyone in my family reads at night before bed, and I was lucky enough to parlay this love of books into a publishing career. I started out on my high school yearbook, worked on the school paper in college, spent ten years at an early childhood educational publisher, continued for nine years at an outdoor/conservation publisher, and now I'm here with you!

My 89-year-old gramma reads voraciously and I've been scouring the used bookstore to find her books that she'll be interested in. She finished her latest book last night, so I started searching my own bookshelves for some more books for her. I was sitting on the floor, pulling books from the shelves, and naturally I started looking at my knitting books. I ended up running a couple of books upstairs to my gramma and then returning to my floor-seat and rearranging my knitting books.

I reorganized them on their own bookshelves in my office area so that all of my favorites are at eye-level and some of my lesser-used but beautiful needles are in a handy container. I have a ridiculous amount of baskets with yarn in them, so I put one of those on display as well. I love my newly organized bookshelves!

Not surprisingly, most of my favorite knitting books are from Interweave Press. And we came out with a bunch of new ones this year. As I was flipping through them, I was noticing specific patterns in each book that "called to me" so I thought—why not share them with you? Welcome to the tour of my favorite Interweave Knitting Books, 2009!

The New Stranded Colorwork is an amazing collection of stranded colorwork patterns.

I recently saw "Bees Knees" in person and it was even more precious than in the photo, if you can believe that. The closures are little bees!

The finishing of these pieces brings them up a notch from anything I've seen before. The designer, Mary Scott Huff, searched shops from little boutiques and antique stores to LYSes and big box stores to find the most beautiful—and sometimes perfectly whimsical—closures and ribbons to finish her incredible designs.

I promise you that this book will be a constant source of inspiration for your knitting!

 Baby Kimono   Cookie A has become one of the most sought-after sock designers in the business. Hundreds of people on Ravelry have knit this pattern, Eunice, and it's just one of fifteen patterns in the book Sock Innovation.

Cookie's book is so aptly named, too. She presents all kinds of techniques and modifications to make your pair of socks fit your feet!

I had a chance to meet Cookie A at the Sock Summit at her book signing. I stood in line for almost 30 minutes to meet her, and she was just as lovely and friendly to me as she was to the other several hundred people in line!

This book is truly a must-have for anyone who knits socks or wants to.

tea set   Author, editor, and knitting designer extraordinaire Ann Budd designed and knit this hobby horse when she was in sixth grade, and she redesigned it to ride again in Knitted Gifts, an unparalleled collection of gift knitting patterns that Ann edited.

The Hobby Horse is a definite stand-out in the book, but it's sort of a best of the best because the book is full of unique and special gift ideas.

There are small items to knit and give, such as the Ruffled Bottle Sleeve (to protect your table from wine drips!), and some long-lead projects, like the Winter Sky Hat and Mittens (shown on the cover of the book).

Regardless of the recipient or the occasion, you'll find the perfect gift idea in Knitted Gifts!

  I'm a sucker for a new finishing technique or design, and the Harmony Guide Knit Edgings &Trims is seriously handy.

I don't have the first-gen Harmony Guides, but I'm lucky enough to have the current guides, and I use them a lot for finishing ideas, finding stitch patterns, and just for everyday inspiration.

With 150 edging and trim ideas, you'll use this guide a lot. (Check out all of the Harmony Guides, though, as a group I think they're all a favorite of mine, but I've used Knit Edges & Trims most recently.)


What are your favorite books, knitting or otherwise? Leave a comment for us and share your must-reads!



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Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

18 thoughts on “Book It! My Favorite Interweave Books from 2009

  1. I’ve just recently read The Shack. It has nothing to do with knitting but was a definite ‘page turner’ for me. I just could not put it down. As soon as I finished it, I shared it with a friend.
    I am a very avid knitter but spend most of my knitting time making caps, scarves and mittens for clubs, charity organizations as well as Newborns in Need. I’ve really become quite good at using up all kinds of knitting ‘scraps’.
    When I knit mittens, I work both mittens at the same time starting from the cuff. I knit from both ends of the scrap of yarn. When one scrap if finished, but pull in another coordinating piece of yarn. I’ve made 100s of pairs of mittens out of scraps. Each pair if different than another pair but each mitten within the pair is exactly the same. I love to donate these items to children in the COLD climates.

  2. I too love books. My mother loved reading also. It is something how we inherit things from our DNA. It’s hard to let go of some books. I once bought a music book just because the way the pages felt. It had jagged edges, wow. I’m always trying to find a way to organize by books.
    Oh speaking of organization, there is a way to organize your small size knitting and crochet needles. Go to for more info.

  3. I, too, am a bookie and was a business communicator in my work career – now I have libraries for each of my hobbies – fiction/non, painting, photography, and now knitting.

    I enjoyed your post today – am also reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – check out the Wallendar books for more Swedish mysteries.

    There are so many wonderful knitting books I’ve collected this year, but I think two of my favorite yarn books are The Knitter’s Book of Wool by Clara Parkes and Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant….besides all the great patterns, these books are just fun to peruse.

    Thanks! Elaine

  4. Hi Kathleen:

    It’s a tradition in my family also to read before bed. It is a great way to wind down. Anyhow I like your blogs and I am just an advanced beginner so I have a lot to learn, but your blogs inspire me to keep learning. I use the “Stitch & Bitch” book a lot (however I don’t care for the name of it!). I have various other books but they are more advanced to use later on down the road.


  5. Dickens is a favorite, as is Jane Austen.

    My favorite recently purchased knitting book is Knitted Lace of Estonia, though I have yet to knit anything from it… only because I already have so many UFOs.

    And I agree with Randee that the title of that book & of the gatherings by the same name are a put-off.

  6. Oh Boy! Here are my favorite knitting books (not necessarily in this order)
    with a couple of favorite crochet books thrown in.
    1. Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick
    2. Destination Alchemy, by Alchemy Yarns of Tranformation
    3. Ocean Breezes by Sheryl Thies
    4. feminine Knits by Lene Holme Samsoe
    5. New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi
    6. Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush
    7. Knitting without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman
    8. Romantic hand knits by Annie Modestitt
    9. One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant
    10. Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi
    11. 2-at-a-time socks by Mellisa Morgan-Oakes
    12. Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch
    13. Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle
    14. Favorite Socks 25 Timeless Designs by Interweave
    15. The Knitting Experience by Sally Melville
    16. Couture Crochet workshop by Lily Chin
    17. Crocheting School a Complete Course by Sterling Publishing Co. N.Y.
    18. Knitted Tams by Mary Rowe
    19. Socks from the Top Up by Wendy Johnson
    20. Sock Innovation by Cookie A
    21. Two Sticks and a String by Kerry Ferguson
    22. Knitting Around the Work from Threads
    23. A Treasury of Magical Knitting by Cat Bordhi
    24. A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting by Cat Bordhi
    25. Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design by Sharon Turner
    26. Knitters Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd

  7. Correction to # 22. That’s Knitting Around the World by Threads not Knitting around the Work.

    Also, # 6 : Nancy Bush’s book Knitting on the Road are Sock Patterns for the traveling knitter.

    I have recently been getting into doing more lace work and shawls.
    I enjoy any shawl pattern by Shui Kuen Kozinski. Her shawls can be found at I don’t know if she is a recognized top knitter, but I think she should be. Her shawl patterns are truly exceptional. Another great lace knitter is Shirley Paden.

    Great Stuff!

  8. I enjoyed reading about Kathleen’s reorganization of her books. I had books lining my bedroom. I finally organized myself. I would like to recommend a fabulous book called “Casting Off” by Nicole Dickson. It is the story of a woman and her daughter who travel to Ireland. The mother to photograph and write the history of the Irish ganseys. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I did not want it to end. My book is full of post it and I’ve written in a journal lines that appealed to me both personally and spiritually. A wonderful story to be treasured. Enjoy!

    Cheers, Virginia

  9. What kind of bookshelves are those with spaces?

    And things which aren’t books?

    Nothing like that in our house – but there are piles of books on the floor, the sideboard, the desks, the trolleys, the stairs, the table, the chairs … and that’s after I’ve recently re-organised them!

  10. My curret favorite book is Tech Square Afghan by Joanne Clark. It has 12 squares, 13 inches each, and each one a different technique (some easy, some not so). Simply wonderful book! It was $12.95 at my favorite yarn shop (Knitters Nest).

  11. Merry Christmas! And thank you for the special issues by Interweave Press for the holiday season.

    I purchased Accessories and Holiday Gifts. Both are simply amazing. I have read each from cover to cover and have taken notes of my personal interests to return to later. The patterns and photography are up to your already high standards and both issues are simply jam-packed with incredible information. Thank you for these Christmas gifts to me — to me, from me, love me!

    As to books, I had to create a database of my personal library of needle art books to keep from buying second and third copies of books that particularly caught my fancy and interest. I have 800 quilting, knitting, crocheting, tatting, sewing, embroidery, rugmaking, Hardanger, counted cross-stitch, and most anything else you can think of to do by hand with fiber and needle. This library of mine is a joy and I have read almost every book from cover to cover. I especially enjoy the needle art history books.

    I have been putting needle to fiber since before my memory, sitting on my mom’s lap at her sewing machine “helping” before the age of two, embroidering pillowcases and dishtowels as a small child, knitting at seven, crocheting at ten, sewing my own clothes at 12, quilting at 14, tatting at 20-something, etc.

    I define a “bad day” as one in which I don’t put needle to fiber. I make sure that I have very few bad days! The major portion of my hand and machine work now is for kids in need of warmth and comfort in the form of hats, mittens, scarves, afghans, and quilts. My hands are busy and my heart is warm and happy.

    Again, thank you very much for all of your precious work! pj

  12. I too am a bookie and have been since about age 9. I’m 55 and lost my job nearly 2 years ago. Took a knit/crochet class at local community college and fell in love with knitting. I do have several pattern books, names don’t come to mind… and have only been knitting since January 2009. I have knitted several baby blankets for the babies in my family – 3 great nieces – ages 2 years, 1 year, and 8 weeks. I have also knitted scarves to give as Christmas presents this year to my family and friends.
    My favorite non-knitting books….. anything written by Stephen King, the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, the House of Night series by PC and Kristen Cast, anything Tom Clancey, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Jodi Piccoult. Funds are low for book buying but family and friends give me gift cards and I get coupons off at some book stores. Also, the carpeting at my local library is wearing out where I have walked getting books on loan each week.
    Happy knitting, Happy reading, and Merry Christmas!

  13. Thank you, Kathleen, for all of the wonderful inspiration you give us. I have found it absolutely inspiring to have knitters with whom to correspond!
    I have knitted since my late teens when I inadvertently found my mother’s knitting book and yarn. She encouraged me, and greatly enjoyed the fact that I became self-taught. Like many others, I too have a fiber addiction which includes crochet, cross stitch, quilting, and sewing. I was ‘gifted’ with a collection of ‘Workbasket’, which has been a major source of inspiration along with Family Circle’s 429 Great Gifts To Make. Within the last few years, I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman, the website with its free patterns, and Knitting Daily. Thank you, Lord!
    One Skein and Knitting Tips and Trade Secrets have escalated my use of stash and the elimination of UFO’s but as I haverecently retired after teaching for thirty-eight years, I feel little guilt about those UFOs and continue to steadily change the ‘priority list’.
    When all else fails, find either a book stand made of lucite or a sheet of magnifying plastic to lay atop the current read so you can indulge in both the passion of fiber and reading at the same time, whether it is Harry Potter or Kate Jacobs, Nora Roberts or Anne McCaffrey!
    Best wishes to you – may your fiber never tangle!