Debbie Bliss

Book Review: The Knitters Book of Knowledge by Debbie Bliss

Just as I'm getting comfortable in my knitting shoes, thinking I know just about everything there is to know about knitting and I can't learn much more, a new book comes along and proves me wrong. 

Ok - I'm totally kidding. I know there's plenty I don't know. I mean, sure, there's lots that I DO know, but I'm constantly learning new things. Or new ways to do things I've done my old way and then I'm blown away and feel like I know nothing. It's a vicious cycle. 

But all kidding aside - I was sent an amazing reference book, written by Debbie Bliss, The Knitters Book of Knowledge, and my whole knitting world got rocked. Rocked in a good way. This 318-page manual, which when it arrived made me think "how can I ever read this whole thing", is actually exactly what I needed for my resource library. It's the perfect size for me to rest on the ledge of my treadmill to read while I walk (no kidding, totally did that this morning) and it's easy to flip through to find what you need. I may not read every single page in it's entirety (as it turns out there are a few things I DO actually know) but I know that if I have a question, this book with have the answer. 

Good Vibes

One of the first things that struck me about this book, was Debbie's opening paragraph:

One of the many things I love about the knitting community is their incredible generosity when it comes to sharing their knowledge and passing on their skills to others... As knitting circles grow in popularity, information and tips are exchanged that not only benefit those on the receiving end in a particular group, but which will be passed on to other groups and to future generations, ensuring that the craft we love will stay alive and continue to grow and grow.
~ Reprinted with permission from The Knitter’s Book of Knowledge © 2015 by Debbie Bliss, Lark Crafts, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Kim Lightbody. Illustration by Cathy Brear.

Right from the first page, I knew this book was going to be more than just a reference manual. It was going to share love - love of knitting learned painstakingly over years of trial and error. I was hooked. As I pored over the next 100 pages and walked a mile and a half in Debbie's shoes, I found myself exclaiming out loud "Ohhhhhhhh... that's so smart" or "Welp... been doing THAT wrong for years". See? Knitting. World. Rocked. 

Beyond feeling like a kindred knitting spirit with Debbie (can you imagine the Fan Girl moment I'll have if I ever meet her? Totally embarrassing!) and her above sentiments, I was compelled to keep turning the pages, even to things I knew I knew because of the illustrations and images in the book. Just check out the details here: 

Those are hand drawn graphics. And there are hundreds (if not more than a thousand) of these throughout the book. And the images? The stuff that makes the book pretty like that picture of yarn on the bottom right? Tons! It's a gorgeous book!

So what's in the book?

Short of listing all of the chapters, of which there are 11, plus proportional graph paper samples that you can photocopy right out of the book and use for designing your own projects, here's a smattering of what you'll find:

  • A description of yarn types from smooth vs fluffy to color-effect and marled (the latter of which I had heard of but didn't actually know what it was; now I do). 
  • A description of weights, fibers, ply's, etc. and what the characteristics of each can do to the fabric of your knitting. 
  • Cast-on and bind-off techniques for DAYS!
  • A graphic tutorial to show you how to wind you own center-pull ball (without a ball winder)! 
  • Increases, decreases and repairs, oh my! 
  • How to hold your needles (not just how to knit, but how to HOLD them to be an efficient and effective knitter) for both righties AND lefties (never seen THAT before). 
  • Cables, ribbing, smocking, loops, bobbles, tucks, picots, entrelac and colorwork.

For shizzle, the list is endless and even as I'm typing this my fingers are itching to get back to the book to see what else I can learn. 

Wanna win a copy for yourself?

Oh yeah - the incredibly generous folks over at Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. have offered up a copy of Debbie's new book to one lucky winner. Three cheers for that! 

To be entered to win a copy of this book it's as easy as leaving a comment below telling me what one skill you would most like to learn to enhance your knitting skills. I can just about bet that you'll find the information in this book (though don't quote me on that!). Entries will close at 11:59 PST on Sunday, November 22nd, 2015. Please note that a winner will be randomly chosen; only US residents may apply. 

If you aren't lucky enough to be chosen as a winner for this book, you can get your own copy at your local Barnes & Noble shop (or HERE online). 

I received a copy of this The Knitter's Book of Knowledge - A Complete Guide to Essential Knitting Techniques by Debbie Bliss, from Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., free of charge, in exchange for an honest review of the books content. The wording and opinions above are my own.