She’s crafty – and she’s just my type

You that know we have a bajillion (roughly) craft programs at our many branches, right? No matter your skill level or interest, we probably have something that’ll butter your bread.

Me? Knitting is my weapon of choice, although last weekend I did try soap-making for the first time (I obviously know how to have a wild Saturday night) and I pretend I can sew.  Like any knitter (and Dumbledore), I love patterns. They’re fun to dissect and figure out, similar to a good puzzle. But even more, I love a well-written book about the details of knitting.

Maggie Righetti’s Knitting in Plain English is my top choice for “book every knitter should probably have in their personal library.” Righetti is sharp and wry, with chapter titles like: ” You Can Always Tell What’s Wrong with the Garment by the Way the Model is Posed or, Slender Five-Foot-Ten Models Look Good in Anything” or “Deliver Us From Disaster.” She covers every possible topic from choosing your needles and yarn to basic skills and fixing mistakes. Don’t ever let her catch you with your projects in a plastic shopping bag, either – it demeans the craft. Her Sweater Design in Plain English is another indispensable resource, should you want to make the perfect cardigan.

 Cookie A is a big deal among sock designers and knitters. Her Sock Innovation book is full of great now-classic patterns, but it’s the first 50 pages or so that are so invaluable. There are a number of options when it comes to the elements of a sock (Cuff-down or toe-up? Type of heel? Toe shape?), but after working a few patterns, most knitters will find they have a bias for certain design components (Cuff-down, flap heel, wedge toe). Cookie A covers it all, plus how to make those elements work for you.

Super Stitches Knitting is one of many, many stitch dictionaries. It just happens to be the one I favor. The book is well-designed and a great source of inspiration for when it’s time to step up your game from plain stockinette (not that there’s anything wrong with plain stockinette) to fancy cables or lace.

These are also fantastic resources:


– Jess, who has approximately five projects going at any given time


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5 responses to “She’s crafty – and she’s just my type

  1. I only knit scarves: no counting or thinking or crazy stitches required… but this almost makes me want to try. :)

    Am thinking very seriously about offering beginner sewing lessons. Any takers ? (Inspired by the Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Sewing, today; from my local Beechview branch library, where I spend LOTS of time !)

    Great post. Did not know about the crafty classes.

    • I’m a weirdo who loves the thrill of a complicated pattern. That “Ha, I beat you!” moment is always so good.

      Everything I know about sewing is from 7th grade HomeEc – so yes!

      – Jess

      • Ok, contact me any time. :)
        The projects in the book are quite nice. Or you (or we) could just go to fabric store and select a pattern and fabric and get started. I would come to you. $17 hourly.

  2. Val

    Reblogged this on Sotto Voce and commented:
    Gotta love my library!

  3. Maria

    I used to knit (& crochet, which is lots faster & easier) but just couldn’t get the hang of gauge! I got tired of making scarves & dish cloths. I admire those who can craft beautifully & have made several Etsy purchases that attest to this!

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