inspirations - books

This page includes all the books in the bibliography of my own book, plus what I think are the best new knitting books available and even some fiction and art books.

Knitting Books

The following books focus on design and patterns.

DomiKNITrix book - this is my book, so of course I think you need it!  For what it's worth, Cat Bordhi checked out the book and inspected half the projects in person and has called me "the real deal." <blush>

Unexpected Knitting by Debbie New - If you are bored with your knitting, Debbie New is here to show you a new direction.  Her amazing approach to organic design is inspired by mathematics, but not dependent on math.

Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel -Stefanie has turned out a book full of pretty patterns in a broad range of sizes for 100% wearable projects.  All are straightforward and easy to knit, with plenty of texture interest.

Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowen-Michael - This lovely book promises to satisfy your fetish for knit underthings.  Joan's experience as a lingerie designer is brought to bear on well-constructed patterns in a wide range of sizes.  There are even a few you might wear out of the house on a warm summer's day, or hiding under your conservative business day attire.

Naughty Needles by Nikol Lohr - Naughty is a soft word for what is a fairly hardcore knitting book.  You won't find the knitted whip and flogger in DomiKNITrix like you thought.  They're here in Naughty needles, a cute, sassy little knitting book with hot models in Nikol's sexy designs on every other page.

Loop-d-loop by Teva Durham - Teva's creative designs are inspiring for knitters at all levels.  Teva's patterns have a clean line, hint of goth and punk inspiration, and a sense of humor.

Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne - This smart and funny book has a cheery, helpful attitude and a group of patterns that are lovely and classic in their simplicity and ease.  Most are very simple to make and inspire fresh uses for knit projects in daily life.

Norsk Strikkedesign edited by Margaretha Finseth - The designs collected in this book are the best Norway's knitwear designers have to offer; stunning and complex, most are best knit for those who live in colder climes.

the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges by Ann Budd - This collection of basic sweaters can be adapted for most ages and sizes. Her open source approach is great for those who can't usually find their sizes in patterns.

Knitting Resource Books

The following book focus on technique.

Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker - One of the first and best stitch dictionaries, includes:
-Through collection of ribbings and knit/purl stitch patterns.
-Easy slip stitch patterns which yield loads of texture.
-Many cables and lace panels, insertions and allovers.
This is one of my go-to books when designing new styles

A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker - Sequel to the seminal resource for knitted stitch patterns includes fewer basic textures and many more complex lace and cable patterns than the first.
-Cable and/or lace panels and insertions separate from their allover cousins.
-Closes with a nice assortment of edgings, lace and otherwise

Knitting from the Top by Barbara G. Walker - The original resource for making top-down sweaters and almost any item of clothing you can imagine!

Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi - This seminal self-published book illustrates how to knit tubes on two circular needles exceptionally well.

Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt - If you're a knitter who's been told you're twisting stitches or knitting wrong (as most of us did when we began), this book will show you the way.  It's not wrong, just different, and Annie's book will help you adapt any pattern to the style of knitting known as combination.

Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann - This classic knitting book has a wealth of brilliant knitting tips and techniques woven into EZ's wise and witty text.  Her open source approach to designing sweaters is relaxing to use.

Hand Knitting: New Directions by Alison Ellen - this book challenged me to literally knit in any direction and inspired my Elfin Goth design.

Designing Tessellations by Jinny Beyer - A great design resource for creating MC Escher inspired designs. The symmetry of the knit stitch makes these designs possible. The concept can be applied to any craft: knitting, patchwork quilting, cross-stitch, etc!


I am usually too transfixed by my knitting to pick up and read through works of fiction, but these few are so engrossing as to make me put down the sticks.

Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire - seeing things from a fresh perspective can be positively enriching. This book is told from the point of view of Elphaba, the green-skinned witch of the west, who is perhaps not so wicked as you might think. Dorothy, on the other hand ...

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn - this book might be more aptly named Freak Love, as it follows a carnival family who have been actively scrambling their gene pool to breed more and better carnival freaks to draw in more lucrative audiences for their freak show. Disturbing? Perhaps, but also warmly touching and telling more truth about the human condition than most novels about "norms."

East of Eden by John Steinbeck - this twisted story of a California family has far more going on between its covers than the film of the same name starring James Dean.

Pop Surrealism
Pop Surrealism cover art
this book rocks

Mind-Bending Books

Pop Surrealism This amazing art book is filled with innovative and truly surreal art, though, like life, often it can be dark and disturbing. I've considered gluing a few of the most disturbing pages together so I never look upon them again, but it is art, so I've refrained.

The Saddest Place on Earth by Camille Rose Garcia - This artist's work is sweetly and cutely heartbreaking.

Fruits and its sequel Fresh Fruits, photographs and introduction by Shoichi Aoki - this catalog of street looks from Tokyo's hipsters is a bright revelation. I wish everyone would dress like this everywhere, all the time!