Anyone who knows me knows that I am a yarn-er for life…I always have some yarn in my purse, so beware—if you leave me waiting anywhere for more than five minutes, I will start knitting or crocheting. 😉
Somewhere around ten years ago, my mom and I were both sick and needed something to do while recovering. We pulled up some videos on YouTube and ended up knitting the entire afternoon! Personally, I had tried learning to knit before, but it had never quite stuck. Something about doing it with my mom made all the difference, and it stayed with me so much more than when I did it alone. If we messed up, we just rewound the video and started over! 🙂 That evening, I was still knitting–I found that I couldn’t put it down, and I was itching to research the topic and do more.
I loved (and still love!) the idea of being productive in almost any situation—watching TV, waiting in a restaurant, etc. Instead of twiddling my thumbs, I can be twiddling my fingers, and end up with a cute garment! 😉
One of my favorite Bible verses, Psalm 139:13, says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” If you already knit, you might have an idea of how much love and thought goes into a project. Multiply that by a million, and you’re still not even close to how much God loves us! I’m reminded of that love every time I start a new project, and it helps me a lot when I’m having self-doubt.
It takes a lot of humility to be good at learning and admit that you don’t always have all of the answers, which is something that I admittedly still struggle with. Yarn-ing in general taught me that it’s okay to be a beginner, and growth comes with time. 🙂 Although videos have definitely contributed to my growth over the years, there’s something about books that have impacted me even more. You can take a book anywhere and use it anytime—you don’t need battery life or wifi. 😉
If you’re looking to start knitting or crocheting with your mom or daughter, or if you already do and are looking for inspiration, I totally recommend these and other books from these authors!
- Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman
This was one of the first books that ever made me realize that I could do more with my crocheting—that I can be as funky as I want! I love this book because it combines classic crochet techniques and motifs with modern, funky stuff.
I also love the idea of moms and daughters making motifs and using them to create one gorgeous project that they made together!
2. Teach Yourself to Knit the Easy Columbia Minerva Way by Columbia Minerva
LOOK! This book even has a mom and daughter knitting together on the front! 😉
Okay, so this is debatably a little hard to find, since it’s from the 60’s—you definitely wouldn’t find it in a Barnes and Noble or Joanne Fabrics. 😉 However, it is still on Amazon as of the writing of this article, and I scored this copy in a thrift store.
If you haven’t heard or seen the name Columbia Minerva lately, that’s because it went out of business quite a while ago and was bought by Caron (a much more well known yarn company). Although I didn’t learn to knit from this book, it did help me a lot with learning about simple structures for garments.
It’s pretty cool to have patterns for timeless items like gloves, pullovers, and mittens that are written with no bells and whistles, all on straight needles and in stockinette stitch. I actually haven’t seen patterns online or in modern books like some of these. As I said, this book is ideal as a jumping off point for designing your own stuff.
Also, I’m a huge vintage nerd, and I love seeing these 60’s folks rocking their knitted items. 😉
3. Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Elizabeth Zimmerman is without a doubt my favorite knitting celebrity/author. I know her style of writing isn’t for everyone, but I adore it! Her directions are clear, but so friendly (did you know knitting patterns can be friendly?!) that I can’t help but enjoy every pattern in here.
I will say that I’m not sure this book is ideal for extreme beginners, but it’s awesome for more experienced knitters because it makes it easy to write patterns. The way Elizabeth writes, she gives you the basic knowledge you need to design a pullover, cardigan, skirt—you name it!
Not to mention, this book contains one of the best, most creative uses for a knitting needle I have ever heard:
“A #5 aluminum needle has been known to function as an excellent emergency shearpin for an outboard motor. It once saved us seven miles of paddling. Then I had to spend hours re-pointing the needle on rocks, having nobly, but foolishly, offered the business end instead of the knob end for sacrifice.”
Enough said. 😉
4. Knit Your Socks on Straight by Alice Curtis
I’m always a huge fan of knitting gurus who demystify complicated techniques and projects so that anyone can do them—and this is a prime example!
Personally, I enjoy using double-pointed needles, circular needles, and other knitting-in-the-round tools, but I was still amazed when I found this book! When I was first starting out, I would have loved to know how to knit socks on straight needles.
Also, even if you can knit in the round, it’s still fun to have variety—and this book is full of adorable patterns in lots of different gauges and sizes. I’m especially a big fan of the Moccasocks pattern—I’ve made them in multiple colors and adore them!
5. The Big Acorn Race by Jennifer Olivarez
I have a huge soft spot in my heart for this book, because I got to help test the patterns for it! It’s the first crafting book I’ve ever been mentioned in! 🙂
Not to mention…this entire book just radiates cuteness!! The characters of Hodge, Podge, and Eric absolutely rock, and the incredible detail in all the photos is insanely mind-blowing!
I love the concept of having a book that is part storybook and part pattern book—because you can read the story to the child in your life, then crochet them their own version of it! As a future auntie, I can’t wait to make my niece or nephew their own squirrel buddies!
To close, I’d like to mention that we live in an age where online free patterns and tutorials abound, but where the concept of working with your hands is sometimes overlooked. While spending quality time together, moms and daughters can also preserve an art form. There’s something so special about taking a ball of string and turning it into something beautiful that didn’t exist before. 😉
I hope this top five round-up was interesting and helpful, and feel free to let me know in the comments what books have helped you with learning a hobby!