Portable knitting reference

TheknittershandbookI’ve been in a bit of a knitting slump this week and busy with other things so there’s been no progress on my current project other than a bit of spinning so that I can finish the sleeves. Tomorrow I should be able to find time to continue.

Since I don’t have anything to show I thought I’d mention a handy little book that I picked up a couple of months ago.

Like many knitters, I not only knit at home but also knit whenever I can find a spare moment, wherever I might be – particularly while traveling via car, plane or boat. One dilemma that I always face when preparing my knitting bag, is what reference book I should take. Most are not an option due to their bulky size, while others that are not so bulky don’t contain enough of the techniques that I tend to use.

When I first started flipping through this book, I didn’t expect much because I’m not a big fan of Knitter’s Magazine and haven’t purchased their magazine very often. While I always flip through each new issue, I’m usually disappointed with what they offer and tend to pass it up for Interweave Knits or Vogue Knitting. So with that being said, I was surprised to find that this book contains most of the information I would expect to need while knitting on the road. Now that I think about it, early issues of Knitter’s were filled with articles by Elizabeth Zimmerman, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Nancy Bush, and Deborah Newton to name a few.  So, maybe it’s not so crazy to think that Knitter’s could come up with a good compact knitting reference.

So what do I like about it?

  • The publisher has given permission to the readers to photocopy instructions and graphics for personal use
  • Besides a table of contents, it also has an index
  • It not only covers the basics but also mentions some, not so basic techniques, such as tubular bind-off and cast-on, long-tail cast-on, purl, invisible cast-on, crochet for finishing, grafting in several stitch patterns, lifted increases, short-rows for shoulders and the list goes on
  • The spiral binding, durable cover and portable dimensions (8″ X 6.5)

So what would I change?

It would have been helpful if it had some yardage charts for basic sweaters, socks, hats & mittens. Also, the sweater sizing chart could have included sweater sizing for not only bust/chest, but also body length and hips.  I’d also change the cover graphic.

I’m thrilled that the publisher has give permission to copy from the book because I plan to copy selected pages when I work on a project and add them to the  small binder that I carry in my knitting bag. That way I’ll have less to haul around.

2 thoughts on “Portable knitting reference

  1. Are you familiar with Vicki Square’s little spiral bound book? I think it’s called Knitter’s Companion or something similar. If you’re familiar with it, would you mind sharing your thoughts as to how it compares to the XRX book?
    I’ve had the Square book for a couple of years now, & think it’s rather handy. My very quick flips through the XRX book gave me the impression that it was very similar, so I didn’t buy it. Your thoughts?


  2. Hi Samina,
    I’ve seen Knitter’s Companion but haven’t owned a copy. I looked at it but didn’t like the format. I couldn’t help thinking the spiral binding could get tangled with yarn or my project if I put it in my knitting bag.
    I think some of the content is the same as what’s in The Knitter’s Handbook but if I remember correctly it’s missing some of the techniques that I mentioned in the post – like tublar bind-off.
    If you already have the Knitter’s Companion and it works well for you then there’s probably no need to go out and buy The Knitter’s Handbook.
    By the way, when I subscribed to Interweave Knits I noticed that the subscriber only site includes access to a glossary that looks like it was taken from the Knitter’s Companion.


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