Purls of wisdom (two great knitting books)

You may remember that I am a self taught knitter who has been at it for about 6 months. I find it really challenging, partly because it is slow, and you because need to be very precise and I’m not naturally either of those things! But, I love the creative aspect and being able to use whatever colours you want, and learning about the different types of yarn there are and just the sheer amount of things you can actually make to wear/use/have around the house.

One of my very favourite recent Icelandic buys is the book Iceland Knits by Halldóra Skarphédinsðóttir and Erla Sigurðardóttir:

It’s full of things that I can’t make yet but would love to. Here are some the things that I think are “easier” than others in the book and I might be able to do:

These mittens – I can just think of so many colour combinations for these…


These mittens are both knitted and crocheted – I’m told crocheting is easier than knitting:

And these TV socks (should be relatively easy I think as they don’t have a heel as such):


And while I’m dreaming, this sweater:

All images from http://prjonaperlur.blogspot.com/

But more than that, it’s full of charming little stories about the people who came up with these patterns. The knitters are from all over Iceland and of all ages. Some of them also include their knitting mottos, such as “It is ok to have one mistake in each garment because it helps remind you that it’s homemade.”

I understand that this book was a big hit in the original Icelandic, hence we are lucky enough to have it translated to English. The Icelandic title means “knit purls”.  The authors have their own knitting blog, which unfortunately for me is written in Icelandic. You can get the book from Amazon or from contacting the authors via their blog http://prjonaperlur.blogspot.com/

The second knitting book that I love is the book that taught me to knit. It’s the only one that made sense to me as a completely new beginner, and I got many, many books out of the library as backup, trust me, this book was the only useful one. I bought it due to other people’s recommendations on Amazon. This is the one to buy if you or someone you know needs to learn from the VERY beginning:

Knitty Gritty is by Aneeta Patel and will teach you how to even get the yarn onto the needles in the first place, and is full of patterns that really are easy enough for even me to attempt. I don’t know why other knitting teachers seem to skip so many basic steps, or not know the language to explain it clearly, but this book really was a godsend for me. I’ve made several things out of this book including scarves (of course) and a bag.

Aneeta also runs classes in London and is a great knitting ambassador. She is really helpful and never seems to run out of patience with the most basic of knitting questions constantly being asked of her. Her website is at Knitting SOS.

You can buy Knitty Gritty on Amazon, and there is a follow-up coming out in August – hooray!

Knitting was a pretty unexpected interest for me to develop and I’m not sure myself how far I will take it. I’d like to think that I’ve got over the hardest part of actually learning the basics and everything else is just being brave enough to try and not get discouraged when you have to start something over AGAIN…I certainly couldn’t have learned it without books, as despite much searching, there are no knitting courses near me. If you’ve ever got someone willing to teach you, give it a try – it’s very relaxing and you just might enjoy it.

Have you ever discovered any out of character hobbies that you love? How hard is it to learn new things as you get older?

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4 thoughts on “Purls of wisdom (two great knitting books)

  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to learn, and I’m turning 53 in Feb. So, for me, it’s a life-long pursuit of learning.

    BTW, my friend, here you go:
    Congratulations! It’s official – The Academy, okay, mj monaghan, has recognized your wonderful blog with the Versatile Blogger Award!

    Here’s the envelope with more details: http://wp.me/p1JIsL-cQ!

  2. Pingback: I love TV socks! | I'd Rather Be In Iceland

  3. Pingback: Revisiting the bucket list | I'd Rather Be In Iceland

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