Fall weather is here and with it new fall knits and new fall knitting books! Whether you're a fan of movie-inspired knits, eager to dive into colorwork, or seeking new stitch dictionaries and pattern writing guidance, these releases have something special in store for you. Let's take a look at some of the titles coming out in the next few months.
Get in Character
These first three books are based on movie or literary characters. Two of them are sanctioned by the authors but the third one is a bit iffy on the license.
Tanis Gray is a designer in her own right but lately she's become best known as — and got canceled for — being the editor of such movie-franchise knitting books as Harry Potter: Knitting Magic and Star Wars: Knitting the Galaxy. This fall she, along with a host of other designers, is putting forth two more character-based books.
Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Knitting Guide to Halloween Town and Christmas Town, set to be released in just a few days on September 26, will enchant knitters with more than 25 patterns inspired by the eerily entertaining world of Tim Burton's beloved 1993 stop-motion animation.
Inspired by the characters of Jack Skellington, Sally, Dr. Finkelstein, Zero, Oogie Boogie, the Mayor, Sandy Claws, and more, these patterns feature a mix of dark and vibrant knits and glow-in-the-dark yarn in celebration of the melding of Halloween and Christmas in this classic film. Oogie Boogie and Zero stuffies come to life with the help of your knitting needles, and clothing, home décor, holiday decorations, and more will transport you to the moonlit hills, dark cemeteries, and eerie cobblestone streets of Tim Burton’s stop-motion world.
Another fantastical release is The Fellowship of the Knits, also edited by Tanis Gray. This book invites knitters on a journey through J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, and features over 25 patterns inspired by the mythical world of hobbits and elves. Some are knitted replicas of the costumes worn in the movies, some take a more creative license (ahem) with the fantasy theme.
Knit your way across J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, from the Shire’s idyllic countryside to the Elfin palaces of Rivendell, with this first-ever Lord of the Rings knitting guide. With patterns to suit your every otherworldly mood, this book includes cozy knits to languish by the fire in at Bag End, rustic outerwear to enjoy a beer and a warm bowl of stew at The Prancing Pony Inn, and elegant laces suited for the lush, peaceful valley of Rivendell.
Inspired by the popular books and film adaptations—including beloved characters, locations, and natural elements––this guide features a variety of knitting techniques, like cables, lace, colorwork, brioche, and textured stitches, and it includes patterns for apparel, accessories, and home décor for every skill level. From the Hobbits’ warm, rustic knits and the Dwarves’ rugged armor to the intricate, lacy garments of the Elves of Rivendell, there’s a pattern to suit everyone in your life.
The patterns contained within have such pun-tastic names as One Ring to Warm Them All and You Shawl Not Pass. I don't even know what their look like but sign me up for a pair of Second Breakfast Socks! The Fellowship of the Knits: Lord of the Rings: The Unofficial Knitting Book comes out on the same day as Nightmare Before Christmas, September 26. Knowing how fiercely protective the Tolkien estate is of their IP, I'm surprised this title is even seeing the light of day.
Claire Garland aka Dot Pebbles is a designer who specializes in adorably cute yet lifelike knitted animals. If you haven't seen her frog with a striped jumper, you've been living under a rock! This fall she's bringing new life to Beatrix Potter's cherished storybook characters in Knitting Peter Rabbit™: 12 Toy Knitting Patterns from the Tales of Beatrix Potter.
With step-by-step instructions and beautiful photography, you'll be able to make all the most enduring characters from Beatrix Potter's world. Knit Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Flopsy Bunny, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Tom Kitten, Squirrel Nutkin, the Tailor of Gloucester, Samuel Whiskers, Mr. Tod the fox, and Tommy Brock the badger, and dress them up in simple felt garments to complete the storybook look.
Hop on to Peter Rabbit's world on October 24, 2023.
This next set of three books all deal with colorwork.
KnitOvation by Andrea Rangel, hitting shelves on October 10, 2023, offers more than 150 modern colorwork knitting motifs. Much like her previous colorwork stitch dictionary AlterKnit (which I already have in my carefully-curated reference library), this one continues the theme of contemporary colorwork patterns that go beyond the classic OXOs, peeries, or Selburoses. The panda bears on the cover? Simply adorable.
KnitOvation includes more than 150 brand new colorwork motifs to expand knitters' creative possibilities and draw them further into the world of stranded knitting with clever, quirky, and beautiful motifs including botanicals, animals, and geometric patterns. The motifs are accompanied by a selection of accessory and garment designs to illustrate how the motifs can be used, and technical information on new topics including using charts and adding flourishes with duplicate stitch.
This next title is in German but charts are universal. Skandi Strickmuster is a collaboration by seven different authors. The book contains a collection of classic cable patterns plus Nordic colorwork motifs from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Scotland, and Fair Isle.
Skandi Strickmuster – Die Sammlung: 160 nordische Muster aus Norwegen, Schweden und Island is released as an e-book on December 5; the hardcover comes out a few days later on December 10, 2023.
Unlike the previous two books, Colourwork in the Round by Anna Dervout of Along Avec Anna is much more than a stitch dictionary. It's a comprehensive guide to colorwork knitting that covers everything from reading charts and choosing colors to swatching, steeking, and beyond.
Discover different colorwork techniques using circular needles, which are becoming increasingly popular among knitting enthusiasts. You’ll learn how to choose your yarns, manage tension, knit in the round, and integrate a seamless change of color into your work. Anna does the hard work of demystifying this traditional knitting technique so that it no longer holds any secrets.
Illustrated step-by-step instructions guide you through the learning process; at the end of the book there's the chance to put your knowledge into practice to create five superb patterns, each suited to a different skill level: create a hat, a sweater or a cardigan and see all your hard work pay off!
While it may include only 5 original patterns, all the projects presented contain skills you learn throughout the book, such as working in the round with the Blisco hat or steeking with the Scafell cardigan.
Colourwork in the Round: All the techniques you need plus 5 stunning projects comes out as a paperback on December 12 or, if you can't wait, as an e-book on November 30. The book was originally published in French (Tricoter le jacquard en rond, EYROLLES 2019) and has also been translated into German (Jacquard am Stück gestrickt, Stiebner Verlag 2020).
And Other Stitch Dictionaries
If colorwork is not your thing, no worries! Here are a couple of stitch dictionaries that cover other types of techniques.
Knitting Stitches Step-by-Step: More than 150 Essential Stitches to Knit, Purl, and Perfect by Jo Shaw is a modern stitch dictionary that showcases over 150 different knitting stitches. The book comes out on October 24, 2023.
Take your knitting to the next level with Knitting Stitches Step-by-Step. Whatever your knitting ability, this essential guide will help you master a huge range of techniques and patterns, including colorwork, fair isle and intarsia, cables and textural patterns, lace knitting, and methods for casting on and off. Find inspiration for your next knitting project or adapt a design you know and love with tips on incorporating different stitches into your work.
55 Fantastic Japanese Knitting Stitches by Kotomi Hayashi introduces innovative stitch designs influenced by Japanese-style knitting.
Popular and prolific author and knitwear designer Kotomi Hayashi presents 55 innovative stitch designs – specifically for those who have never tried Japanese-style knitting before. These include re-imagined modern variations on traditional stitches as well as Hayashi's own innovative inventions, which incorporate influences from her travels all around the world.
In addition to the charts typical of Japanese knitting books, step-by-step instructions and diagrams for each stitch are also included. Hayashi shows you how to use these stitch patterns in one or more of the 25 projects she includes in the book, so you can try them out on gloves, cowls, shawls and more.
Is this the new Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible? You can already pick up a copy of 55 Fantastic Japanese Knitting Stitches; it was released this week (September 19).
Better Pattern Writing
This last book might be of interest to both aspiring and more experienced designers. I certainly have been waiting for it with bated breath!
Kristina McGrath and Sarah Walworth are knitting tech editors behind the monthly video podcast Tech Tip Talk on which they interview designers about designing and pattern writing, grading and sizing, and the ins and outs of the knitting industry. Now they've combined all their years of experience in book form.
Knitting patterns are notorious for inaccuracies in measurements and confusing directions—but no more! The Knitting Pattern Writing Handbook sets new standards for clear, accurate pattern writing, walking aspiring and experienced designers alike through each must-have component of a thorough, well-written pattern, including how to devise and present gauge, charts, and sizing information that is correct and easy-to-follow.
The title of the book could've used a bit more editing but this promises to be a must-have guide for indie designers akin to Kate Atherley's The Beginner's Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns. The release date for The Knitting Pattern Writing Handbook: How to Write Great Patterns that Knitters Will Love to Make is October 21, 2023.
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