Tuesday, October 23, 2012

some knitting books

Would it surprise you if I said I'm quite fond of knitting books?

Today, I thought I might review a few of my favourites, but with a little twist.
These are knitting books that we share as a family, that we read together. We are big readers here in this household and we do like knitting books!

(I should point out here that it is not unknown for my kids to take one of Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries to bed to look at. )

But you guessed it, I am talking about our favourite knitting picture books.

I'm sure I'm not alone and quite like it when I find a portrayal of someone knitting in a kid's book. Just tonight, Lily was reading Roald Dahl's 'Danny the Champion of the World' and she very excitedly read me a passage about his mother knitting.

Have you read any of the books above?

We've had 'Milo Armadillo' the longest. I was quite excited to find a picture book about knitting with the name Milo in the title, I have to say.  I bought this for Toby for perhaps his first birthday.

I love the illustrations in this. I love the way the illustrator captures the fabric of both knits but also other textiles.  Have a look at the clothes and the backgrounds, it almost feels like you can touch and feel them!

'Milo Armadillo' tells the story of a little girl who desperately wants a pink rabbit. Unable to find one anywhere, her grandmother franitically knits her one.  It doesn't quite turn out right as you might expect...it's more of an armadillo than a rabbit.

It's a beautiful story about learning to appreciate what you have, and that sometimes being a bit different is a bit better.

I so love that there is even a link to the pattern to knit your own Milo Armadillo.

I love this picture of the grandmother knitting.

'Knitting Nell' reminds me a bit of our Lily.

Not that Lily can knit that well though.

'Knitting Nell' tells the story of a wee girl, who at the start of the book is perhaps a bit shy, doesn't like to speak up too much in front of others. Through her talent, which happens to be knitting, she learns to do her own thing and also develops a sense of herself and her confidence in who she is. This is something we've really watched Lily come to terms with over the last year or so.

I love the juxtaposition of these two images from the near the start and end of the book.

The final book, is, I think my favourite.
It's just stunningly beautiful.

I love the fairy tale nature of this story about a young girl who finds a box of yarn and starts knitting from it. and knitting. and knitting. and knitting.  It's bottomless. Of course, a bad man comes to steal her box of yarn but it is worthless to him and so he throws it away. It finds its way back home to her.

I think what I really like though, is that the little girl runs out of people to knit jumpers for so she yarn bombs the whole town. Ok, they don't call it yarn bombing in the story, but that's what she's doing.

Do you have a favourite knitting picture story book?
I'd love to hear about it if you do. 
Christmas is not far away and traditionally my children always get a couple of books each. If I can sneak in a knitting related one, all the better!

ANNNNND, before I finish up. I'd like to introduce you to my second sponsor for my Spring has Sprung KAL.

Yay! for yarn is an Australian based on-line store that stocks some fabulous yarns that you don't find in your normal LYS. Ella Rae, Cascade, Noro and Dream in Colour are just a few.  Kiri also stocks the Knit Pro range of interchangable needles.  

Yay! for yarn has generously donated a $40AUD gift voucher to her store.

I asked Kiri what Spring meant to her and this is what she had to say:

Hmmmm, Spring nights, there is something special about those warm evenings when the days start to get a bit longer and you linger in the gardern a bit longer than you should before starting dinner/baths/dishes/stories (all those joyful chores before that wonderful moment when the kids are in bed!). What else, I'm looking out my window and even though it's actually raining today (yay!) everything is various shades of yellow, brown and yellowy-brown greens; dusty, dirty and dry. 
Spring in Brisbane is hot and dry.


  1. oh thank you! everyone here loves books so I must go and check these out for christmas!


  2. What a great list! I sense some book shopping about to happen ;)

    Another we enjoy here is 'Mr Nick's Knitting' by Margaret Wild. It is a little bit sad but also uplifting seeing the friendship between two knitters (one male and one female). Oh,... and the male character is not named DK or Aran ;)

    1. Oh Jen, that is a bit funny though!
      My maiden name is Nicolson, so when I was teaching I was known as Miss Nic!!!!

  3. They recently reviewed extra yarn on the knitmore girls podcast. I'll have to get my hands on that one! Did you see that Alana dakos has written a knitting picture book? On preorder now

    1. I did!
      I'm umming and ahhing over it a bit.

      I'd love to see an extract to ascertain the tone of the text (that sounds terribly English teacher snobbish of me *blush*)

  4. Oh I love a little knitting book to read together! We have Mrs. McDockerty's Knitting, by Ruth Martinez, that I picked up in a second had book shop one year when overseas. Also Something Absolutely Enormous by Margaret Wild that we have had since we were children. The Big woolly Jumper is another we have read as is The bush Jumper by Jean Chapman. We have really enjoyed that one. There are some lovely ones around!

    1. We have The Bush Jumper too!

      I think Margaret Wild must be a knitter, It seems to pop up a lot in her books!

  5. We have quite a collection of knitting and fibre related picture books here. It started with 'Thankyou for my yucky present' by Meredith Hooper, however my favourite is 'Woolbur' by Leslie Helakoski.
    Woolbur is the lamb that just wouldn't 'comform' to the group. He ran with the dogs, not the sheep. He wove his forlock, he carded his own wool (whilst still on him), he rode the spinning wheel. And his grandpaa said 'don't worry' to his parents ...
    A fantastic book.

  6. I have just pre-ordered Alana Dakos' book 'Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf' and I am really looking forward to giving it to my granddaughter for Christmas. (If I can bear to part with it...)

  7. We have read the first and last two you've posted - Extra Yarn was a library find last time we visited - what a pleasant surprise that was!!

  8. I remember borrowing "Derek the dinosaur" from kinder, Derek is no ordinary dinosaur, instead of being ferocious like his brothers he likes to stay home and knit. Derek's knitting becomes useful when the weather turns cold and he can knit jumpers to keep everyone warm. Maybe one for Toby?

    1. That sounds perfect, Sandy!
      Shall try and track it down.
      Thank you.

  9. We have a gorgeous book by Aaron Blabey, Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley about 2 friends who are opposites. There is a wonderful illustration of Charlie knitting away, in his comfy pjs, while Pearl is jumping a cliff on a motorbike balancing various things. The wool Charlie is knitting with is tied to her arm.

  10. Hey Tikki, a little off topic here but if you're still in need of suggestions for blog posts, I would love one on knitting notions. Stitch holders vs scrap yarn, stitch counters (I don't use one but would be interested to know what people do to keep track of stitches especailly when knitting long bands etc), row counters etc. I don't use anything but I am sure there must be some good suggestions on things to use to make knitting a bit easier! Was that a special ruler you were using in your swatching post? i think someone else might have suggested this already but I would be interested in something on blocking too...Annwen

    1. That's a great suggestion, Annwen. I have one planned for blocking, I just need to track down all the photos I know I've taken.

      Notions is great too! I really like that one! Thank you! Your ideas are going to keep me going for a while!!

  11. What gorgeous knitting books! We love when we happen across some knitting in a story book, but I have no idea which books we have found knitting in! These look like good ones to add to our book shelves though.

  12. I love the looks of these, I have to get Milo Armadillo. Our favorite knitting children's book is Skipper's New Red Pants by Yoko Imoto. Skipper kitten's mom knits him pants and puts them on before they are finished and they unravel all across town :)

  13. We love Knitting Nell. Such a great story.

    We read one recently, I can't remember the name of it, but it seems like it was called the Story Blanket...?

    Anyway, this woman has a knitted blanket and everyone gathers on it to hear stories. She ends up taking it apart to knit things for people and the blanket gets smaller and smaller until there is nothing left.

    The people are grateful to have their knitted gifts, and they want to do something nice for the woman, and they give her back the yarn so she can make another story blanket. She knits one, and it's just like the other one, but then she notices someone needs a hat... It's this cycle of friendship and giving. It's a very sweet tale.


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