The Joy of Knitting by Lisa R. Myers is exactly what you hope for in opening a book about knitting. It's funny, insightful, educational, offers wonderful, simple patterns you can't wait to make and is a pleasure to read and to share with other knitters.
It makes you feel connected to the world of knitters through time and space, allowing you to understand that we are all the same in our love for fiber and making beautiful, useful things for the people we love.
A Knitting Education
This book is probably best suited to knitters with a little bit of experience but who are still learning (that's all of us, right?). There are a few pages of basic knitting information in the back, but most of the book is written for people who already have a little understanding about how knitting works.
Perhaps the best audience for this book would be someone who has knitted in the past but who gave it up at some point and would like to start again. This book will remind those people of everything that is great about knitting, as well as teaching a few things they might never have learned the first time around.
This little book has a lot of wisdom to share about such things as choosing colors for a knitting project, making your own patterns, Fair Isle and intarsia, starting a knitting group and much more. It will inspire readers to knit more and to share their love of knitting with others.
There's a pattern to go with every chapter in this book. Some are basic, like the I-cord "something" that ends Chapter One. Others, like the Multi-Cultural Mittens in the chapter on the global knitting village, are much more complex but nonetheless beautiful and irresistible.
Each pattern teaches an important lesson about color, texture, reading a pattern, making a cable or just enjoying the pure thrill of working with yarn. These patterns would all make fun gifts, while completing each pattern could expand the knitter's repertoire and skill set quite a bit, depending on the amount of experience brought to the book.
A World of Knitting
My favorite part of the book is the discussion of the global knitting community. From ethnic designs and methods that come from all over the world to amazing yarns that, thanks to the Internet, we can all buy and use no matter where we live, there are so many ways to be connected to the larger knitting world.
This site, of course, is just one way to do that. The book has many more suggestions for message groups, books and websites to visit on your world tour of knitting. Reading about the amazing ethnic designs used in different parts of the world will spark your knitter's wanderlust and give you tons of inspiration for your next project.
This book is a big hug of welcome into the knitting community. It is inspiring, heartfelt, and, yes, joyous. It will make you happy and proud to be a knitter.