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Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatching, Stashing, Ribbing & Rolling to Free Your Inner Knitter
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Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatching, Stashing, Ribbing & Rolling to Free Your Inner Knitter

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  3,258 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews
Both a celebration of the craft and a sourcebook for practical information, Knitting Rules! is a collection of useful advice and emotional support for the avid knitter. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee unravels the mysteries of tangled yarn, confusing patterns, and stubbornly unfinished projects. Daring to question long-standing rules and encouraging crafters to knit in the way that ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Storey Publishing
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Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie StollerKnitting Without Tears by Elizabeth ZimmermannElizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth ZimmermannA Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. WalkerThe Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd
Must-have Knitting Books
6th out of 176 books — 163 voters
Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth ZimmermannStitch 'n Bitch by Debbie StollerKnitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPheeKnitting Without Tears by Elizabeth ZimmermannYarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Knitting Nonfiction
3rd out of 71 books — 80 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 03, 2008 Lily rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people with too much time on their hands
Shelves: knitting-books
There are about 56 pages of actual useful content in this book.

The actual useful content can be found starting on page 127 where she begins discussing socks. Following the sock section there are small sections on scarves and shawls. Most of this information could be gleaned by surfing the internet a bit or visiting the knittinghelp website.

The rest can be summed up as follows:

1. The author has lots of yarn EVERYWHERE and her house is a mess.

2. The fact that the author has lots of yarn everywhere
Jan 12, 2011 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
Let's say you just knit your first hat and it did't quite turn out the way you planned. Maybe it's not quite the right size. Or shape. Have you considered your extended family and friends? Maybe one of them has a head that would be perfect for your new creation. Or maybe you need to change your mindset: your hat might be much happier as a tea cozy. Or you could put handles on it and make it a purse. Or maybe, just maybe, what you really knit was a ball of yarn, just waiting to be ripped out and ...more
Jan 01, 2012 Joy rated it it was amazing
My mother taught me to knit while she was visiting me at Thanksgiving, and so I am working on my very first item - a scarf, done in simple garter stitch with purple merino wool. Since her visit I've picked up a few books to help me, starting with two beginner knitter books and then followed by this one which I found by browsing at the store. I've read the author's blog for the last month or so and find her writing quite entertaining, so I figured I'd give this a whirl. This book is a great compa ...more
Nov 12, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Now I understand why knitters become such ardent fans of Stephanie McPhee! Not only is this book full of sage advice for knitters, it's very funny. I think (admitting to being prejudiced) that even a non-knitter would enjoy this book for its humor. While it's directed at knitters, hoping to help us make our lives a bit easier with suggestion on stash/book/magazine organizing, simple instructions for generic hats, scarves, sweaters, and socks, it's also full of a wealth of practical advice on how ...more
Apr 25, 2015 Malissa rated it it was amazing
Part funny anecdotes, part how to, part pattern book. This wasn't quite as much fun to read through as Yarn Harlot but is one I need a copy of on my shelf to refer back to. There are a lot of practical tips and advice that I kept wanting to snap pics of to remember.
Jan 10, 2013 Noel rated it liked it
Since about a third of the book extols the stash, I figured a third of this review should, too. The other parts of the book do have some excellent knitting advice, though, and McPhee does write some entertaining prose.

This book has lead me to the conclusion that I am not a real knitter. I have a yarn stash, yes. It’s contained in one, one bin in the bottom of my closet and is mostly made of leftover yarn from former projects. If I go to a yarn store, I know exactly what I need for my current pro
Emily Leathers
Feb 09, 2012 Emily Leathers rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: knitters who aren't too uptight, and aren't already super-expert masters at all possible techniques
I enjoyed this book, especially the tables of average garment sizes. (I already know enough to come up with all of her recipes on my own, but for a less experienced knitter I think those would also be very valuable.) However, about 1/4 of the way in I stopped seeing the author's comments as jokingly self-deprecating, and started seeing it as her almost bragging about how non-smart and self-focused she is in many, many ways - weird, and not very attractive. Despite that, I found the content usefu ...more
Jan 24, 2013 M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, hobbies
I really, really liked this book. I'm pausing before giving it a 5 star because I'm still in the grip of the glow of my first knitted sock following her instructions. (The instructions about the sock are clear and very good.) I'm wondering if that might false inflate the score I'm thinking about giving.

I think this is an excellent book for beginners - and has a lot to offer in the way of tips for yarn storage, knitting bags, and project management. (Yes, there is such a thing as knitting project
Apr 04, 2014 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, own-it
I always love Stephanie's books. The 'ohmygosh I KNOW!' feeling about her stories, the tips, the 'patterns'. And now I have her basic sock pattern! Win win!
Feb 13, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of the kind of humor that will tickle anyone who has ever knit, whether a novice or an expert or somewhere in between, but especially those who have a stash of yarn and a tendency to try to bring new knitters into the fold. Beyond the humor, though, there are some very helpful knitting tips and sets of instructions for simple knitting without patterns, even for some things I don't think of as simple, like socks.

If you're interested in knitting, this will give you a hint of what an obsessio
Claire Bull
This is my "Go-To" book that I carry everywhere with me in my knitting bag. Stephanie's humour is infectious and her knitting instructions make this a classic, fun way to learn and enjoy knitting.
Great book for beginners and master knitters alike, and fun to read all of her anecdotes and tips or tricks. She is called the Yarn Harlot for a reason and we all adore her. No knitter should be without this book. It is top on my list of knitting books and a classic.
It is a constant in my world - Do y
Jan 18, 2016 Desiree' rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting
The author's use of humor and personal experience fill this book with enriched knitting techniques on how to knit and what to knit for yourself. The author introduces a new term for knitter's to learn and understand in regards to gauge: relative gauge risk (RGR). The author discusses the importance of gauge and what and how to use gauge for your knitting projects. I found her explanation on gauge inspiring, since myself, I am only learning the importance of gauge in regards to its relative impor ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Nikkishell rated it liked it
Shelves: craft
I wasn't too impressed with this book, in fact i don't think i finished it.
Feb 19, 2014 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: needle-arts
This is the book that I want to give every knitter. So many of the things that I've learned the hard way are discussed, along with lots of things that I haven't learned yet, but am happy to perhaps shortcut the mis-adventures that make up learning experience. (or if not least enjoy the detour!)

But the reason that I particularly like this book is the absolute JOY that leaps of the pages as this writer encourages the reader to keep projects handy, that there is no such thing as too m
May 05, 2011 Luanne rated it liked it
Good book for beginner knitter.. Good humor throughout
Jun 26, 2015 Kristin rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I expected to. I seem to prefer her books of essays...they're a lot funnier! This one almost seemed to be trying too hard to be funny. But there is a lot of good info in the sections about hats, socks, scarves/shawls, and sweaters. The ways to estimate someone's size when you're knitting something for them are really clever! I learned some stuff that I'm sure will come in handy later. I know I'll refer back to this book, but I didn't enjoy reading it straight t ...more
Jennifer Johnson
May 25, 2009 Jennifer Johnson rated it really liked it
After reading her last book, (#15)- I immediately made it a point to run out and get her latest book, Knitting Rules! The Yarn Harlot’s Bag of Tricks and I read it cover to cover pretty quickly. Pearl-McPhee’s latest book includes more of her great sense of humor as well as some great tips and basic patterns for items like hats, socks, scarves and even sweaters. Along with that she writes about essential knitting notions, but all in a fashion that’s both informative and entertaining. Her observa ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Vicki rated it it was amazing
More of a 'traditional' knitting book than the other two and one that I have referred back to a number of times already in the fortnight since I first read it. If you're looking for Stephanie's 'sock recipe' - it's here. There are similar recipes for scarves, hats and shawls as well as great explanations and anecdotes about gauge, blocking and all the other knitting mysteries. A fun read as per usual with the added benefit of being a Really Useful Book.
Mari Degard
Apr 08, 2016 Mari Degard rated it liked it
Mind you, I am being really picky with this review but the only thing this book lacks to be absolutely perfect is a chart for hat sizes to start from the top and to start from the bottom. Also I kinda hoped to see al the charts together, it is logical and understandable that each chart goes with the respective chapter but that hinders it's use as a reference book.
Right now it's sitting happily in my bookshelf with lots of page markers <3
Susan Cackler
Jan 05, 2016 Susan Cackler rated it it was amazing
I love all of Stephanie's writing. I usually find myself tearing up as often as laughing, but always enjoy myself. This book has the benefit of being practical, as well, with several basic knitting recipes. I finally got inspired to knit a pair of socks and think I might actually get 2 socks done! I quickly cast on the second and it's an inch- and - a half long already.
Feb 06, 2015 Sivyu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2006, knitting
I really liked this book. The funny thing is I never read her blog until I got the book, and now I'm totally addicted. The different chapter are focused on one knitted item and has tips and a basic pattern (more like a formula) that you can adapt. I though that it was great for the tips, formulas, and her general witty voice. Totally recommended.
Feb 08, 2015 Nutkin rated it really liked it
As much as I've loved other Yarn Harlot books that I've read, this is the one I would/am considering adding to my collection because it has some great tips for knitting. The biggest takeaway for me is that I've been using the wrong kind of cast-on for my socks! I always thought they were too tight, but didn't realize that other cast-ons would fix this until I read this book.

It's a good read for people who have been knitting for awhile, as well as those who are new to it!
Apr 30, 2015 Holly rated it liked it
I thought this was a really good book for a beginning knitter. I was surprised by how easily it flowed with the right mix of technical information and anecdotes. It is discouraging to think you could make every effort to have a pattern come out right and still be way off. I might stick with some of the less risky projects!
Mar 01, 2014 Skari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I. Love. This. Book. The helpful charts held within its pages alone make it well worth the purchase. If you've mastered the knit and purl that you learned from Stitch n' Bitch, or wherever you started, this is an excellent second book to learn to be a fearless knitter. Definitely has some of EZ's spirit.
Aug 30, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
I bought this book on sale, thinking "Well I know pretty much all of the simple stitches, and I can build from there, so I don't really need another 'how to knit' book, but we'll see what this has." Best impulse decision of my life (at least so far as my knitting is concerned). While this book certainly does cover the basics in detail, it's often good to go over the basics again, because when you're self-taught, there's probably something you missed. The author has a wonderfully light, humorous ...more
Susan Eberhardt
Sep 27, 2014 Susan Eberhardt rated it really liked it
My husband is laughing with me. I blame Stephanie for all my bad habits in knitting, especially my stash. Halfway through the book, I suggested my husband might want to take the book away from me before I learned even more bad habits and got more crazy ideas...........
Dawn Rodgers
Jan 06, 2016 Dawn Rodgers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: knitting-books
This is always a brilliant book to dip into with advice that you just cannot find elsewhere, especially written and such a friendly way. this is one of the few knitting books that I read from start to finish as it is just as entertaining as it is useful.
Dec 13, 2014 Frankie rated it liked it
I'm sure that had I read then when I first got back into knitting 7 or 8 years ago, I would have been much more impressed. As a fairly proficient knitter though, I can't say that I really "learned" anything, but it was nice to read her knitting thoughts.
Apr 13, 2016 Colleen rated it really liked it
So initially, reading this was very good for the progress of my attempts to knit Christmas presents, because it made me feel smart and part of the knitterly in-crowd. So after reading a bit I would go knit a bunch, in a happy little cycle.

Thennnn... then it all went off the rails, because the different neat ideas were just... screaming to be tried out! So I figured, well, I wouldn't want to *fatigue* myself with my current knitting project (the one that has so far taken me months, and that need
Jun 08, 2013 Nicole rated it it was amazing
I loved it! Although it was a quick read, I am only left wishing there was more because it was such an enjoyable read. The author is funny and confidence inspiring. Knitting that I have avoided or not yet attempted (like socks, circular shawls, and sweaters), I now feel inspired - in the middle of summer on a day with a high over 90 - to reconsider. After reading the description of knitting socks, well, that doesn't sound so hard. And the circular shawls sound amazing! And maybe it's time to go ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: add eBook & combine Kindle editions: Knitting Rules: 2 14 Oct 04, 2013 01:10PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Knitting Rules! 1 4 Feb 26, 2012 05:19PM  
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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (better known as the Yarn Harlot) is a prolific knitter, writer and blogger known for her humorous but always insightful anecdotes and stories about knitting triumphs and tragedies.
More about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee...

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“it is pure potential. Every ball or skein of yarn holds something inside it, and the great mystery of what that might be can be almost spiritual” 18 likes
“It's only knitting and it's one of the few times in your life when there are no bad consequences to a mistake.” 11 likes
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