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

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  2,553 ratings  ·  245 reviews
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, best-selling author of "At Knit's End" and celebrated blogger and humorist of the knitting world, is back! Funnier than ever, Pearl-McPhee continues her running dialogue with her knitting compatriots -- cheering them on to ever-greater heights in the climb to make knitting universally recognized as THE peak life experience.Both a celebration of knit...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 ZimmermannThe Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann BuddThe Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe
Must-have Knitting Books
7th out of 133 books — 123 voters
Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth ZimmermannStitch 'n Bitch by Debbie StollerKnitting Without Tears by Elizabeth ZimmermannYarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl-McPheeAt Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Knitting Nonfiction
6th out of 57 books — 63 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cynthia
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
Lily
May 03, 2008 Lily rated it 2 of 5 stars
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...more
Joy
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
Elizabeth
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
Emily Leathers
Feb 09, 2012 Emily Leathers rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
M
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...more
Becca
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!
Cindy
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...more
Nikkishell
I wasn't too impressed with this book, in fact i don't think i finished it.
Joan
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 shortcut...at 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...more
Luanne
Good book for beginner knitter.. Good humor throughout
Noel
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...more
Jennifer Johnson
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
Vicki
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.
Nicole
I've been following the Yarn Harlot's blog for years now, but this is the 1st book of hers I've read. Very funny, but you've definitely got to be a knitter to appreciate it. I really liked the one page per blurb format...made it easy to pick up and put down with no real plot to follow. Also highlighted about 40 of the quotes. Purchsed 3 of her books a couple months ago in the Kindle store for $2.99 each & am glad I did. Great easy reading with laughs. What's not to love? :o)
Skari
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.
Amy
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
Colleen
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...more
Nicole
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
Caitlin
Wish I had read this early on in my knitting career! I have followed Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog for years now and just got around to reading this one (checked out from the library). Will have to give this one to new knitters in my life!
Kelly
I didn't realize that this is half humor and half basic patterns until I started reading. I knit some, it's more of a part-time hobby for me, but I read the Yarn Harlot blog regularly and enjoy her brand of humor. I didn't really need the basic patterns, as I had already figured that out from other books and the internet. I ended up skipping a lot of the pattern information and just reading the stories and lists in the book. Still, it would be a nice resource to have if you're ever wondering abo...more
Stella Fouts
This is a great book for beginning knitters as well as knitters who've been knitting, like, forever and are quite possibly experts. Stephanie's knitting escapades are funny and I'm betting that every knitter who picks up this book will recognize herself in most, if not all, of them. Knitters will also pick up new tips to use with their own knitting projects.
Rebecca Smucker
This is exactly the book I needed.

I'm the kind of person--and, specifically, knitter--who wants to sit down and be able to just make something on the fly, without the constrains of a pattern. Pearl-McPhee is excellent for someone like me, since she gives you the general guidelines for making hats, scarves, socks, and mittens. I didn't have to rely on a pattern for the beanie I made after I read this book. In addition, Pearl-McPhee, who has a knitting blog, also has a great sense of humor and mak...more
Meagan
I received this book for my birthday, and finished it the next day. I thought it was a perfect mix of anecdotes from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's own life and long knitting career and actual knitting guidelines. There aren't any real, strict patterns in this book and if that's what you're looking for there are many better books for you out there. On the other hand, this book outlines a large number of general patterns that you could adapt to any number of projects. Some of the jokes seemed to reiter...more
Jenn
Jul 21, 2014 Jenn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is awesome! I borrowed this from the library specifically for her sock recipe, but I was so glad to dip into other sections and read her funny, practical, opinionated thoughts on knitting.
Julie
I am a harlot fan. I like the basic descriptions for how to size and knit things like socks, hats and shawls. Her basic sock pattern was my gateway to socks. Knitting Rules is an entertaining and fantastic refernce.
romney
Useful knitting information (even for the experienced knitter), some anecdotes and digressions. If you like the Yarn Harlot blog then this is your sort of thing. For me, more one to borrow than buy.
Maggie
While this was a fun weekend read, I could not identify with the author's point of view. I guess I really am a "scientist" as she classifies various knitters, because most of her anecdotes (hoarding yarn throughout the house) and generalities (knitters never being able to find a measuring tape) went over my head and were fairly unfunny. However, I did take away some "rule-of-thumb" info, like dimensions of heads and feet and the sock recipe, and like her insistence that beginners learn hats rath...more
Ames
This book is for those knitters who have gotten their feet wet and are just getting to the point wehre they need solcae and advise from someone who's been doing it for years and has made all the mistakes already. A really great and useful book that came along at just the right time for me.

It has all kinds of tips and tricks for solving knitting dilemmas and fixing mistakes, as well as a lot of the ever-funny Stephanie's anecdotes and knitterology. It also contains a few customizable recipes for...more
Mary
Nov 28, 2008 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to knit
Recommended to Mary by: found on shelves
She explains that people who don't knit - the non-knitters - will never explain the lure of needles and yarn but that they will ask for hand knit items. She also explains and gives a conversion chart for all needles. She explains how to figure out what a yarn is (i.e. wool, silk, acrylic, etc) and what weight (bulky, cobweb, etc) and how to figure out how much you might have (cut 10 yards and then have the ends weighed and do the math, post office should be helpful). So far very funny. She gives...more
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Goodreads Librari...: add eBook & combine Kindle editions: Knitting Rules: 2 13 Oct 04, 2013 01:10PM  
  • Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes
  • Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters' Guide: Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Pictures
  • Sock Innovation: Knitting Techniques & Patterns for One-Of-A-Kind Socks
  • The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn
  • Sensational Knitted Socks
  • Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave
  • A Treasury of Knitting Patterns
  • New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One
  • The Knitting Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask
  • It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons
  • Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits
  • Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book
  • Folk Shawls
  • Victorian Lace Today
  • A Gathering of Lace
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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...
Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter Free-range knitter: The yarn harlot writes again At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much Things I Learned From Knitting (whether I wanted to or not) Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting

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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” 9 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.” 8 likes
More quotes…