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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

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  2,874 ratings  ·  264 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 BuddKnitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Must-have Knitting Books
5th out of 151 books — 144 voters
Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth ZimmermannStitch 'n Bitch by Debbie StollerKnitting Without Tears by Elizabeth ZimmermannKnitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPheeYarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Knitting Nonfiction
4th out of 63 books — 74 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
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
Malissa
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.
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
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
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
...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
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.
Sivyu
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.
Nutkin
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!
Holly
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!
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
Susan Eberhardt
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...........
Frankie
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.
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
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Goodreads Librari...: add eBook & combine Kindle editions: Knitting Rules: 2 14 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
  • The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn
  • Sock Innovation: Knitting Techniques & Patterns for One-Of-A-Kind Socks
  • Sensational Knitted Socks
  • A Treasury of Knitting Patterns
  • Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave
  • Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book
  • It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons
  • New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One
  • Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits
  • The Knitting Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask
  • Victorian Lace Today
  • Knitted Lace of Estonia
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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 At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much Free-Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again Things I Learned From Knitting (whether I wanted to or not) All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin

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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” 14 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.” 10 likes
More quotes…