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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 ·  3,330 Ratings  ·  302 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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(showing 1-30)
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Lily
Apr 30, 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
...more
Cynthia
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
Joy
Dec 30, 2011 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
Elizabeth
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
Malissa
Apr 13, 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.
Noel
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
...more
Emily Leathers
Dec 26, 2011 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
M
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
...more
Cindy
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
...more
Becca
Mar 31, 2014 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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!
Luanne
May 05, 2011 Luanne rated it liked it
Good book for beginner knitter.. Good humor throughout
Nikkishell
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.
Apryl Anderson
This was sweet and chatty, and probably engaging for a sassy teen who's considering knitting as a rebellion. Not to my taste, as I've long ago considered and decided. I'd much rather make my declaration with my needles, not the pen.
Leah
Jan 18, 2017 Leah rated it really liked it
2nd time reading now that I've gotten back to knitting! Lots of great tips and funny comment/anecdotes. Pre-Ravelry - how things have changed....
Heather
Jan 14, 2017 Heather rated it really liked it
This is a nice little book about knitting, part memoir and part "tricks of the trade." It is not a complete how-to guide, though, so don't go into it thinking you'll learn how to knit from scratch.
Amanda  Rae
Jan 08, 2017 Amanda Rae rated it it was amazing
There is a lot of wit in this book and in most of that wit are these tiny beautiful bite sized pieces of advice. Then there's the patterns. Or no-pattern patterns. And rules. Or no-rules rules. I was already knitting when I picked this up but it made me feel like I could trust my own knitting instincts and hey, when you have to frog a sweater or 2, it's ok, your fellow knitters have all done the same (or have a secret stash of ill fitting sweaters)
Ma'ncon
Jan 08, 2017 Ma'ncon rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting
I really, really love the book! Not only because it's funny (and I love Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's writing style), but also because of the useful information you get there - shortcuts, tipps, and warm advice not to take it too serious.

I am particularly fond of the measurement and relation tipps, such as footlength/body height, hand/head relation, etc. This will come in handy when want to make a surprise present for someone! :)
Edelweizs
Dec 21, 2016 Edelweizs rated it it was amazing
Assumptions: I like knitting and find it very relaxing. And yes, I am some of the knitting stereotypes in this book but with all stereotypes, they are slightly emphasized for humorous effect. That said, this was a fun, relatable read for me with many LOL moments. If you don't knit or crochet or don't get the facination with these skills, don't read this book because you won't get the humor that is intended.
Jennifer Johnson
Feb 11, 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
Faith
Dec 08, 2016 Faith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2016
For the knitting aficionados.
Colleen
Nov 21, 2012 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
...more
Rebecca Smucker
Nov 08, 2013 Rebecca Smucker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: knitting
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
Apr 07, 2012 Meagan rated it really liked it
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
Amy
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
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
Nicole
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
Kelly
Jun 02, 2008 Kelly rated it really liked it
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
Desiree'
Jan 16, 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
Mary
Jun 14, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to knit
Recommended to Mary by: found on shelves
Shelves: craft
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
Maggie
Jun 11, 2012 Maggie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knitting
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
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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.” 12 likes
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