Book Review: Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook

January 18th, 2006 | View Comments

Cover of Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook

Author: Debbie Stoller
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Rating: 4 Skeins
Buy Stitch ‘N Bitch on

I’ve wanted to learn to knit since I was a little girl. This book deserves a lot of the credit for actually getting me to do it.

I had just moved to Pittsburgh and I was attending a party at a fellow grad student’s house. My host and another guest were both knitters and both were praising the book. I sidled into the conversation and found out that the other girl had taken a knitting class at a shop a mere two blocks from my apartment.

After leafing through Stitch ‘N Bitch and discovering cool, non-granny patterns for items I actually wanted to make, I marched over to the knitting shop by my apartment and signed up for an intro knitting class. The class taught me how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off, and then sent me out into the world.

This book became my first knitting reference and remained my primary knitting reference for over a year until I received Vogue Knitting, a much more advanced and comprehensive book, as a gift.

Stitch ‘N Bitch contains crystal clear instructions and illustrations on how to do basic increases, decreases, and seaming, and also takes a crack at other techniques like knitting in the round with double-pointed needles, cabling, and colorwork, as well as explaining how to spot and fix errors like twisted or dropped stitches.

It also contains helpful sections on yarn types, gauge, blocking, and patterns. In short, it’s everything a beginning knitter needs to know and it’s written in a modern, accessible style (though some have found the style to be annoying and “trying too hard to be young”, so your mileage may vary). I also enjoyed Debbie Stoller’s personal knitting story, especially her views on feminism and stereotypically female crafts.

Bonus: There are instructions for Koolaid dyeing, felting, and shadow knitting in the relevant patterns.

To date, I have made three of the projects from the book–the Kittyville hat, the felted marsupial tote, and the Big Sack Sweater. The projects are highly varied in scope and all are doable for a beginning knitter, but not so basic as to be completely boring.

For the projects I attempted, I was easily able to modify patterns to better suit my needs and desires, for example by lengthening the Big Sack Sweater to better fit my long torso or upsizing and fitting a different handle to the marsupial tote.

You can preview both this book and its sequel (and view pattern errata), Stitch ‘N Bitch Nation, on Debbie Stoller’s web site.

Buy Stitch ‘N Bitch on

CogKnition posted this on January 18th, 2006 @ 1:19am in Book Reviews | Permalink to "Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook"

No Comments

Comments are closed.