Getting Started With Machine Knitting, Hand Knitting & Crochet

When I’m not designing and making textiles in my studio, I teach machine knitting, hand knitting and crochet. This is primarily at Parsons The New School, in addition to select yarn stores and private lessons/intensive workshops.

Throughout the Studio blog, I will be sharing ideas, tips and tutorials on creating decorative, tactile and embellished cloth – all through the process of machine knitting, hand knitting and crochet.

The upcoming posts will require a basic knowledge within knitting and crochet, and I wanted to share some great beginner resources within each craft method. Even though I specialized in knitted textiles when studying (over the course of six years), I attribute a solid portion of my skill set to teaching myself through books, and the Internet.

Here is a list of resources which I personally found very helpful and informative when starting out:

Hand Knitting 

Books –

‘The Knitting Answer Book’, by Margaret Radcliffe. This little book answers any question you can think of – it’s an invaluable resource to have in your collection.

‘The Knitting Book’, by Frederica Patmore and Vikki Haffenden, has a thorough explanation of tools, techniques, stitches and patterns.

400 Knitting Stitches‘, by Potter Craft. With this book you can start exploring basic stitch patterns and work up to more elaborate designs.

‘Nicky Epstein The Essential Edgings Collection’, by Nicky Epstein. A truly inspiring book with hundreds of trims, borders, ribs, ruffles, etc. This is another great book that you can work through as your skills become more advanced.

Online Resources –

‘Lion Brand Yarn’ – The Learning Center within this website has a great range of easy-to-follow tutorials.

‘New Stitch A Day’ – This informative hand knitting and crochet website has a vast amount of concise videos demonstrating popular stitches and techniques.

Machine Knitting 

Books –

‘Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters’, by Susan Guagliumi. This is possibly the best book out there for machine knitting. It is extremely simple to understand, even for a complete novice, and there are endless exciting ideas to explore.

‘The Harmony Guide to Machine Knitting Stitches’, by Barbara Devaney. This out of print guide to punch card patterns is a valuable reference to have. The variety of stitches provided are great, providing much inspiration on how to create your own individual punch card patterns.

‘The Art of Knitting: Inspirational Stitches, Textures and Surfaces’, by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne and Sandy Black. An extremely inspiring and very creative book which can be helpful for both hand and machine knitting.

Online Resources –

‘Knit It Now’ – A fantastic website for all things machine knit related – tutorials, videos, stitches, yarn, etc.

‘Susan Guagliumi’ – The website of ‘Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitting’. Susan offers helpful tutorials you can download for free simply by signing up to her newsletter.


Books –

‘Ultimate Crochet Bible’ by Jane Crowfoot – As the name suggests this is an indispensable reference for all expertise levels.

‘The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs’ by Linda P. Schapper. Possibly my favorite crochet stitch book; this has an extensive amount of fantastic stitch patterns that vary in complexity and skill level.

‘Harmony Guides – Crochet Stitch Motifs’ by Erica Knight. This has a beautiful range of motifs with instructions written as well as charted.

‘The Complete Book of Crochet Border Designs’ by Linda P. Schapper. Another fantastic book by Linda P. Schapper; this has a wealth of edgings you can apply to numerous different projects.

Online Resources –

Check out the same websites listed under hand knitting – most places also offer great beginner instructions on crochet too.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of You Tube to view techniques and methods in action!

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