Customer Reviews: Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook
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on October 18, 2003
Debbie Stoller outdid herself on this one! Not only is this book fun to read, it has all the basics you will need to learn to knit and complete all the projects in the book, and it includes ideas on how to branch out and learn more about knitting. The stories Stoller has included are inspiring, sentimental and a great history lesson, it is just like reading the magazine edited by this wonderful author. The 40!! projects are fun, creative and a flash of something new. There is something for everyone - beginning, intermediate and advanced to the most conservative knitters and some for the flamboyant. If you are a new knitter the skills you will pick up and take away with you after reading and practising on the projects will be valuable for everything you make in the future. You definately did a great job Stoller, I give my props to you and cannot wait to see what the future will bring for knitting - here's hoping for more amazing books like this!
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on May 18, 2004
I had a friend show me the basic knit and purl stitches about a year ago -- she even cast on the stitches for me! So I consider this book to be my tutor on all things knitting. I picked it up in a bookstore about three months ago and started my first project, the beautiful baby blanket pattern. Since then, I have turned knitting into an enterprise -- I'm starting to sell some of my projects, I've started a knitting group at my neighborhood coffee shop, and everyone I know is getting handmade gifts that I'm knitting!
My assessment of this book is that it is ideal for the beginner. The book very clearly takes you through all the stitches and techniques step by step, with helpful illustrations, and it also provides lots of resources for yarn, patterns and supplies. And, beyond beginning, it makes a good reference when you're working on other projects. If you're an experienced knitter, it's probably not the book for you, because many of the patterns ARE basic (as noted by the reader from CA below who didn't like the scarf patterns). But I will tell you, my sister-in-law simply ADORES her baby blanket that I lovingly made from this book as my first project! It looks like the heirloom I intended it to be!
I now consider myself a fairly experienced knitter, and I owe it mostly to this book. I will offer a word of caution, though...I'm currently working on one of the more complex patterns, the "Little Black Top," and I'm finding that the instructions could be more explicit. Especially since this book seems to be aimed at newer knitters, too much is left to the knitter's intuition (like which decrease stitch you should use, etc.). But overall, I'd say it's a really good resource for new knitters.
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on March 29, 2006
I concur with the great reviews this book has gotten, and have recommended it to many people who have commented on my knitting projects on the subway. One thing with which I fault this book (and Ms. Stoller's subsequent ones) is that TRADE PAPERBACKS DON'T LIE FLAT. This was surely an oversight on the part of the publishers.

Here's a fix: Take this book to Kinkos -- or its equivalent in your area -- and have them shave off the binding and spiral bind it. The cost is minimal and it makes it much easier to use if you're just beginning to knit and need to study the illustrations.

Happy knitting!
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on November 9, 2005
For an Italian guy who grew up surrounded by Mom and Grandma knitting, reading Stitch 'N Bitch was totally interesting to read. I purchased 2 copies as gifts for the upcoming holidays. Just for fun, I started to read the introduction of the book. Before I knew it, I found myself interested enough in it to fisnish reading it in one sitting. It was too late to start wrapping, so I headed to bed with a sort of giggle in my voice. No-I didn't feel like one of the girls. Instead, I found great information about everything from the newest types of knitting to ways in which an individual could start a knitting group.

I can tell you, very honestly, that it's not a typical book for a typical guy to read. However, I DO feel that they should market this great little book to anyone who ever was surrounded or affected by knitting. For anyone who is even thinking about started to knit, this book is intended for you. Knitting is, once again, becoming more popular than ever.

When I was growing up, as a young boy in an Italian area in New York, every Saturday my Mother, Grandmother and Aunts would travel to one or more fabric stores to find the best deals on yarn and supplies. Knitting was a part of all of our lives. It was not uncommon to walk into our house on a Saturday evening and find my Mom and Grandmom and 5 other women-all finding a special place in the living room where they could knit and converse.

My Grandmother was my very best friend. When she passed away, my Mom and Dad were in charge of their Estate and asked me to give them a list of everything that I wanted from Grandmas home.
When I talked to them I told them that I already had everything I wanted-it was the great memories that I had with her and my Grandfather. I did, however, ask for one or two of her afghans and her knitting box. They were surprised at my request as I didn't want for anything more than the memories we had shared and some of her finely knitted afgans. And when they arrived, during the cold winter weather in Iowa, I was elated and reminded of what a great life I had with her and what an awesome crocheter and knitter she was.

I guess my story might be different than some other reviewers. I'm certain that I didn't include all of the many great details of this incredible book on knitting. Perhaps that will entise you, even more, to purchase a book that even a man found to be interesting and full of pizzaz.

Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook is an amazing book that takes knitting to a level that one would never expect. You'll be transported deeply into the fascinating relationships that can take place when one knitter interacts with another. It doesn't matter whether you're a novice or a professional as all knitters have a couple of things in common-they are determined to create a great finished product and they enjoy good gossip.

You'll find all the necessary tools of the trade for your new knitting project. The book literally covers much more than I expected-everything from types of yarn to use to chatting with other knitters on the Internet. I enjoyed reading it and I felt so strongly about it that I wanted to put together some sort of review. And I pray that at least part of this review was helpful to you.

Warm Regards and Happy Knitting!

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on January 16, 2004
I only own one other book on knitting, but I was convinced that I couldn't learn from a book. I mean if something titled "How to Knit in Plain English" was too much for me, then where could I turn? I swore I'd never pay money for another knitting text.
At some point I started hearing the talk about how great this book was for beginners. I found the price to be reasonable so I set out on a quest to find a copy. I had to go to 3 book stores before I found one who wasn't sold out. It was so worth the effort. Not only did I figure out how to cast on just by looking at the pictures in this book, I've also completed projects that don't suck! Go me!
Seriously though, I'd recommend this title to anyone who doesn't have the time to take classes. It has really simple instructions and the writing style isn't as boring as you'd expect from something that deals entirely with yarn. The projects are great too. I wouldn't wear most sweaters I've seen on patterns, but I can honestly say that I'd wear nearly everything shown in this book.
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on November 5, 2003
So I'll admit it doesn't have much competition, but this is easily the best knitting book I own. The patterns are all cute, and the instructions are helpful to someone like me who knows only the basics. I particularly liked the segments on the history of knitting and Stoller's personal knitting-related experiences. It's a cute book just to pick up & look through, even if you aren't planning on doing any knitting. One glance will tell you that a lot of work went into the planning & production of this book, and that it was all top-notch!
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on October 13, 2004
I wanted to learn to knit mainly because I love scarves and hats and thought it would be fun to make my own. I found a hat pattern in a magazine that was so cute and I bought a "Learn to Knit" booklet at a craft store. No luck. I found a CD that I could watch on my computer to teach me. No luck. I picked up this book after hearing some good things about it. The instructions are very detailed, and within no time, I was casting on, knitting, and purling and knew the differences various stitch patterns. I think the biggest difference for me as been detailed instructions and diagrams so that I can visualize what I should be doing and that Stoller goes into detail about how stitches should look on the needle and why they look the way they do. Three projects in, I still knit with this book sitting nearby so I can easily refer to it to correct mistakes (love that chapter!). I have a number of patterns I'd like to try from this book and others and so far, haven't seen one that isn't described in this book. Granted, I'm sticking to easier patterns so I may have to seek out other help once I get more involved but for my beginner self, this is great.

In addition to instructions on how to knit, Stoller gives a description of various types and sizes of yarn and needles. It made me branch out of the craft store yarn section to a knitting store to find a couple of gorgeous wool yarns that have worked so wonderfully for my projects. At the yarn shop, I found so many other great things. She's far from a yarn snob though and even recommends acrylic yarns for certain projects where washability is more of a concern.

I'm 3 projects in now (a scarf, hat, and dog sweater, all from the book), and all have come out really well. The patterns in the book, while not always my style, are much more exciting and modern than the straight from 1981 patterns I see in many other knitting books. While they may not be for everyone (and many of them aren't my style!), I've found several that I'd like to try. The choices range from a basic garter stitch scarf to sweaters to even a cat bed. I'm wanting to try the cell phone holder and one of the bags next. Many are for beginners with some, especially the sweaters, being a little more advanced. I don't think any of them are super advanced but I haven't gotten to the point of attempting them yet!

I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to knit!
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on January 2, 2005
This book had me knitting and purling within a week without any prior knitting knowledge. The instructions are very clear and aimed at those who have never picked up needles before. When I decided to try to give knitting a try I bought the Vogue book - which is not a good beginners book (but great as a reference after you've learned the basics). If you want to give knitting a try but feel intimidated (and can't find an open knitting class) give this book a try. I bought it about a year ago and became an obsessed knitter in no time at all.
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on October 9, 2005
This book is super hyped and long on style, short on substance. I have been knitting for over a decade and the patterns in this book are poorly planned and described, and require hunting through the internet for corrections due to the fact that they were not checked before printing (!). I think the explanations are convoluted and not good for the visual learner--i have talked to many beginners that had problems with it. I would suggest the Knitter's Bible instead for basic instructions and a fantastic stitch glossary. It has visual steps and very thorough explanations. For patterns, I recommend "knitwit" and "hip to knit" for SUPER cute patterns that are well-explained and turn out beautifully.
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on August 18, 2004
My life lately has been full of stress, (both hubby and mother have cancer) and I was looking for an outlet. I saw this book and for obvious reasons I thought the title was interesting. As I read it, I was amazed at how she de-mystified basic knitting! I knitted as a kid, but I never seemed to produce anything that was worthy to keep.

Since I bought this book I have bought several more, however this is still my favorite book. I have found the patterns very chic, and up to date. I absoutely hate those tired old 70's workovers in most books.

Needless to say, knitting has brought "zen" to my life, a wonderful de-stresser while waiting at the hospital for my husband or my mother's chemo treatemnts to finish.

I have made several of the items in the book, and even made some cute tank tops, using bits and pieces of different patterns. Fantastic instructions on how to read patterns, how to do misc. stitches, and all of the patterns in the book reference the page number of the stitches and techniques you will need. Helps alot when you need to find something!


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