You really don’t need to spend any money on getting a pattern for your project, because there are countless free patterns available on the internet. But books can be really inspiring and helpful with extra support on the techniques.
It is great fun to go browse the online bookshelves and find books ranging from beginners guides (Knitting for Knitwits, Knitting for Dummies, Knitting without Tears) to books with the most delightful intricate patterns (200 Fair Isle Motifs, Inside Intarsia, Knitting Two Socks at a Time on a Circular Needle). Knitting for Dummies is actually very comprehensive and thus useful for the more advanced knitter as well. Knitting without Tears is a real classic, published in 1971 by knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmerman, who revolutionized knitting by advocating knitting in the round.
And don’t forget to do a search on ”knitted tea cosies” and witness there how knitting can make people go beserk.
Below are a few random examples of stuff that I liked and that might inspire you as well. Let’s put the bar high!
Dutch Fishermen’s Sweaters
This book tells how each fishermen’s village in the Netherlands had their own specific pattern for the men’s sweaters. This enabled them to identify the origin of a fisherman in case of shipwrecks. The women also had their own village-specific costumes, maybe for them to be identified when shopping out of town. The book – with 48 patterns included – appeared both in Dutch and English. Also sold in local yarn shops.
I think this book will be appreciated by many beginners who would like to knit socks. Socks are a nice small project and you don’t need to spend a fortune on yarn, but you may be dreading the knitting on four needles or on a circular needle. The book is available in the Netherlands, but I haven’t yet found a Dutch language equivalent.
Lace knitting seems like extreme knitting, the ultimate gorgeous stuff. But really, if you know your purls, yarn overs and knit togethers and if you just buy the silky fluffy featherweight yarn, it is within reach of everyone. And if you’re not inclined to drape yourself in pastels there surely is a friend who would be thrilled to get one of those as a gift.
I usually focus on garments, because the idea is to engage in sustainable production and not in creating more stuff that is not really necessary, but these knitted gardens are so incredible that I am making an exception for them. If you want to browse the book, Amsterdam yarn shop De Afstap has it in store.