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It’s spring, when a maker’s fancy turns to … books. Enjoy this brilliant bouquet of my current faves. (The open books in the gallery above are in the order in which they appear below.)

Sheepology: The Ultimate Encyclopedia by Ilaria Demonti and Camilla Pintonato

Sheepology is and outstanding book about all things sheep. It says it’s a kids book, but I had a great time and learned a bunch reading it. This visual encyclopedia covers so much, the history of sheep, raising sheep, sheep breeds, the anatomy of sheep, how to make cheese, how to make yarn, knitting, and weaving. It looks at sheep and shepherds all around the world, and even talks about sheep in folktales and mythology. My favorite fun fact, the oldest piece of cheese discovered by archeologists is sheep cheese and is dated to 7,200 years ago!

The Dress Diary of Mrs. Anne Sykes: Secrets from a Victorian Woman’s Wardrobe by Kate Strasdin

Mrs Anne Sykes spent decades as a fabric magpie, collecting fabric scraps from garments to put in her diary along with careful annotations. Fashion historian Kate Strasdin connects these fabrics and their annotations to every day Victorian life. A fascinating read that pulls history from scraps of fabric.

The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin

The Creative Act gives us the map uber-producer Rick Rubin uses to draw out his musicians and his own creativity. The words and work are familiar, but resonate like a bell if you are feeling lost or stuck within your creative endeavors. His method is encouraging and freeing, and works for any medium, including anyone who just wants to walk through the world in a more creative and open way.

52 Weeks of Easy Knits by Laine Publishing

A perfect book for any time knitting gets more social. The  patterns of 52 Weeks of Easy Knits are easy to follow and can be knit while chatting with friends, during vacation travel, or next to a campfire as the light wanes. The patterns for sweaters and other accessories are uncomplicated in their style and will make great garments for a core wardrobe or quick to knit gifts that will delight the recipient.

On Mending: Stories of Damage and Repair by Celia Pym

Mending is a beautiful and thought-provoking book that explores some of the meanings behind mended fabric. Through photo and story, Celia Pym studies garments and accessories she has mended for herself and for others over the past 15 years.

Celia ponders what it means to have a garment that needs mending. How the way a person moves through the world shows in how and where their sweater wears out. She also speaks to the care that each mend represents in relationship to the garment and the relationship between the person mending and the owner of the garment. (For a visible mending how-to book, see my recommendation here.)

Kaffe Fassett: The Artist’s Eye by Dennis Nothdruft

Published to accompany the exhibition “Kaffe Fassett: The Power of Pattern” running through July 8, 2023 at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh Scotland, Kaffe Fassett: The Artist’s Eye showcases many of the most famous designs of our favorite maximalist. It’s packed with insightful essays by designers and fashion historians, and there is a wonderful interview with Kaffe too. Even if you don’t read one word in the book, you will still be inspired by the explosion of color and pattern that always draws us to Kaffe.

Neons and Neutrals by Aimée Gille

Aimée Gille’s new collection is full of patterns knit up in exciting combinations of yarns and colors. Sixteen designers took the theme of mixing different types of yarns in each design and created sixteen patterns. There are no particular brands named in the patterns—just yarn weights, gauge, some description, and yardage. You will love your bountiful stash even more once you look through this book. The designs are fun, modern, and wearable, designs that make your outfit and turn heads as you stroll down the street.

The Knitted Fabric: Colourwork Projects for You and Your Home by Dee Hardwicke

Dee Hardwicke is a masterful colorwork knitter and designer. Her work echoes the Arts and Crafts movement in being both beautiful and useful. She designs three motifs in The Knitted Fabric, and develops each into several projects, including shawls, cushions and sweaters. It’s intriguing to see how the feeling of each motif changes depending on the size and shape of the projects. Some feel still and soft and some are a riot of color and motion. The photography is stunning and she includes original watercolors of her motifs.

Sheep, Shepherd, and Land: Stories of Sheep Farmers Reinvigorating Canadian Wool by Anna Hunter

Anna Hunter of Long Way Homestead in Manitoba, Canada is a crusader for Canadian wool, particularly small-scale breed-specific sheep farms like her own. This beautiful book celebrates the diversity of Canadian wool and the tenacity of Canadian sheep farmers, by visiting 11 sheep farms and learning about how farmers choose their flocks, raise their sheep in alignment with the land, and make beautiful yarn.

Save it for later! Here’s how to tuck Jillian’s recommendations away for reference with one click.

If you use Amazon, thanks for your purchases from the affiliate links in this article!

About The Author

Jillian Moreno spins, knits and weaves just so she can touch all of the fibers. She wrote the book Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want so she could use all of the fiber words. Keep up with her exploits at


  • Thank you for this public service. There are less and less knitting books on bookstore shelves these days and it might be easy to miss any of these titles by relying on either them or even Amazon alone.

    • Unfortunately… even the library shelf devoted to knitting is shrinking in my LL, i.e. local library:-(

      • As a library worker, I always encourage folks to ask their library to purchase books that they might be interested in. The libraries do like to know what their community wants. I am going to request at least a couple of these!

        • Thank you soooooo much for this information. Our knit group will give our LL a list.

  • I received my copy of Anna Hunter’s book and read it in one sitting. It is beautiful and educational and easy to read. Thank you for the other recommendations!

  • Kate Strasdin’s book is a treasure; check out some of her talks on the book somewhere on YouTube.
    Sadly the US edition has a different cover. I have the UK edition.

  • I want them ALL. Thank you, our Marian The Librarian.

  • They all do sound good. Thank you for the recomendations.

  • What a wonderful read! I love books and now I want all of these! Thank you for a lovely post!

  • Excellent list! Three of your recommendations–“Kaffe Fassett: The Artist’s Eye,” “The Knitted Fabric: Colourwork Fabrics for You and Your Home” and “Neons & Neutrals” –already line my shelves and are truly glorious. Thank you for highlighting “On-Mending”. I had not seen it yet. I just ordered my copy and now anxiously await its arrival. Cheers!

  • Amazon indicated the book “ 52 weeks of easy Knits” to be released in November 2023

    • That’s the yet-to-be-released paperback version. The hardcover is currently out and about in the world and available via the link to Laine in the post as well as a wide range of indie yarn shops.

      • I want the book but I am also compelled to wait for the paperback version so it can match my copy of Volume 1 heh.

        • Oh I was thinking of the 52 Weeks of Socks Vol 2. Good to know a soft cover of the Easy Knits is coming too!

  • Jillian, I always enjoy your articles for MDK. Thank you once again for so many good recommendations!

  • Thanks for the heads up on the Neons book! Exactly my jam and was able to make an order from a yarn shop in Colorado.

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