Knit Beyond Socks: Book-Based Inspirations

As coeditors Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf have illustrated in their books KnitLit and KnitLit (Too) and as Interweave’s popular Jane Austen Knits attests, there are exponential pleasures when knitting and reading are combined. Here are five titles that link the companionship of characters to the creative outlet of knitting—all of which invite displays that link both together.

  • Woodland Knits: Over 20 Enchanting Patterns by Stephanie Dosen (Taunton). Knitters know Dosen for her wildly popular knitted hat with antlers and ears, and they will find here that pattern as well as nearly two dozen more, in this charming and whimsical new book. Put on display with Where the Wild Things Are and other wonderfully illustrated versions of fairy tales in your collection.
  • Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter by Alison Hansel (Wiley). If you are investing in the new editions of the Harry Potter books with covers by Kazu Kibuishi, then consider putting them on display alongside this classic of literary knitting. A new generation of Potter fans and knitters can make the Weasley sweater, house scarves, and golden snitch balls. Be sure to put out the Potter audiobooks narrated by Jim Dale as well—as knitting while listening is a sublime pleasure.
  • Green Gables Knits by Joanna Johnson (Slate Falls). Filled with stunning photographs and quotes from L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), this independent press book (available from the publisher website among other places such as Etsy) features a gorgeous traveling bag as well as other period yet wonderfully contemporary designs. Display next to the Modern Library edition of Montgomery’s novel, which includes an introduction by fairy and folktale expert Jack Zipes (Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre).
  • Literary Knits: 30 Patterns Inspired by Favorite Books by Nikol Lohr (Wiley). Classics on display next to this collection of hats, sweaters, mittens, vests, and more, all of which owe their inspiration to such characters as Daisy from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jo from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and Scout from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The who’s who of knitwear offerings also includes Dorian Gray gloves and Billy Pilgrim socks.
  • Once Upon a Knit: 28 Grimm and Glamorous Fairy-Tale Projects by Genevieve Miller (Potter Craft: Crown). Following up on her popular Vampire Knits, Miller offers fairy tale inspired projects such as “Jack and the Bean socks” as well as a red-hooded cape and 26 other charming—and a bit wicked—delights. For display alongside Phillip Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Young and Old (even better, add the fabulous audio version by Samuel West).
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at


  1. MaryG says:

    I also wrote a book that links GREAT read-alouds with knitting projects …. Great Yarns for the Close-Knit Family ( … if you’d like a copy for review, please let me know.