... but the first in my opinion:
if you only buy one new knitting book this year - I'd go for this one! it's full of basic instructions for beginners, but also shows brilliant ideas even for the advanced knitter and covers everything about colour knitting that you could imagine - even double knitting and entrelac instructions are to be found. stripes, intarsia, stranded knitting, colour basics or knitting with multicoloured yarns (you need tips to use up all those multicolours that look awkward when knitted into anything but socks? here they are!) all included... and all for the measly price of less than £ 9!! there are also design tips and finishing techniques - and a few projects, but I wouldn't buy the book for those (not very exciting - I have no idea why they were included). this is by far the most useful book I've bought in the last years, and I wouldn't want to be without it anymore!
Nicky Epstein must be one of the most prolific knitting book writers around. I like some of her ideas, but have to admit that quite a few are way over the top for me. but the book is full of good ideas - and all of the given patterns can be toned down either by using less colour or fewer styles in one garment. the different chapters show anything from circular lace patterns to colour work and cables - and pretty much anything in between. there are basic ones about "how to knit a circle" - which can be used in lovely colours - or decorated with i-cords, leaves or flowers.
there are also full garments with instructions, all either completely made from circular designs or at least decorated with circles. many not necessarily my style, but I didn't really buy the book because I wanted the garment patterns - the ideas for simple circles of all kinds were what I was after! and they don't disappoint - plenty of choice to use in my own knitting....
and this - has nothing to do with books at all. this is my latest and most desperate project:( my machine dyed silk-viscose blend yarn - that ended up in a huge tangled ball... and yes, I know how to tie skeins before dyeing. there were three ties on every skein and to be on the safe side I added 2-3 more for each. didn't help one bit though - somehow the very smooth yarn managed to get tangled viciously anyway. I somehow untangled one skein by leaving in on the table and going over and under for endless hours until I had several balls wound... but I cannot usually spend at least half a day without moving from the table - so I decided I needed a different setup for the next 6 skeins. I took out all but one tie and tried to finger-comb out as many kinks and knots as possible. then I fixed a clamp to the table to put the skein over it - before removing the final tie. still going over and under for hours, but at least I can leave my place and come back to it later! this skein is halfway done - only another x hours to work on:( but I will manage - at some stage! possibly not before next christmas, but luckily I don't need the yarn for an urgent project:)