Knitting Book Reviews

Lily Chin’s Knitting Tips & Tricks
by Lily Chin

This is one of those books that is deceptively simple. Oh, yes, knitting tips and tricks, sure. Gee, look, she talks about casting-on, casting off, and the fan-favorite, right-leaning decreases….


Because, yes, you would be forgiven for thinking that everything in here has been done and said already, somewhere else. How many basic knitting references does one person need, anyway?

Except … this is Lily Chin, a woman whose hobby apparently is to rethink everything about basic knitting. “Knitters do it this way, but what if they did this instead? Is there a better way? Faster? Different? Do we have to do this at all?”

I’ll tell you, I have a nice collection of books of knitting techniques, suggestions, tips, advice, and guidance, but reading through this one, I still learned things I didn’t know before, or had concepts presented to me that I hadn’t expected.

Was every tip or explanation an unheard-of gem? Well, no. There’s definitely some overlap between this and other books. And Lily Chin definitely has her own opinions about the way things should be done. It’s possible you won’t always agree with them. However, since she gives you her reasons for them, you can make an educated decision. “I don’t like to do decreases that way, but I’ll file that away for future reference.”

The book is thorough. It covers a lot of material, from basic knowledge about yarn weights and terminology to the best buttonholes. Like I said, there are definitely techniques in here that I did not already know, and even if I had, visiting with Lily Chin’s way of thinking for a while can only be beneficial. There’s a reason she has a reputation of being a master, after all.

Reviewed by Deb Boyken

Deb has been knitting since 1987 and has accumulated quite a collection of knitting books over the years. Her website, Knitting Scholar, can be found at

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