Over the past 16 years I have amassed A LOT of knitting books. They're the only books I tend to hold onto because they're so dang useful. Not only are they amazing for reference purposes but there's just something inspiring about the tactile nature of books. I feel the same way about magazines; I can't pretend to be able to totally justify the complete environmental waste that is a magazine subscription in the digital age but when it comes to my art & fiber mags, print is the only way to go (sorry trees.) The colors, the layout, the paper stock, I love it all. Yes, I know most of this information can easily be found online (sometimes even for free) and with Ravelry you can get pretty much any pattern you want as a digital copy without having to buy the entire book/magazine. Don't get me wrong, I have a hefty digital library too as I often partake in the occasional online pattern purchase; but you're going to have to pry my print stitchionaries and reference books from my cold, dead hands.
Speaking of stitchionaries...
Here is my absolute, all-time, favorite knitting stitchionary. Although this particular copy is in Chinese, this stitchionary was published in Japan and has some of the coolest and most unusual stitch/color charts I've ever seen. If you haven't delved into the world of foreign-knitting charts, I highly recommend it. One of the things I love about knitting is that it's really old and practiced worldwide; so when you pick up your yarn and needles, you're connected with millions of people around the globe, people from all different ages, cultures, and backgrounds, that love this wonderful craft as much as you. Here's another thing that's cool about knitting: we all speak the same language. Even though there are many nuances within the symbols different countries/people use for their knitting charts, generally speaking if you can figure out what they stand for, the chart is going to pretty much look the same as the charts you're used to. Charts are amazing like that (despite those who will tell you otherwise.)
They look pretty darn similar to the charts you've seen before, right? Some of the symbols are even the same as the ones most commonly used in American/English knitting charts. Should you run across a symbol you're unfamiliar with, the internet has great resources for translating knitting symbols but this book in particular has a little legend at the beginning with how-to picture guides for each symbol.
For instance, the yarn-over symbol is the same in Japanese and most languages.
I don't even know what the heck that is. Slip the purl bump three rows below over the stitch you just knit?? Wow, cray. This is what I mean, how cool is that? There are some techniques in this book that I've never even come across before. Super inspiring if you're the type that likes to branch out from the knitting-norm.
There's loads of crochet charts in the back too if that's you're thing.
Like a lot of places lately, it's snowing here today in KC, MO. Snow days are made for tinkering with stitches you've never had the time to justify trying. Go find a chart you love and try something new.