A few days ago I received two knitting books in the mail. Neither of these books, I think, were meant to be read from cover to cover, neither of them contain patterns. Both of them are solid, large, hardcover, resource books. The Principles of Knitting, which I've merely flipped through so far, is basically an encyclopedia of knitting techniques. My favorite bit to tell people is that it's got more than 7 different ways to cast on and bind off. (I started counting but got bored. It's loads though. ) I like it because this way if there's something I've forgotten how to do, not only can I look it up - even when the internet is being flakey - but more likely than not I'll get more than one answer, and an explanation as to why one would be better than the other in certain circumstances.
The other book is the fleece and fiber source book. This one I am reading from cover to cover. I'm still really looking forward to buying a spinning wheel and starting to learn how to spin, so fiber and sheep and everything wooly is just on my mind. I want to know what breeds to buy, what types of fiber preparation is best, and which wool to spin what way and to knit what items. The idea that some breeds of sheep produce wool more suitable for one kind of end product, and other breeds produce significantly different wool... Well I find it fascinating. And not only is the book well written, it was designed for those of us who like to see and touch things. Every page is laid out like a little scrap book with pictures of the sheep, the raw fiber, and spun and knitted samples. I'm sure if they could figure out a way to let us feel each sample they would do it. And I'm not going to lie. I'm really really enjoying looking at the pictures.