16 picture books with knitting and yarn

Because my middle grade novel, Zinnia and the Bees, features a main character who’s a knitter and yarn bomber, I always notice picture books with knitting and yarn (and have great admiration for knitters and crocheters in real life!). So, since I’ve got yarn on the brain, I thought it would be fun to round up a bunch of great picture books featuring yarn and knitting—perfectly cozy reads for winter and good fits for crafters of all kinds.

Plus, because knitting a gift for someone is often a sign of love and friendship, many of these are perfect for Valentine’s Day too. As you’ll see, knitting is often synonymous in story with showing kindness and the connections characters make.


Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon (2012).

One of the sweetest books ever with a scarf-wearing penguin who finds a pinecone, knits it a scarf, and then finds its new friend’s proper home.


Knit Together by Angela Dominguez (2015).

A story of a mother and daughter, one who knits, one who draws, and how they combine talents in an artistic collaboration that connects them—so sweet!



Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius by Katie Harnett (2016).

I adore all the humans in this book, and the way the community comes together over this neighborhood cat. And I adore Mrs. Murray, who knits, and who shares a kinship with Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius that is meant to be.


Last Stop on Market Street, words by Matt De LA Peña, pictures by Christian Robinson (2015).

This wonderful book’s beating heart is Nana and a bus ride she takes with her grandson. Nana demonstrates generosity to CJ, as well as the ability to see beauty. Also, she spends part of the bus ride with needles and yarn.


Bertolt by Jaques Golstyn (2017).

The way knitting figures into this one at the close is kind of a surprise, so I’ll leave it at that. (Hint: yarn bombing!)



A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards and G. Brian Karas (2016).

A girl who wants to do a kindness for the kindest person (and knitter) she knows. A super sweet story, plus pom poms!



Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (2012)

A knitter-yarn bomber is at the center of this fairy-tale-esque book with a surprise ending. If you like the idea of covering anything and everything with colorful yarn and a bit of magic, you’ll like this book.



Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop (2012).

The main character here doesn’t knit, but is known for her signature knit cap as her name. It’s a quiet, meditative quest story of looking to connect with others and the moon.




Edmund Unravels by Andrew Kolb (2015).

This one stars an actual bundle of yarn (and joy) who longs to explore. The only thing is, exploring can mean needing to return home in order to feel whole again.



Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranza and Margaeet Chamberlain (2014).

A creative main character  discovers knitting and eventually completes a fantastic project for the school play. A positive portrayal of being yourself and pursuing your passions.



Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol (2016).

The wildly unexpected story of someone who wants to knit sweaters in peace, and is wiling to go as far away as possible to find it.


Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead (2014).

Sebastian, in a balloon made of quilts and blankets, goes on an adventure to avoid boredom in this story of encounters and twists and turns. And, of course, three knitting sisters!




Cat Knit by Jacob Grant (2016).

Cat is good friends with Yarn, but not so sure about that when Yarn becomes Sweater.


The Story Blanket by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz, illustrated by Elena Odriozola (2008).

A story about story, and kindness—the story blanket is a precious place, but is soon needed for its yarn in order to give warm gifts to the community.


Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu (2012).

A set of four stories about sea creature friends, one of whom—Squid—is a knitter. Complete with socks, mittens, tea, and cake, this one delights! Author-illustrator Tao Nyeu even came up with a knitting pattern to go along with the book!


Three Balls of Wool by Henriqueta Cristina and Yarn Kono (2017).

A family must flee their home country and the new place they live feels bleak and uniform—people wear sweaters in only one of three solid colors. A resourceful mother unravels the sweaters in order to make new sweaters, patterned ones that express joy and individuality, and she starts a kind of revolution come spring. This is “…based on the story of a Portuguese family that fled the dictatorship in the late 1960s and lived in exile in Algeria, Romania, and finally Czechoslovakia.”


Please add any titles I missed to the comments! 




















34 Responses to 16 picture books with knitting and yarn

  1. I just noticed that there’s someone on Etsy who will take all of your furr baby hair and turn it into yarn. Purrrrhaps there needs to be a picture book written about that. Hmmmm…..

  2. Mrs. Goldman gets me right in all the tender heart places – LOVE that book!
    Another yarny tale is KNIT YOUR BIT by the incomparable Deborah Hopkinson. Bonus points for boy knitters, based on the WWI Central Park Knit-In.

  3. Jason Marchi says:

    Great choices! May I also shamelessly recommend my own picture storybook book, The Growing Sweater (2014). Thirteen awards to date. Avail. via Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Knitters do indeed share kindnesses, which my book touches upon thematically quite by accident. I didn’t think about theme or messsge when I write the story. Cheers and happy knitting!

  4. Rebecca Gardyn Levington says:

    Oh you forgot one of my very favorites: Ned, The Knitting Pirate by DIANA Murray!!

  5. Monica Gould says:

    Great post! Thank you, Danielle! I love the Mitten String: Repairing the World One Stitch at a Time by Jennifer Rosner.

  6. Laurel says:

    Wonderful picture book: The Mitten

  7. Kathe Fox says:

    My children loved The Mitten. For slightly older children there is “Gloomy the Camel.”

  8. Brook says:

    The Wooly Adventures of Purl by Donna Mae!

  9. Tamara says:

    Auntie gifted Little Owl’s Orange Scarf to my son for Christmas. He loves owls (and I love to knit!).

  10. Katherine says:

    The truly terrible horrible sweater that Grandma knit by Debbie Macomber.

  11. Heather says:

    my mom bought this one for my birthday this year: Derek: The Knitting Dinosaur

  12. woollythinker says:

    Noodle’s Knitting is another great one – cute story about a mouse FINALLY learning to knit, with gorgeously textured, touchable illustrations.

  13. Frederique says:

    Wilbee the Bumblebee is a cute picture book based on a song by Craig Smith, about a bumblebee whose black & yellow jersey unravels by accident, and how his friends knit him a new one so he doesn’t have to go naked.

  14. Viki says:

    My favourite is Shall I Knit you a Hat by Kate Klise.

  15. Jessica Lamson says:

    Don’t forget The Mitten String by Jennifer Rosner! A young girl knits connected mittens for a baby and his deaf mother!

  16. Kelly Erickson says:

    Jan Brett’s books feature incredibly detailed art that often feature knitting.
    The Mitten– a beautiful book based on the classic tale.
    The Hat– the ‘sequel’ to The Mitten
    The Wild Christmas Reindeer– the border drawings have fabulous details that frequently feature knitting
    And many more. Obviously the talented artist is a knitter, too.

  17. marc says:

    Baabwa and Wooliam; Pelle’s New Suit; Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep

  18. Cathy says:

    Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell.

  19. Barbara says:

    A Bedtime Yarn by Nicola Winstanley
    A lovely story about Frankie, who has trouble falling asleep so his mom gives him a ball of yarn to hold, while she knits from the other end.

  20. Lily says:

    Derek the Knitting Dinosaur by Mary Blackwood 😀

  21. Hi! Nice list! I would like to recommend my picture book too: A Bedtime Yarn–Nicola Winstanley and Olivia Chin Mueller.

  22. Nina says:

    The Mitten by Jan Brett ❤️

  23. Jill Clayton says:

    It was fun to read this growing list of “knitting/yarn” books. One of my favourites is “Amos’s Sweater,” by Janet Lunn.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Knitty Kitty by David Elliot is a favourite in our house. A lovely picture book for young children about a kind grandmother cat and her grandkitties.

  25. Anne says:

    My favourite is My side of the scarf by Carmen Parets

  26. Kim Dronet says:

    Knitting Nell
    The Peppermint Scarf (oldie but super cute )

  27. Kim Dronet says:

    Too Many Mittens! (Also oldie but goodie)

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