This one's for all of you who ask me "How do you KNOW that?"
My answer is, I read a lot. But since you really don't want to spend twenty years reading books, I thought I'd mention a book I ran across, that would give you a jump on Knitting Knowledge:
This is a fun book, full of short articles in themed chapters. Chapters are things like yarn, sweaters, socks, know-how. Then in the chapter, you'll find well-known people who are experts or top designers, information about different types, history, like that.
My discussion, a while back, about Fair Isle vs. Stranded Color? There's a whole section in the Sweaters chapter on different types; folk, and "Twentieth Century Classics". Other chapters have similar info. So imagine that blog post I did, except a whole chapter of it.
Really, it's like if you took the introductory information from every knitting pattern book printed in the last fifty years, assembled it into an easy to deal with format, and published it. This is that book. One of the great things is, it doesn't ignore the internet. Most knitting books these days stay away from networking because it's such a huge, bottomless well, but this one does a good job, both in the actual text, and in the Appendix. The Appendix is full of URLs to fiber festivals, designers, and free patterns mentioned in the text.
There are also a lot of "Meet _____" pages with short profiles of knitters and spinners. So you can get a handle on at least the well-known folks.
I'm not sure if there are any patterns in the book. I haven't seen any. Have you ever wished for a book ABOUT knitting? Here you go.
Something for your Christmas lists. Enjoy!