This is a small book that packs a lot of knitting punch. The Knitting Almanac is very useful for many types of projects. The book is arranged by season as Elizabeth knits her way through the year, making warm things for her entire family. There's some fun commentary, too.
Let me list some of the most useful patterns in this book:
Best baby sweater. This is a lacy cardigan with a round yoke, easy to make, and so pretty. I made so many of these I can't even count. The lace stretches a bit, so the growing infant gets a lot of wear out of the cardigan. And it's easier to dress Baby with something that doesn't pull over the head.
Leggings. If you want to make warm tights for babies, kids or even adults. It's HARD to find such a pattern.
"PI" shawl: this is a round shawl that folds into a semi-circle. Very elegant, you can add your own lace stitches to make it unique.
Shirt Collar sweater--good for summer, short sleeved with an open collar. Can be made in any size.
Mittens, socks, an Aran sweater, there's more. This book, packed as it is, still fits into even a small knitting bag or purse and is not expensive. This has to be the biggest bang for the knitting buck I know of. I'm on my second copy. I wore out the first one.