While preparing for my introduction to topology course, I've realized that I don't know where to find a detailed proof of the Reidemeister theorem (two link diagrams give isotopic links, iff they can be connected by a sequence of Reidemeister moves). The students in my class are not really very advanced and I'm not sure all of them would be able to reconstruct all the details of the proof given in Burde and Zieschang's Knot theory or in other sources I know of. And, being a lazy man, I would like to avoid having to type a detailed proof with pictures when I can refer the students to a book. So does anybody know of a source which would have a proof with all details spelled out?

I taught knot theory last semester and ran into the same problem. I looked in every book I could get my hands on, and could not find an undergraduate level proof. In the end, I wrote up my own notes (which I would be happy to scan when I get back into the office). The key ideas for the casebycase analysis are in the book "Knots, links, braids, and 3manifolds" by Prasolov and Sosinsky. I also found Louis Kauffman's book "On knots" to be helpful. There are two lemmas I could not find anywhere: (1) the general position argument, which says that there is a nice projection and (2) the argument which says that you can find a general projection so that the associated diagram is equivalent to the original diagram (most books skip this issue). The point of the second lemma is that it is not enough to show that there exist two projections that differ by Reidemeister moves, rather, you want to show that the two given diagrams differ by Reidemeister moves. 


Reidemeister's proof involves a single move: replacing 2 (or 1) edges of a triangle with the other edge (edges). It is in the English translation of his book. I don't know if you can ferret out the details of our first movie move theorem in JKTR, or even the CRS version, but when we did those, I felt that we had addressed the general position issues that Dan mentions. 


Kunio Murasugi's Knot Theory and its Applications contains what you are looking for, I believe. I taught the proof of Reidemeister's theorem as part of a short course on knot theory, from that book. Definitely suitable for undergraduates. 

