Arts and Crafts
Layered, tattered & stitched : a fabric art workshop by Ruth Rae
Do you ever see those store greeting cards embellished with fabric, beads, or buttons, and think - I could make that myself, but I don't know where to start? This book shows exactly how to create your own. It also contains instructions for a wealth of other fabric-based projects, many of which don't require any specialized sewing skills.
The handknit toys featured in this book are cute, classic, and are sturdily constructed. It's a winning recipe for both the knitter who makes one and the child who is the recipient. There are a wide variety of creations here, including a bunny, koala mama and baby, a monkey, nesting boxes, and more. The last section even includes some reversibles, like a cat that turns into a mouse and an egg that turns into a bluebird nest.
It's not always easy to find knitting patterns for men's garments that actually look like clothing your husband, brother, or other real-life man might wear. In contrast, these patterns are all wearable, designed for comfy fibers in masculine colors and without any frilly or fussy details. As a bonus, these patterns are very easy to follow and don't involve any advanced techniques.
Knitting with handspun yarn is a treat, but it's also quite different from knitting with machine-spun yarn. It's not necessarily consistent in texture and thickness and it often surprises you as it knits up. The patterns offered here are perfectly suited to handspun and are, as the title says, small, which is also perfect as you often only have a limited amount of handspun in any given colorway.
Fairy tales are the source of so much pleasure, wonder, and imaginative play for children, and the patterns contained here are fanciful without sacrificing wearability. From the Snow Queen to Robin Hood to magic carpets, these projects explore classic fairy tale characters that are staples of playing dress-up. The garments are for the most part versatile enough for everyday wear as well, which will delight everyone who sees them.
Alpert has filled this book with gorgeous garments that are elegant in their simplicity. She uses a wide variety of types of yarn for a beautiful range of textures and effects. All of the patterns are inspired by natural elements, from a flickering flame to ripened wheat to a hazy moon. The book is also put together expertly, with close-up photos that truly show off the beauty of each piece.
I haven't made a quilt yet myself but have always admired the technique and art of those made by others. As the weather turns colder I find myself ready to tackle a project that will, in the making, drape fabrics over my lap and keep my hands occupied while watching movies and enjoying the company of my family.
Wondering what gifts to buy for this gift-giving season? Well, why not make your own gifts like some celebrants of Kwanzaa do. You could make ornaments, dolls, treasure boxes or candle out of old jewelry, marbles, yarn, string or other small pieces you already have around. Here are some craft books to help you along.
All new crafts for Kwanzaa by Kathy Ross; illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm
Chinese New Year crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe
'Tis the season for holiday decorating. Get some great ideas from our selection of holiday decorating books.
This book of patterns by the founder of Lorna's Laces (drool-worthy fibers available locally at the Old Village Yarn Shoppe) includes patterns for socks, mittens, sweaters, stuffies, and even how to make your own decorative knitting needles. Interspersed with the patterns are brief stories explaining how Miser came up with the pattern and how it connects to her life.
Filled with mostly sweaters and jackets, this book offers delicate, girlie knits you can craft by hand. Many of the patterns feature lace and other decorative elements that give the garments something special. While feminine, most of the garments also appear sturdy enough for everyday wear.