Arts and Crafts
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.
by Diane Gilleland
Kanzashi is a Japanese technique of folding and sewing fabric into beautiful shapes, like the flowers featured in this book. The flowers range in size from small enough to be used as earrings to some large enough to compose a bouquet or accent a wall hanging. This is a technique I'm anxious to practice.
by Trond Anfinnsen, photography by Klaus Nilsen Skrudland
Knitting a hat is very satisfying because it follows a predictable, easily memorized pattern and it is nearly instant gratification - a few hours and you're done! This book offers 50 variations on a basic skull cap. Make one and you're on your way to an infinite number of possibilities. Pick up your favorite yarn and go!
This small book is the perfect beginner guide. It's so compact that you can easily put it in your knitting bag with your project and take it wherever you're going. The instructions for learning how to knit are clear and the accompanying illustrations make things easy to understand. The basic projects range from very-first absolute beginner level to some items that are a little more involved for someone who has been knitting for a while.