Today we continue with craft books. The fun thing about craft books is that they can serve as inspiration for art that one wants to create. I get ideas and inspiration when I read them and see pictures of things. It’s one of the reasons I love knitting and crochet magazines, because the full-color glossy pictures are fun to look at and imagine myself making the outfits. Even if I don’t make the specific item in the picture, the design ideas influence my own creations.
1. Epstein, Nicky: Crocheted Flowers; Sixth & Spring Books, New York, 2007
This is the publisher that handles a lot of the current Vogue books. They do a lot of Ms. Epstein’s as well. I love this book. She’s an amazing designer with a seemingly endless fount of ideas, and her instructions are easy enough that I, as a novice crocheter, can follow them. I’m sure that anyone without my 2D/3D hangups would find them super simple to follow along. I even made an enormous blue crocheted rose, as practice, that turned into a gift for a friend out of town. Fun stuff.
2. Knight, Erika: The Harmony Guides: Basic Crochet Stitches ; Sixth & Spring Books, New York, 2008
This is the second of my crochet reference books that I have in my main, working collection. This is an awesome book. I’ve heard excellent things about the Harmony Guides series; if they’re anything like this one then they’re well worth the investment. I had taken one crochet class and was able to follow the instructions in here; again, someone without my 2D/3D issues would find it very clear and easy to follow. Highly recommended.
3. Jacobs, Kate: The Friday Night Knitting Club; Berkley Books, New York, 2007
Here we switch gears entirely to fiction with knitting in it. (I’d say “knitlit” but someone thought of it first and came up with a series; see below.) (Wish I thought of it first, though!)
This was a gift from my sister-in-law and follows the lives of the people in the Friday Night Knitting Club. It’s a cool idea for a story!
4. Murphy, Bernadette: Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity; Adams Media, Avon, MA 2002
If I were to write a memoir about my thoughts on knitting and spirituality, this would be the title I’d want to give it. I love it. Ms. Murphy wrote a deeply thoughtful, fun and accurate book about how knitting can connect us with the deeper vibration. Brava!
5. Roghaar, Linda & Molly Wolf: Knit Lit and Knit Lit Too; Three Rivers Press; New York, 2002
These two are awesome. Find out why you should “Never Knit Dog” and how one woman’s abduction in a war-torn country was turned into something much less sinister with the power of knitting. Highly, highly recommended. They also have KnitLit the Third: We Spin More Yarns – MAN, I wish I thought of these titles! ~grin~ I haven’t read the third one, but that’s a function of time rather than inclination. ~eyes TBR pile~
Moving on then…
6. Better Homes and Gardens, Knitting Year-Round; Better Homes and Gardens Books, Des Moines, 2003
I really love this book because it lays out a plan for knitting the entire year, including how to finish season-specific items in time for use during that season, but also so you’re not knitting a really heavy woolen sweater in the middle of July’s heat. Lots of fun.
7. Bush, Nancy: Knitting on the Road, Interweave Press, Loveland, CO, 2001
This is one of the first design books I bought, and I really love it. She’s got a lot of great thoughts about knitting while traveling, and all sorts of thoughts about portability. Lots of fun.
8. Carles, Julie and Jordana Jacobs: The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Beyond the Basics; Potter Craft, New York, 2005
I got this book when I was part of Crafter’s Choice. It’s not bad, but it’s not something I’d say run out and buy immediately either. The authors are spunky and fun, and it’s a good idea generator.
9. Epstein, Nicky: Knitting On Top of the World: The Global Guide to Traditions, Techniques and Design; Nicky Epstein Books; New York, 2008
This is a gorgeous book. It’s essentially a coffee table book, due to size and glossiness, but Epstein as always delivers an expert product. She’s an incredible designer and I recommend checking this out – even if you only do so at the library, the pictures alone will make you swoon. Her thoughts and instruction on design interpretations around the world are worth the read.
10. Falick, Melanie; Handknit Holidays; Stewart Tabori and Chang, New York, 2005
I love this book, and the next one I have by her: Weekend Knitting; Stewart Tabori and Chang, New York, 2003. Falick edted for Interweave and her experience shows. These are professional, well-designed, and very informative – not to mention, fun. Highly recommend both of these.
11. Family Circle; Easy Sweaters; Sixth & Spring Books, New York, 2001 and Easy Afghans, 2003.
I like both of these as good, solid, simple compendiums of easy projects to make. They’re a good way to learn how to do structures and such, and I’ve made several of the afghans multiple times as gifts.
12. Griffiths, Melody: Knitting in No Time; Reader’s Digest Association Inc., New York, 2006
A surprising and fun book. Mulitple quick-to-knit projects of all kinds, this is a great place to go when you need gift ideas or stash-busters.
13. Harding, Louisa: Knitting Little Luxuries: Beautiful Accessories to Knit; Interweave Press; Loveland, CO, 2007
I love Louisa Harding. She’s another of my favorite designers. This book is beautiful – full of lovely photographs of elegant knits from shawls to sweaters to unusual items. I like this collection because it gives you ideas for things to make with one or two skeins of luxury yarns, so that the project matches the quality of the fiber. Lots of fun.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s glimpse into my library, and that maybe I’ll inspire you to start checking out the wealth of information in craft books. Even better, maybe you’ll pick up a craft or two. Happy TT!