New Year Inspirations

Take a look at this eclectic mix of new craft books, featuring clever and creative ideas to help you kick off the New Year. Experience the contemporary culture of craft with gorgeous crochet and embroidery projects, passed down through the generations, from mothers to daughters and learn new techniques. And, if you like to add dimension or shine to stitchery, designer Yasuko Endo provides all the basics and plenty of inspiration in her book ‘Bead embroidery stitch samples’. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverSimple crochet : with more than 35 vintage-vibe projects for your handmade life / Sara Sinaguglia.
Crafter and blogger Sara Sinaguglia has created 35 easy-to-make crochet projects for everyday life. From cushions, coasters and bags to toys, scarves and pot holders, bring a little of Sara’s stylish vintage vibe into your crafting life. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrochet workshop : learn how to crochet with 20 inspiring projects / Erika Knight.
Crochet Workshop is the perfect book for the beginner. Under Erika Knight’s guidance even those who have never picked up a crochet hook before will soon be making gorgeous projects and all the while learning new techniques and adding to their skills. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomespun vintage : 20 timeless knit and crochet projects / Jane Crowfoot.
The craft skills that have traditionally been passed down through the generations from mother to daughter are as popular as ever, boosted by the current vogue for all things vintage. Drawing inspiration from the interiors and fashions of the 20th century, this book is packed full of knit and crochet projects which will fit perfectly into any vintage-inspired interior. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFree-form embroidery with Judith Baker Montano : transforming traditional stitches into fiber art / [Judith Baker Montano].
“For embroiderers ready to make the leap of faith from pillowcases with kittens stamped in blue to fiber art, Montano’s newest serves as a beautiful bible. Having embroidered dancing spoons on dishtowels helps, however, because “transforming traditional stitches into fiber art” requires knowing the basics. In the introduction, Montano, an award-winning fiber artist, author (Elegant Stitches), and teacher, encourages embroiderers to leap from traditional to free-form stitchery by describing her own journey from a frustrated little feather-stitcher to a fiber artist, honoring her influences in her account. She annotates supply lists: threads and ribbons, yarns and fabrics, hoops and tools. “Techniques” starts with choosing background fabrics and ends with framing finished work. Montano’s abundant stitch guide, a quarter of the book, ranges from A for arrowhead to W for whipstitch. The guide moves seamlessly to “Combining Stitches,” which illustrates ways to thread trees, vines (even “evil” ones like kudzu), and shrubs via photographs and drawings; ditto, flowers and fish. Montano marries an embroiderers’ guidebook with a nature study to produce eye candy. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly). (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBead embroidery stitch samples / Yasuko Endo, CRK Design ; [photography by Yoshiharu Ohtaki, Nobuei Araki ; translated by Sean Gaston, Yuko Wada, Takako Otomo].
“Embellishing embroidery with beads is a good way to add dimension or shine to stitchery. This book by designer Endo provides all the basics and plenty of inspiration, instructing stitchers on how to add beaded embroidery to a variety of fabrics. The book’s organization is unusual. Beaded stitches are presented in a stitch dictionary format on the left-hand pages, while the right-hand pages are devoted to stitch techniques. Project ideas are interspersed throughout, but directions beyond the colors of floss and beads used are not included. The last segment of the book gives diagrams for each of the beaded stitches. VERDICT Unusual organization aside, this is a lovely guide for stitchers who want to add embellishment to their handwork. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” (Library Journal). (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStitch New York : 20 kooky ways to knit the city and more / Lauren O’Farrell.
Cute, quirky and slightly insane, this unique knitting title will show you how to knit all the most famous New York people and places. Inspired by and created for city chicks who don’t like rules but love knitting. Projects are simple enough for beginners, yet bonkers enough to inspire more seasoned knitters. Brilliantly written in Lauren’s sassy style, with clever tips and techniques. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBowerbird : creating beautiful interiors with the things you collect / Sibella Court ; photography by Chris Court.
Sibella Court’s wanderlust has made her one of the world’s most sought after stylists and creative directors. Much like her avian counterpart the Australian bowerbird Sibella is famous for creating interiors that entice and inspire from found objects beloved mementos and upcycled furniture. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDaring adventures in paint : inspiring techniques with collage and mixed media / Mati Rose McDonough.
“Daring adventures in paint is a colorful, whimsical adventure of a book that explores inspirational paint and mixed-media techniques. Written by the well-loved artist/illustrator/blogger Mati Rose McDonough, this book’s approach to making art is a bit like uncovering a hidden treasure, a treasure that resides within each aspiring artist. Through a myriad of both practical applications and creative exercises, Mati shows artists how to ‘find their magic’–the place of confidence from which they can access the vision of what they want to share with the world”–Publisher’s description. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEmbellish me : how to print, dye, and decorate your fabric / Laurie Wisbrun.
“*Starred Review* Persuading other designers to collaborate on a crafts book is unusual but certainly nothing new. What stands out in first-time editor-author Wisbrun’s collection is her joy with (and space devoted to) 10 designers, all of whom boast growing international renown. Each contributes not only a handful of step-by-step photographic how-to’s on her particular specialty but also spotlights her work in a four- to six-page gallery and submits to an interview. The 30-plus choices of embellishment techniques range from old (applique, dyeing, and embroidering) to new digital-like methods, such as cyanotype printing (a photographic process that uses sunlight to print an image). Nor are the initial stages of embellishment neglected: Wisbrun covers a wide span of tools and techniques as well as fundamental fabric abcs, while Maine artist Heather Dutton provides a good overview of how to design a pattern. A further bonus is a final chapter on going pro, complete with three perspectives cum interviews.–Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)