Brighten your day with refreshing ideas

Welcome to this month’s selection of irresistible books on knitting, weaving and embroidery, as well as, beautifully finished accessories for your home. Satisfy your creative urge, experiment a little with new ideas and learn great techniques through the numerous step-by-step instructions and, if you fancy a pot of tea, take a look at the gorgeous collection of colourful tea cosies, created by J. Occleshaw. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverKnit a monster nursery : practical and playful knitted baby patterns / Rebecca Danger ; [photography by Brent Kane].
“Knit up a delightful collection of fun yet practical monster themed projects your little ones are sure to love. From the creative mind behind the best-selling “Big Book of Knitted Monsters” comes an adorable collection of more than 16 knitted toys, clothing, accessories, and nursery decorations that you’ll love knitting for the little one in your life. Stitch a roomful of fun and practical items – suitable for both boys and girls, and for knitters of all levels – including an irresistible monster mobile, baby blankets, blocks, booties, bookends, rattles, hats, and more!” (Adapted from review)

Syndetics book coverKnits at home : rustic designs for the modern nest / Ruth Cross ; with photography by Ben Anders.
“One of the trademarks of Ruth Cross, the knitting design company British knitting designer Ruth Bridgeman founded in 2004, is the use of traditional stitches – garter, stockinette, seed and cables – to create texture on items not normally covered with wool, such as vases or furniture. But the traditional nature of Ruth Cross designs is also one of the book’s weaknesses. While the book includes 22 projects, ranging from sachets to rugs, it offers nothing the enterprising knitter could not achieve on his or her own with existing stitch dictionaries. Another weakness is the narrow palette of grey, cream, and black used in almost every project. Such limits are a barrier to inspiration from the otherwise excellent photographs. Still, for the knitter who wants to incorporate his or her craft into her home decor, this book offers a one-stop shop for is pretty patterns for pillows, throws and wall hangings. And the real value of the book lies in the author’s organic approach to knitting, building one stitch on top of another to achieve texture, while her mantra that knitting should always be fun will serve knitters of all levels well. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Publisher Weekly) (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverKnitted letters : make personalized gifts and accents with creative typography-based knitting projects / Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major.
“This is a knitting book full of great ideas for knitting with typography. It’s suitable for all knitting skill levels. The introduction includes how to customize projects, information about yarn and gauging and fairly complete diagrams for a beginning knitter. My favourite stranded projects include the Slab Serif collegiate looking children’s backpack, the French press cozy with the word CAFE in a stenciled inspired font (pictured on the cover) and calligraphic black letter e-reader cover with the words “ex libris”. There are a lot more projects than that, including some great children’s projects. The 3D letters pictured on the cover are more involved with more seaming and shaping, and more advanced knitters would have fun with those. As well as the LOVE pillows, there are also bookends that are the letters A and Z for witty knitty fun.” (Adapted from review)

Syndetics book coverThe shape of knitting : a master class in increases, decreases, and other forms of shaping : with 20+ projects / Lynne Barr ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy ; photostyling by Karen Schaupeter.
” Lynne Barr is one of my favourite brains in knitting. She’s not afraid to explore, de-and re-constuct to hit on something new and inventive. In this book Lynne searches methodes for shaping flat and dimensional knotted fabrics, as well as, new techniques she has mastermanded. Twenty-four fashion-fresh projects make exploring these skills a fascinating adventure!”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverTea cosies / Jenny Occleshaw.
“This book has a delightful collection of unique, easy-to-make tea cosies to cheer every table. It includes projects duitable for experienced crafters and newcomers alike and, every project is explained using easy-to-follow instructions”.–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAlastair Morton and Edinburgh Weavers : visionary textiles and modern art / Lesley Jackson.
“Edinburgh Weavers was one of the most important textile companies of the twentieth century. Alastair Morton, visionary art director of the company, commissioned a remarkable series of textiles from leading British artists, including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Elisabeth Frink, as well artist-designers, such as Marion Dorn, Ashley Havinden and Lucienne Day. Morton was also a gifted artist, textile designer and weaver in his own right. This long overdue study traces his wide-ranging career and records the history of Edinburgh Weavers and the glorious textiles it produced. Drawing on the V&A’s extensive archive this impressive book features over 300 images of artists’ textiles unparalleled in quality and scope and is an invaluable resource.”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe spinner’s book of yarn designs : techniques for creating 80 yarns / Sarah Anderson.
“According to the introduction, Anderson’s goal here isn’t to teach readers how to spin, but to share the information that she has collected over the 35+ years that she’s been creating her own yarn. The first half of the book covers spinning basics, from fiber preparation to spinning singles to a variety of plying techniques. The second half covers advanced techniques for spinning novelty, textured, and art yarns, including boucles, crepe yarns, and coil yarns. Anderson includes ample photographs, many of them including callouts describing the makeup of the yarn being discussed. VERDICT Most recent spinning books have focused on one type of yarn, and Anderson’s more general approach offers enough variety to keep spinners busy. (c) Copyright 2012. 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) (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe art of modern tapestry : Dovecot Studios since 1912 / edited by Elizabeth Cumming ; with an essay by David Weir.
“Setting out to celebrate, document and discuss the work and role of an international tapestry workshop, Dovecot Studios, since its foundation in Edinburgh in 1912, this ground-breaking publication uniquely explores the artistic value, nature and identity of modern tapestry through images, essays and the commentaries of weavers, artists and patrons. Dovecot Studios has constantly evolved since it was established before the Great War. Initial Arts and Crafts ideals developed into a more proactive engagement with modernism from the 1950s, when designs came from leading British artists such as Graham Sutherland, Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Cecil Beaton and John Piper. In the 1960s international ambition partnered a quest for experimentation, as characterised by collaborations with artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi, David Hockney, Robert Motherwell and Louise Nevelson”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverEmbroidery : traditional techniques and contemporary applications for hand and machine embroidery / Sophie Long.
“Needlecrafts are currently enjoying a healthy revival as a whole new generation of crafters pick up their needles and get involved. With a plethora of social groups, blogs, and websites such as Etsy and Design Sponge now targeted specifically at a younger, hipper demographic, embroidery has cast off its image as an old fashioned hobby to become more popular than ever before. With its combination of step-by-step tutorials, practitioner profiles, and inspirational galleries full of bang up-to-date modern pieces, Embroidery introduces an authoritative new style of reference that is guaranteed to appeal to a new generation of embroidery enthusiasts, sewers, and needlecrafters of all levels.”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHappy home : everyday magic for a colourful life / Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau ; foreword by Holly Becker of Decor8.
“This book shows people how the basics of everyday life can be made so much more enjoyable by bringing colour and a sense of fun to daily living, whether by using colourful accessories in the kitchen or by introducing colourful fabrics, textures and hints of humour in to the living room. Danish design is not all about cool and calm interiors. It is all about fun, colour and enjoyment. The book features RICE style applied to a variety of homes, from a contemporary Copenhagen apartment to a simple country retreat, a comfortable family home to an ultra modern studio space. Happy Home is a beautiful demonstration of the RICE ethos, and how its warm and caring, fun and funky aesthetic can be applied in living spaces, kitchens, bedrooms, children’s rooms and outdoor areas.” (Adapted from review)