Knitting projects to match your style – New Craft books for October

Take inspiration from this fabulous selection of new books featuring delightful knitting projects, offering lots of new ideas and tips how to make handmade gifts for family and friends. Find some bright ideas on how to create gorgeous gifts and bring colourful charm to your holiday season. Have fun!

Syndetics book coverNeck effects : 30 scarves, wraps, and cowls to knit for now.
“Nurture your neck! Neck Effects offers knitters a creative collection of 30 fresh, fashion-forward neckwear designs featuring Cascade Yarns’ Heritage line of luxurious, easy-care superwash merino blends. From cozy cables to delicate lace to stunning Fair Isle, knitters of every skill level will find projects that are destined to become modern classics–and that will make great gifts for anyone with a love of knits and a sense of style!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of slip-stitch knitting : techniques, stitches, projects / Faina Goberstein & Simona Merchant-Dest.
“Slip stitch is one of the simplest and most versatile knitting techniques, but it’s often overlooked. The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting is a modern and thorough take on this technique that delivers beautiful colorwork and gorgeous textures–with minimal effort. A complete overview covers all the basics of slip-stitch knitting. Forty stitch patterns, many of which are reversible, stretch the boundaries of slip stitch. Sixteen original projects for cardigans, pullovers, hats, bags, scarves, and more showcase the versatility of slip stitch by using it as an allover pattern or accent.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnit : innovation in fashion, art, design / Samantha Elliott.
“Knit is an exciting and dynamic design area, with new technologies opening up a wealth of creative possibilities for designers, as well as innovative uses of traditional techniques. Witty, hyper-real and luxurious designs are being used by fashion designers, while artists, activists, and community groups are reinterpreting the medium to stunning and surprising effect. This showcase of the best knitted textiles around the world is divided into three key areas: fashion, art, and community, showcasing innovative constructions from designers, architectural sculptures and floating installations, and experimental public work from guerrilla knitting collectives.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCustom socks : knit to fit your feet / Kate Atherley.
“Whether you knit them toe-up or top-down, getting just the right fit on hand knit socks can be a major challenge! In Custom Socks, Kate Atherley sets out to teach knitters of all levels the skills and tools they need to understand sock fit, and to knit a pair of socks that fit properly. So go ahead and treat yourself to these 15 original sock patterns that are easily customizable and work with any needle configuration. Your feet will thank you!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStitch stories : personal places, spaces and traces in textile art / Cas Holmes.
“Everything, from a walk in the park to an exotic trip, can provide inspiration for textile art. See how to record your experiences in sketchbooks, journals, and photographs to create personal narratives that become beautiful stitched-textile pieces. Acclaimed textile artist Cas Holmes discusses such techniques as creating layered collages, “sketching” in stitches, and working with composition and color. The result will be unique–uniquely you!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLace one-skein wonders / edited by Judith Durant ; photography by Geneve Hoffman.
“Judith Durant has done it again! This all-new collection of 101 original lace knitting projects, each using just a single skein of yarn, will thrill knitters of all levels. From clothes and accessories to pillows, curtains, and tablecloths, these beautiful projects were contributed by designers and knitters around the world. Try your hand at an heirloom-quality lace shawl, a lacy pair of gloves, or a dainty child’s dress with a perfect lace insert – the possibilities are endless!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOne-skein wonders for babies / edited by Judith Durant ; photography by Geneve Hoffman.
“This irresistible collection offers 101 original knitting projects for babies and toddlers — each using just a single skein of yarn! From mittens and hats to tees, sweaters, hoodies, pants, dresses, socks, and bootees, you’ll find the perfect wearable for every child and every occasion. You’ll also discover beautiful bibs, blankets, and sleep sacks, plus adorable stuffed toys, blanket buddies, and more. These beautiful projects were contributed by designers and crafters around the world, and each comes with complete step-by-step instructions and a photograph of the finished piece.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover‘Tis the season to be felt-y / Kathy Sheldon with Amanda Carestio.
“Christmas is the perfect time of year for a dash of handmade flair and craft felt is one of the easiest and most inexpensive materials to use. Your Christmas holiday will be merry and bright thanks to these 40-plus new, fresh and contemporary projects from two great craft designers. Most of the projects are machine or hand sewn with a few no-sew last-minute designs thrown in. Add festive felt-y flair to your holiday crafting and bring colourful charm to your Christmas.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Refresh your perspectives with new inspirations

Enjoy this delightful mix of craft books with projects, ideas and tips for all the crafts enthusiasts to create and get great pleasure from the wonderful results. I hope you find this book selection a source of inspiration and fun!

Syndetics book coverThe new jewelers : desirable, collectable, contemporary / Olivier Dupon.
“In this beautiful new book, Olivier Dupon introduces the finest modern jewelers practising today. Featuring 108 both up-and-coming and established designers, the book is divided into nine categories inspired not by traditional jewelry typology, but by style and look. Rough stones appear with exquisitely faceted gems; organic forms vie with geometric structures; feathers and leather take their place next to platinum and diamonds. The book showcases fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, luxe jewelry, conceptual jewelry, and much much more. Over 800 mainly colour photographs display the jewelry alongside portraits of the designers at work, shots of sketches and works in progress, studios and boutiques. Complete with short, informative profiles and useful contact details for the designers, as well as a listing of recommended shops, this publication offers a wealth of inspiring material and is a must for any aficionado of jewelry, design or craft.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrystal jewelry inspiration from the Create Your Style ambassadors / compiled by Karin Van Voorhees.
“Tapped by Swarovski for their expertise, innovative work, and sophisticated design sense, this book stages an elite corps of jewellery makers, industry opinion leaders and innovators. This book is not juast a showcase of their work, but also a glimpse into their world. Meet some of the most creative jewellery designers in the world and join their sparkling community”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverMastering peyote stitch / [Melinda Barta].
“”With interest in beadweaving on the rise, Mastering Peyote Stitch provides a much-needed look into the most integral technique-peyote stitch. With 15 styles in all, beading geniuses will finally have an accessible, easy-to-understand guide to one of the fundamentals of beadweaving, brought to you courtesy of Beadwork Editor Melinda Barta. In the “Peyote Basics” chapter, you will learn the basics of creating flat peyote bands, then advance to circular and tubular variations, eventually learning to fashion dimensional jewelry pieces. Once you’ve mastered the basics, Melinda dives into designing dimensional jewelry pieces. Additional chapters cover combining peyote with other popular beadweaving techniques (right-angle weave, herringbone, and bead embroidery) and creating unique edgings and embellishments for finished pieces. Melinda, together with Beadwork’s Designers of the Year, including Jean Campbell, Lisa Kan, Carole Ohl, Melanie Potter, Jean Power, Cynthia Rutledge, and Sherry Serafini, demonstrates a range of styles in 15 beautiful jewelry projects. “– Provided by publisher (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPatterns for pooches / Anne Burton ; photographs by Michael and Anne Burton.
“Author Anne and her husband brought home a Boston Terrier Puppy named Bean and from the start as a new pet owner he was a handful. Also Anne quickly worked out with the cooling weather and the Nebraska winds that Bean was not shy about his lack of enthusiasm for the cold and would hide under blankets and crawl under sweaters. Having learned to Crochet in school and only knowing a few basic stitches Anne took on the challenge of designing Bean some outfits. Starting with 10 designs for Bean and some sweaters for other dogs of different shapes and sizes pretty soon a small business was born. This book has 35 designs for dogs. Anne has included her most popular designs from her very successful on line business that keeps getting reordered time after time. She would describe her style as simple and practical with a quirky sense of humour. She uses crochet because it is a versatile medium that can be easily modified and customized. Throughout the book there is sizing options and instructions on how to tailor an item to give your dog the best fit possible. Basic crochet stitches are used for the patterns so easy for beginners to intermediate levels. Patterns include both UK and US stitch names and measurements. A conversion chart should be checked before starting your patterns to make sure you are familiar with similarities and differences between stitch names”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverSimple crocheting : a complete how-to-crochet workshop with 20 projects / Erika Knight ; [photographer, Yuki Sugiura].
“Renowned British craft designer Knight presents a new collection of crochet designs (not to be confused with her previous book, Simple Crochet) that are particularly well-suited to readers who’d like to learn how to crochet, but don’t want to churn out unattractive items while doing so. Knight’s aesthetic — natural fibers in simple, unfussy designs – makes this collection look modern and nicely low-key. The British vibe throughout also appeals. Knight’s emphasis is very much on instruction, as the first 60 pages are packed with advice on choosing yarn and hooks, then shaping the stitches needed. It’s a thorough overview and far more helpful to beginners than the usual. Then come 20 designs, beginning with a simple dishcloth, and including all manner of items, from a scarf to slippers to a complex (and stunning) Asymmetrical Cardigan comprised of circle motifs worked in super-bulky yarn. Extensive charts and photographs accompany clearly written instructions. This book is a lovely addition to the crafter’s shelf. Full-color photos. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverFashion crochet : 30 crochet projects inspired by the catwalk / Claire Montgomerie.
“A beautifully illustrated publication with a fashion-forward feel, “Fashion Crochet” contains 30 crochet projects for a range of accessories and clothing items inspired by up-to-the-minute catwalk trends. Utterly contemporary and stylish, the projects incorporate a wide cross-section of techniques from granny squares and knotwork to lace and hairpin crochet. As useful for the highly experienced as the absolute beginner, this inspiring and chic book is divided into chapters on accessories, such as shawls, scarves, bags, hats, jewellery and decorative items, and separates, such as dresses, skirts, tops and beachwear. Each project is accompanied by fashion photographs showing the inspiration for the piece, and offers ideas on how to wear the item. Essential tools and techniques are clearly explained – from crochet hooks, working stitches and how to measure tension to adding embellishments and finishing off – with line drawings provided for more complicated techniques”. (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk description)

Syndetics book coverThe finer edge : crocheted trims, motifs & borders / Kristin Omdahl.
“Prolific crochet designer Omdahl (Crochet So Fine) explores crocheted edge motifs in this colorful pattern dictionary. The edgings are organized by type of construction (top-down, bottom-up, side-to-side, miscellaneous) and each contains written and charted instructions as well as a full-color swatch. Patterns for crocheted garments and accessories round out the collection and show the edgings in use on real-world projects. VERDICT Several crocheted edging/motif books have been published in the last few years. Omdahl is a big name in the field, and crocheters will appreciate this nicely curated ensemble. (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 book coverKaffe quilts again : : 20 favorite quilts in new colorways from Rowan / featuring Roberta Horton … [et al.].
“A scintillating collection of favourite quilts by Kaffe and his designers, recreated in Rowans new fabrics, which in some cases has resulted in an entirely new colour palette. Add to the mix Philip Jacob’s sublime florals and Brandon Mably’s quirky designs and quilt designers are spoilt for choice. The quilt instructions are simple and clear and each features a sumptuous flat shot photo of the finished project, an ingredients list of the materials needed plus coloured diagrams, useful tips and templates. To top it off, the small rural village in Bulgaria where the quilts are photographed is the perfect backdrop for these beautiful designs”.
(Adapted from Amazon.co.uk description)

Syndetics book coverQuilting : from little things / Sarah Fielke.
A showcase of ten quilting techniques and styles with insider tips providing the quilter with an accessible way to try out new methods, textures and colours. (Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverThe big-ass book of bling / by Mark Montano.
“A fun, flashy, and sassy book for beginner and expert crafters alike–with more than 150 new projects that will add pizzazz to everything from jewelry to tote bags! Now more than ever, most of us are scaling back on shopping sprees and holding on to things longer than usual. But we still need ways to liven up last season’s dress or add some sparkle to our everyday shoes. But how? No need for fancy tools or expensive supplies–Mark Montano presents this beautifully illustrated book that’s jam-packed with more than 150 easy-to-make projects. Featuring simple, step-by-step instructions for each project, The Big-Ass Book of Bling includes everything from ornate shoe clips to rhinestone-studded cuffs to flashy headbands–anything and everything that needs a little sprucing up. So “bling it on” and see how dazzling you can be!” ( Provided by publisher)

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)

Yeah it is Winter! (well Autumn, same thing!)

I am sure all the crafters out there are rejoicing in the cold weather, nothing like staying in and crafting the weekend away. Which leads me to a question, why is my jobs list longer than my weekend? So much craft so little time.

Syndetics book coverMaking vintage jewellery : 25 original designs, from earrings to corsages / Emma Brennan.
“The vintage look is hot. Beginning jewellers can update their own collections with these timeless, handmade pieces that bring individual flair to even the most basic outfit…. There is also a comprehensive techniques section with lavish photography to guide the novice through all the basics, from working with wire to sewing on sequins.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLinen and thread : creating homewares embellished with embroidery and ribbon / Monique Lyonnet ; photography by Frederic Lucano.
I have not got my hands on this one yet, but I loved “made in France’s” black work book, if this is half as good I will be impressed!

Syndetics book coverCoffee cozies.
“What does the well-dressed coffee pot wear? All knitters are sure to have their favourite among the 30 colourful, fun designs in this great new addition to the popular “Cozy “series. The cozies–all created and contributed by the readers of “Knitting” magazine–use a wide range of techniques, …And because cozies are small and quick to knit…. –it’s a great place for beginners or experienced knitters to polish their skills and learn new techniques.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTimeless quilts : / designs by Ruth van Haeff and Janine Flew.
A friend did one of the quilts from this book and it turned out beautifully!

Syndetics book coverNew decoupage : transforming your home with paper, glue, and scissors / Durwin Rice ; photographs by George Ross.
“Inexpensive and remarkably easy to do, decoupage is enjoying a resurgence of popularity …..With a brief history of the art and a review of all the fundamental decoupage techniques, plus an exciting look at the future of decoupage, New Decoupage puts a fresh face on an ever-popular traditional craft. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweet treats in cross-stitch : 53 delightful projects to embroider / Tinou Le Joly Sénoville ; photography by Frédéric Lucano ; styling by Sonia Lucano ; [translator, Melissa McMahon].
The “recipes” in this are lovely, but they do make you hungry!

We are having a number of events through May so keep an eye on the craft blog and see you there!

Another excuse to craft

Oh dear, it is wet…….I might just have to stay in tonight and do my crafts. What a pity. If you need a new wet weather project check out some of the new books that have just arrived…

Syndetics book coverScandinavian stitches : 21 playful projects with seasonal flair / Kajsa Wikman.
“The first flowers of spring, the smell of the sea, the warm colors of the maple leaves… inspire Kajsa to stitch, sew, and share. Each season is a new beginning and a great excuse to take on a new project. Her bright, colorful designs are sure to make you smile.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandcrafting chain and bead jewelry : techniques for creating dimensional necklaces and bracelets / Scott David Plumlee.
“From the classic Byzantine pattern to never-before-seen original designs, Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry provides everything you need to know to create beautiful chain and bead jewelry from start to finish. ….Guided by clear step-by-step instructions and photographs, you’ll learn how to: find and use the right tools, select the best wire and beads, wrap and cut quality-controlled jump rings, handcraft clasps and ear backings, assemble and bead more than 25 unique necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. … This truly is the complete chain and bead jewelry book. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLuxe knits : the accessories : couture adornments to knit & crochet / Laura Zukaite ; photograpy by Cathrine Westergaard.
“More luxury for the knitter! … These stunning scarves, hats, gloves, bags, and more are what Zukaite calls “memorable little statement pieces to decorate our lives,” and they’re a pleasure to knit.High-fashion photography, the author’s own sketches, and styling suggestions round out this beautiful package.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomemade gifts : easy techniques and great projects / Nicki Trench.
“Here are 20 projects that encompass crafting, baking, and gift wrapping–all designed to make any occasion memorable! First, check out the chapter on “Birthday Treats,” which features funky knitted camping socks and a beaded corsage. Turn to “Little Ones,” to learn how to make a cuddly stuffed bunny and an heirloom-quality baby blanket. “Special Occasions” offers up his-and-hers wedding night pillowcases and a Christmas jelly bean garland. And because there’s never a bad time to give a gift, the “Just Because” chapter provides instructions for making your own lavender bath oils and simply scrumptious peppermint creams.” (Syndetics summary)

Stitch! / Cath Kidston ; photography by Pia Tryde. For all those who need a new cross stitch or needle point project try Cath’s new book. Cath is very popular in the UK for her new take on floral design.