Projects and designs to celebrate the season – craft picks for December

Give your creativity free reign to design your own projects with lots of inspiration from some of our latest craft books. They are filled with ideas and tips about crochet and embroidery projects, including how to make needle-felt Teddy Bears. And, for those of you who love paper crafts and search for fun projects to make with your kids, take a look at ‘Playful’ by Merrillee Liddiard. A delightful book to entertain your little ones and help them to learn useful techniques. Have fun!

Syndetics book coverCrochet with one sheepish girl : easy lessons & sweet designs for wearing, living & giving / Meredith Crawford, onesheepishgirl.com.
“Crawford, creator of the popular crochet blog One Sheepish Girl, is known for her vibrant, vintage-inspired style. In her first book, the author shares a variety of projects suitable for beginning-to-intermediate crocheters, including accessories, home decor, and gifts. Most of the projects are fairly simple and quick to make, and there are quite a few makeover-style designs in the book, in which crochet is used to embellish a premade garment or object, such as a sweater or tote bag. There are more unusual projects as well, such as the camera-shaped purse and the adorable party hat and sno-cone garlands. ” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverDoodle stitching : the holiday motif collection : embroidery projects & designs to celebrate the seasons / Aimee Ray.
“The latest in Ray’s popular series of embroidery books (Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond; Crewel, Cross Stitch, Sashiko & More) focuses on Christmas projects featuring embroidery. This time, Ray has enlisted several popular embroidery bloggers, including Mollie Johansen and Carina Envoldsen-Harris, to bring their own style to holiday embroidery. The enclosed CD includes all of the motifs from the projects, plus a number of other holiday themes, and a selection for a variety of other celebrations such as Halloween, the Fourth of July, and Hanukkah.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverHow to make little needle-felted teddy bears / Judy Balchin & Roz Dace.
Needle-felting is an easy and fun technique, requiring little in the way of expensive materials or equipment. Its accessibility means it’s becoming more and more popular, and here Judy Balchin and Roz Dace show you how to make 20 wonderful little teddy bears using this tactile technique. Each bear measures around 10-12cm tall and can be made in a matter of hours from a bundle of wool fibres, a felting needle and some carefully chosen embellishments. (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverPlayful : fun projects to make with + for kids / Merrilee Liddiard ; photographs by Nicole Hill Gerulat.
Playful : fun projects to make with + for kids is a charming collection of 26 unique, modern projects for parents (and other adults) to make for young children as well as an exciting assortment of projects that kids preschool age and up can make alongside an adult. Divided into five categories–Dress Up, Toys, Paper Crafts, Repurposing and Art–the low-skill/high-style/low-cost projects include fair maiden and knight dress-up smocks, a tiger pinata, a parade of paper puppets, a convoy of trucks, a dollhouse made out of cardboard and bright duct tape, an art table, a cloth trapeze doll and wooden pencil holders. Templates for artwork shown on projects are included with step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions. Authored by Merrilee Liddiard and photographed by Nicole Gerulat, this enchanting book is sure to inspire many happy hours of making–as well as make-believe–among adults and the children they love. (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

The joy of creating

In this month’s splendid selection of new books we offer you inspiring ideas and techniques to make fabulous handmade projects for your home and family. Enjoy experimenting with contemporary and traditional crafts such as, felting, quilting and knitting using timeless knitwear designs, as well as, recycling and repurposing materials for your beach house, caravan or home. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverThe crafty minx at home : 50+ handmade and upcycled projects for beautiful living / Kelly Doust.
“The Crafty Minx is about making gorgeous things from pre-loved, remnant and vintage items. It is written especially for non-crafters who are desperate to be more creative but don’t know how, and shares the delicious rewards of living with and giving away beautiful handmade objects. Kelly Doust shares her practical tips to help make your own delectable crafts from discarded materials, and a positive impact on the environment in the process. Including over 75 projects which give traditional crafts a modern makeover – from brightly patterned summer beach bags and cotton apron tops to cosy lambs’ wool throws and cashmere-covered hot water bottles, or a soft toy for a friend’s new baby – this book is broken down into the four seasons of the year for easy inspiration, and to carry you through the year creatively. Bringing you stories about great vintage finds and new ways of looking at the treasures within our own homes. No matter where you live or what your circumstances, discover just how easy it is to be a crafty minx” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKirstie’s vintage home / Kirstie Allsopp.
“Transform your home from shabby to chic, with the help of Kirstie Allsopp. Looking to the past for inspiration and embracing vintage style to create something unique and beautiful, Kirstie continues her love affair with everything handmade.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFabric surface design / Cheryl Rezendes ; photography by John Polak.
“Sensational sewing projects demand fabulous fabrics! Fibre artist Cheryl Rezendes shows you how to create an astonishing array of surface designs, simply and safely, using textile paints and printing ink. She covers a wide variety of techniques: stamping, ancient Japanese Shibori, silkscreen, soy wax and flour resist, image transfer, marbling, nature printing, foils and metal leaf, and more. Step-by-step photos illustrate every technique, and Rezendes shows you lots of innovative ways to combine and layer techniques for stunning results.” (adapted from the Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverHandmade glamping / Charlotte Liddle & Lucy Hopping.
“Decorate your tent, tipi, caravan or camper van with any of the 35 stunning projects in Handmade Glamping. Using a variety of crafting techniques including knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery, patchwork and applique, Charlotte Liddle and Lucy Hopping have created a wonderful range of accessories that will bring retro charm to your idyllic country getaway. Whether you fancy a quiet retreat to secluded beaches or are off to live it up at the summer festivals, you will find something to make your home away from home look stunning and feel cosy and comfortable. Divided into four chapters, start with Recycling and Repurposing and make the embroidered curtains using vintage fabrics or the hexagonal patchwork scatter cushions to put on the camp bed. In Campfire Cooking there is everything you’ll need for a romantic meal under the stars, including decorated plates, quilted placemats and a picnic bag.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverFelt with love : felt hearts, flowers and much more / Madeleine Millington.
“Felt With Love is a must-have book for anyone with an appreciation of adorable hand-crafted objects. It is a colourful one-off book, filled with 15 cute, fun and simple projects (plus some variations) made from felted wool. As well as easy to follow instructions and step by step photographs for each project, the book explains various stitching and embellishment techniques. Projects include mini hanging decorations, beautiful brooches, pincushions, various wall hangings, a couple Christmassy pieces, plus much more! The author has provided templates for all the projects so that everything can be replicated with relative ease. This book is a great collection of bright, affordable, and easy to sew felt projects embellished with simple stitching, buttons and beads. They are great to do ‘on-the-go’ and once completed you have a beautiful gift for a special person or a timeless treasure for yourself!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverTula Pink’s city sampler : 100 modern quilt blocks / [Tula Pink].
“Make a beautiful, modern quilt of your own design with the 100 original quilt blocks or try one of the 5 city-theme sampler quilts designed by Tula.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHand quilted with love : patchwork projects inspired by a passion for quilting / Sarah Fielke.
“16 breathtaking new designs to inspire your own passion for quilting . From a pattern that reflects life’s ups and downs to a design featuring a teapot and cups, these are the quilts that Sarah has been longing to make– and give– with love.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnit to flatter : the only instructions you’ll ever need to knot sweaters that make you look good and feel great / Amy Herzog ; photographs by Karen Pearson ; photostyling by Karen Schaupeter.
“Amy Herzog’s primary focus in writing this book is to teach knitters how to assess their own body shapes: top heavy, bottom heavy or proportional and then knit accordingly. The concept for the book began as a series of blog posts. Fans of the blog encouraged Amy to continue fleshing out this concept, so she went on to create ten tutorials that give knitters the tools and techniques they need to create flattering garments. And now she has combined her tutorials with more than 20 new patterns and turned it all into a book. In Knit to Flatter, Herzog provides guidelines for silhouettes and styles that work with each body shape along with three or four sweater patterns per shape category. She then provides patterns for 10 additional sweaters and guidelines for customising each one of them to flatter each body shape. Each pattern is written in up to ten sizes, and garments are photographed on models with a variety of body shapes to keep the whole presentation real. No smoke and mirrors here. Just real beauty!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverCutest ever toddler knits : over 20 adorable projects to knit / Val Pierce.
“This is a completely irresistible collection of gorgeous knitted clothes and accessories for toddlers. These patterns will give great delight both to the knitter and to all who see the results on their children. There are traditional sweaters and cardigans as well as more funky patterns for hooded tops and funky hats. Although most of the projects are suitable for beginners there are some that use more complex techniques and include motifs in bright colours to appeal to any fashion-conscious toddler. Created with children from 18 months to 4 years old in mind, these will make fabulous gifts for favourite little loved ones” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKnit back in time : includes techniques for updating vintage patterns and Retro-styling moderns patterns / Geraldine Warner.
“Do you have a great new jumper pattern that doesn’t match your current obsession for Peter Pan collars? Or have you found an original 1950s pattern for a gorgeous knitted blouse only to realise it’s three sizes too small and the recommended yarns haven’t been around for at least 20 years? Don’t be limited by what is available on-line and in shops. This book shows you how simple it is to change lengths, take out waists, shorten sleeves, and substitute for yarns that are no longer in production. Knit Back in Time reveals two crucial secrets for knitting vintage-style projects: how to update a vintage pattern to suit modern sizes and yarns, and how to customise modern patterns to give them a vintage look. It also provides patterns for vintage-style elements, offering invaluable advice on mixing and matching sleeves, necklines, and collars to create your own designs. You can choose to add a bell-shaped, three-quarter, or ruffled sleeve to the same sweater body, depending on the look you want, or just give in and knit three different jumpers, all from the same basic pattern.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

And MORE procrastinating….

The ironing pile is getting bigger, and I am perfecting the art of procrastination!

Syndetics book cover30-minute earrings : 60 quick & creative projects for jewelers / Marthe Le Van.
“”Sixty to make in thirty!” …This 60-piece collection showcases an array of inspired and stylish projects that don’t demand a large investment of time or money, but do give jewellers the pleasure of sharpening their skills and enjoying spectacular results. The imaginative and diverse designs feature everything from elegant gold, pearls, and sterling silver to nontraditional and repurposed materials. Every one is gorgeous! …” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe children’s year : seasonal crafts and clothes / Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rowling. Keep the kids occupied over a wet weekend!

Syndetics book coverBig little felt universe : sew it, stuff it, squeeze it, fun! / Jeanette Lim.
“Enter the imaginative universe of felting, with this irresistible collection featuring a super-cute Asian-inspired aesthetic. Twelve “sets” include more than 60 projects, from fruits and a felt knife for “slicing” them to a show-stopping birthday cake with decorations and detachable candles. Hundreds of photos and full-size templates make the crafting easy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitted socks east & west : 30 designs inspired by Japanese stitch patterns / Judy Sumner ; photography by Yoko Inoue.
“… Whether short or long, fine or bulky, simple or complex, each of the 30 designs in “Knitted Socks” “East and West” is named after an intriguing aspect of Japanese culture. For example, the leg of the Origami crew socks appears to fold in and out; and the Ikebana knee socks highlight a textural floral design. Step-by-step text and easy-to-read charts are included for each design,….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beaded edge : inspired designs for crocheted edgings and trims / Midori Nishida & CRK Design ; [English translation, Sean Gaston … [et al.]].
“… Add a personal touch with beautiful beaded trims. … 18 designs that range from delicate and classic to modern and bold…Each trim is illustrated with clear stitch diagrams that demonstrate the patterns, and the detailed step-by-step instructions will teach you to combine basic crochet techniques with beadwork for gorgeous edges and embellishments. …If you have a passion for personalizing and embellishing, you will find a treasure trove of new techniques in The Beaded Edge.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwelve by twelve : the International Art Quilt Challenge / Deborah Boschert … [et al.]. If you need some inspiration this is your book!