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)

Home & Garden Newsletter for August

Finding ways to grow all the ingredients for an entire dish in your garden would be the dream of many and this month’s selection of cooking books offer lots of ideas and inspiration. Take a look at the latest in sewing, knitting and crochet and find new ways to maintaining good health and mindfulness, preventing mental disorders and addictions. Check out the newest books at your local Wellington library and enjoy.

Cooking

This month’s selection of cookbooks feature seasonal foods with emphasis on local produce and growing your own food. Other books include ‘how to’ books like Dudefood, The First Foods Book and Cooking for Geeks.

Syndetics book cover DudeFood. Volume # 1 / [by Daniel Churchill].
“Are you a guy who has wanted to cook but doesn’t know where to start? The Dude Food book is here to educate, motivate and inspire men of all ages. With its colloquial dude language and easy to read recipes, dudes no longer have an excuse to avoid the kitchen bench. Dude Food incorporates the many scenarios guys find themselves in each day – what to have around the gym, how to impress a girl, what to feed your mates. This book will turn a standard TV dinner guy into an appealing kitchen master.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The First Foods Book : 130 yummy recipes from weaning to the big table.
“Covering every step of the weaning journey, from six months to a year, The First Foods Book includes more than 130 recipes – from single-veg purees to exciting combinations and full meals. Every one has been rigorously tested to ensure it meets with Ella’s Kitchen nutritional standards. There is also lots of practical advice to give every parent confidence at this key stage of their baby’s development…making weaning easy and stress-free – introducing solids becomes as much of an adventure for parents as it is for the little one whose taste exploration has only just begun.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Cooking for Geeks : Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food / Jeff Potter.
“More than just a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks inspires you to be inventive in the kitchen and piques your curiosity about food. Presents recipes ranging in difficulty with the science and technology-minded cook in mind, providing the science behind cooking, the physiology of taste, and the techniques of molecular gastronomy.” (Book Jacket)
Syndetics book cover A Table in the Orchard : my delicious life / Michelle Crawford.
“I dreamed of a rambling old farmhouse where I could grow my own food, learn how to bake cakes and make jam. I wanted to wear gumboots. Every day.” Organizing cocktail parties at the Sydney Opera House sounds perfectly glamorous, and for a while it was for Michelle Crawford. But once she became a mother, the yearning to find her own little slice of heaven in the country could no longer be ignored….A Table in the Orchard is breathtaking proof of how seductive a taste of slow living in one of the most beautiful valleys in Tasmania might be. Like Michelle, you might be tempted to make your own crumpets or run away to the Apple Isle.” (Syndetics summary)

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Crafts

Draw creative energy from this delightful collection of new library books including knitting designs for every season, clever sewing projects and fresh ideas for lace work, including how to make beautiful buttons. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover Sew organized for the busy girl : tips to make the most of your time & space : 23 quick and clever sewing projects you’ll love / Heidi Staples.
“Fit sewing into your busy lifestyle with practical tips that will help you put hours back on the clock Heidi Staples, a creative mom of three, will help you organize your sewing space and works-in-progress so they are ready to roll at a moment s notice. Revive your creative life and make the most of your time with easy-to-implement advice. Stitch up 23 projects, ranging from handcrafted quilts to home decor, children’s gifts, and attractive storage cases. With an arsenal of time-savers, you ll finally finish those projects while enjoying a little “you” time at the sewing machine.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Warm days, cool knits : lighter designs for every season / Corrina Ferguson.
“Knitting is not just for cold and snowy climates! For anyone who has ever stopped to wonder what knitters in the South are wearing–and knitting–for the changing seasons, Florida designer Corrina Ferguson has set out to show us in Warm Days, Cool Knits: Lighter Designs for Every Season. Cardigans and hoodies stand in for winter coats, knitted tees and short-sleeve cardigans are perfect for spring, tanks and cropped cardis are comfortable on warm summer nights, and pullovers and shawls are just right in fall. Through her choice of lightweight yarns and bold colors, Corrina has set these pieces apart from the crowd of everyday knitted garments and shown them off as a versatile knitted southern wardrobe.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover How to make beautiful buttons / Beate Schmitz.
“Make buttons out of fabric, clay, beads and more! There are 25 designs to make with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photographs accompanying every project. Buttons are not only practical additions to bags, jackets and other garments but they also make great fashion accessories all on their own. Starting with a detailed explanation for making each button, the projects span an incredible array of crafts including crochet, embroidery, knotting, felt and paint for embellishing yourhandmade beautiful buttons.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Learn to crochet, love to crochet / Anna Wilkinson ; photography by Laura Edwards.
Anna Wilkinson encouraged a new generation of crafters to take up knitting with her debut book, Learn to Knit, Love to Knit. Anna is now set to popularise the creative craft of crochet in the same way with the companion book, Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet. The book is made up of a collection of twenty garments and accessories that will add ‘wow’ to your wardrobe but also, through making each project, you will learn the fundamentals of crochet. While the ten Learn to Crochet projects guide you through the most basic crochet techniques, the ten Love to Crochet garments provide all the inspiration and know-how you need to really master this highly versatile craft. By making your way through the book you’ll have an enviable wardrobe of handmade garments.” (Syndetics summary)

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Health

This month we take a holistic view of health, from preventative to curative, from yoga to mindfulness. We read about mental disorders, addictions and Alzheimer’s and improve our knowledge of medical terms.

Syndetics book cover Yoga for life : a journey to inner peace and freedom
“From a rebellious young woman with a dangerous heroin habit to a globe-trotting fashion model to ‘First Lady of Yoga’ (The New York Times), Colleen Saidman Yee tells the remarkable story of how she found herself through the healing power of yoga–and then inspired others to do the same.” (Library catalogue)
Syndetics book cover Fight Alzheimer’s with vitamins and antioxidants
“In this practical scientific guide, leading researcher in cancer, heart disease, and diabetes prevention Kedar N. Prasad, Ph.D., reveals the latest revolutionary discoveries on the use of antioxidants to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. He details how the proper combinations of vitamin and antioxidant supplements can greatly increase the effectiveness of standard medical treatments for Alzheimer’s as well as delay or even prevent onset despite a family history of the disease. This guide provides a truly holistic approach to Alzheimer’s prevention, treatment, and care.” (Adapted from Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The gut balance revolution : boost your metabolism, restore your inner ecology, and lose the weight for good!
“Recent cutting-edge research shows that human intestinal microbiota influences metabolism, appetite, energy, hormones, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Because gut microflora plays a central role in weight management, losing weight is much more than cutting calories, fat, or carbs. When the trillions of live bacteria in our digestive tract-the gut microbiome-are balanced, excess pounds melt away and we feel revitalized. A leading authority on digestive health and the gut microbiome, Dr. Gerard E. Mullin reveals how to stifle the fat-forming, disease-promoting gut bacteria, reseed your gut with good fat-burning ones, and fertilize those friendly flora with just the right foods to reboot, rebalance, and renew your health–and lose weight for good.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Headspace guide to… a mindful pregnancy
“Mindfulness in Pregnancy is the concise and practical guide to achieving and maintaining mindfulness throughout every stage of having a baby. With helpful exercises for both mother to be and her partner, Andy shows how to live mindfully and get the most from pregnancy and the early days of parenthood. From creating the right conditions for conception and reducing anxiety around pregnancy and birth, to managing pain in labour and promoting well being for mother and baby in the first hours, days and weeks after birth, Andy’s simple and empowering exercises have been created to give both mother and baby a gentle, happy and positive experience.” (Syndetics summary)

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Personal Development

This month’s selection delves into the workings of co-dependent relationships and offers tools to free yourself from them, cultivating intimacy, yet separateness, creativity and inner peace.

Syndetics book cover How to predict the unpredictable : the art of outsmarting almost everyone
“We are hard-wired to believe that the world is more predictable than it is. We chase ‘winning streaks’ that are often just illusions, and we are all too predictable exactly when we try hardest not to be. In the 1970s, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky coined the phrase ‘representativeness’ to describe the psychology of this behaviour. Poundstone makes these techniques fun, easy, and profitable for everyone, in the everyday situations that matter. You’ll learn how to tackle multiple choice tests, what internet passwords to avoid, how to up your odds of winning the office Premier League sweepstakes, and the best ways to invest your money.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Calm : calm the mind, change the world
“Join the Calm revolution. Modern life is hectic and relentless. There has never been a more important time to rediscover your pause button. Calm is the book that will show you how to take back a little bit of peace, space and all-important calm. It is a practical and pleasurable guide to twenty-first century mindfulness. Regular meditation is medically proven to be good for you. Calm is about simple, achievable habits that work with the demands of your busy life instead of pretending those demands don’t exist. Calm does not require specialist training: it uses abilities that every single one of us is born with, like creativity, spontaneity and simply noticing the world around you. Calm demystifies mindfulness and shows you the many simple ways to be mindful while carrying on with your life.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The upside of stress : why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it
“The author of The Willpower Instinct delivers a controversial and groundbreaking new book that overturns long-held beliefs about stress. More than forty-four percent of Americans admit to losing sleep over stress. And while most of us do everything we can to reduce it, Stanford psychologist and bestselling author Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t bad. In The Upside of Stress, McGonigal highlights new research indicating that stress can, in fact, make us stronger, smarter, and happier–if we learn how to embrace it. McGonigal combines science, stories, and exercises into an engaging and practical book that is both entertaining and life-changing. McGonigal’s TED talk on the subject has already received more than 7 million views.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Lessons of lifelong intimacy : building a stronger marriage without losing yourself–the 9 principles of a balanced and happy relationship
“Michael Gurian offers a groundbreaking plan for couples seeking to build a healthy relationship, work through past hurts, and create greater intimacy. Recent university studies show that the most frequent reason relationships dissolve is not abuse, alcoholism, money, or even infidelity, but rather a lack of emotional fulfillment. Most books on love and marriage focus on teaching communication and conflict skills, but neglect to help couples with the “other half” of intimacy–separateness. In this practical yet personal guide to love, Gurian details the benefits of creating a lifelong balance of closeness and separateness. Rich with examples and case studies, this book presents strategies for communication and conflict that build more emotional balance, while showing how intimate separateness can be the key to lifelong happiness.”(Syndetics)

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Creative thoughts to refresh your style – New Craft books for August

Enrich the list of your craft projects with ideas and easy to follow designs from this collection of newly arrived stitching, knitting and crochet books. Discover techniques that guide you through the process, from drawing up an idea to finishing your own mosaic projects. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverScarves, shrugs, & shawls : 22 knitted designs with their special techniques / Sarah Hatton ; technical editor, Sharon Brant.
“Scarves and wraps are the perfect canvases for experimenting with new stitches and practicing new techniques. Wraps, Shawls & Scarves to Knit offers over twenty-five easy-to-make and fun-to-wear designs that explore a range of knitting techniques-from gorgeous textured and cabled stitches, to intricate openwork and lace patterns, to interesting and appealing shaping. Step-by-step instructions and close-up photography are given for all the techniques covered-from knitting in the round, increasing and decreasing, making edgings, adding beading, and more. Plus, additional ideas and tips for tweaking the designs expands the options for creating your own customized adaptations.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting for winter / Val Pierce.
“Being able to knit gives you the freedom to really be an individual and use your creative flair to personalise clothing, accessories and home decor. Author Val Pierce shows you how to create 25 eye-catching items ranging in difficulty, so there is something there for everyone, from the newbies to the knitting extraordinaire. Following a step-by-step guide, and aided by full color images the reader will learn how to understand patterns, yarns, needles and knitting techniques and equipment. Knitting for Winter includes tip and tricks to improve your knitting skills and give you room to have fun, experiment and add your own style to the items.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSimple woven garments : 20+ projects to weave & wear / Sara Goldenberg & Jane Patrick.
Simple Woven Garments is both a pattern book and an idea book for creating simple woven shapes and turning them into everyday, highly wearable fashions. This guide will help weavers create fabric that works for the intended garment, is easy to weave, and is above all beautiful. It also explore techniques such as yarn usage, spaced warps, felting, pick-up weaving patterns, finger-control weaving techniques, and embellishments. Shapes are simple rectangles and sewing requires minimal skill. Weavers will enjoy creating garments including wraps and tops, ranging from easy shawls with a twist to woven sweaters.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrochet dress-up: over 35 cute and easy pieces to create character costumes / Emma Friedlander-Collins.
“All the dressing-up favourites are here, from a pirate to a mermaid, fairytale characters such as Rapunzel and Red Riding Hood, superheroes and Vikings, and even some furry friends – a cute cat and a floppy-eared bunny. All the items are quick to make – great for those last-minute panics over forgotten party invititations – and will cost you a fraction of the price of shop-bought outfits, as well as being truly unique.”
(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverConnected cloth : creating collaborative textile projects / Cas Holmes & Anne Kelly.
“It’s a growing trend: textile artists eager to stitch together a community as well as a project. Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly, who formed their own productive partnership, explain the art of creative collaboration whether in small groups or large, with a neighbor or someone far away. They provide advice on finding colleagues, choosing venues, and setting ground rules, plus a wealth of ways to work together, swap pieces, develop variations on a theme, and even make joint creations via mail or the Internet. This thought-provoking, inspirational book will help you connect with other textile artists and take your own work beyond the personal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClassic stitching : 25 beautiful projects / Anna Elizabeth Draeger.
“Beaders will relish having the best designs from one of the art’s most popular figures – Anna Elizabeth Draeger – all in one handy, timeless volume. Anna offers 25 designs for many classic bead stiches, including herringbone, ladder, peyote, right-angle weave, crossweave, and more. These fashionable cuffs, bangles, necklaces, and earrings incorporate a wide variety of styles and materials. Classic Stitching also includes plenty of tips and advice from the popular “Ask Anna” advice columns, 10 pages of mini stitch workshops, and a gallery showcasing art glass beads. As always, Anna’s elegant designs lend themselves well to variation and experimentation, so beaders at every level will find something to try!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverComplete guide to mosaic techniques / Bonnie Fitzgerald.
“A complete resource of mosaic techniques and design ideas for creating mosaics in the home. Discover the range of materials you can use from stone and marble, to small smalti, glass, recycled crockery and other found objects.” (Syndetics summary)

Brighten the winter days with refreshing ideas – new Craft books for July

Draw creative energy from this delightful collection of new library books including knitting designs for every season, clever sewing projects and fresh ideas for lace work, including how to make beautiful buttons. Read about making and marketing a creative business from home. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverSew organized for the busy girl : tips to make the most of your time & space : 23 quick and clever sewing projects you’ll love / Heidi Staples.
“Fit sewing into your busy lifestyle with practical tips that will help you put hours back on the clock Heidi Staples, a creative mom of three, will help you organize your sewing space and works-in-progress so they are ready to roll at a moment s notice. Revive your creative life and make the most of your time with easy-to-implement advice. Stitch up 23 projects, ranging from handcrafted quilts to home decor, children’s gifts, and attractive storage cases. With an arsenal of time-savers, you ll finally finish those projects while enjoying a little “you” time at the sewing machine.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWarm days, cool knits : lighter designs for every season / Corrina Ferguson.
“Knitting is not just for cold and snowy climates! For anyone who has ever stopped to wonder what knitters in the South are wearing–and knitting–for the changing seasons, Florida designer Corrina Ferguson has set out to show us in Warm Days, Cool Knits: Lighter Designs for Every Season. Cardigans and hoodies stand in for winter coats, knitted tees and short-sleeve cardigans are perfect for spring, tanks and cropped cardis are comfortable on warm summer nights, and pullovers and shawls are just right in fall. Through her choice of lightweight yarns and bold colors, Corrina has set these pieces apart from the crowd of everyday knitted garments and shown them off as a versatile knitted southern wardrobe.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome made simple for kids : stylish, crafty projects to make with and for your kids / Joanna Gosling, photography by Rachel Whiting.
“Want some original, stylish and inexpensive projects to make for your children’s rooms? Want to get creative, and a bit messy, with your kids? Help is at hand with Joanna Gosling’s guide to simple, stylish crafting.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to make beautiful buttons / Beate Schmitz.
“Make buttons out of fabric, clay, beads and more! There are 25 designs to make with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photographs accompanying every project. Buttons are not only practical additions to bags, jackets and other garments but they also make great fashion accessories all on their own. Starting with a detailed explanation for making each button, the projects span an incredible array of crafts including crochet, embroidery, knotting, felt and paint for embellishing yourhandmade beautiful buttons.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLearn to crochet, love to crochet / Anna Wilkinson ; photography by Laura Edwards.
Anna Wilkinson encouraged a new generation of crafters to take up knitting with her debut book, Learn to Knit, Love to Knit. Anna is now set to popularise the creative craft of crochet in the same way with the companion book, Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet. The book is made up of a collection of twenty garments and accessories that will add ‘wow’ to your wardrobe but also, through making each project, you will learn the fundamentals of crochet. While the ten Learn to Crochet projects guide you through the most basic crochet techniques, the ten Love to Crochet garments provide all the inspiration and know-how you need to really master this highly versatile craft. By making your way through the book you’ll have an enviable wardrobe of handmade garments.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLace yarn studio : garments, hats, and fresh ideas for lace yarn / Carol J. Sulcoski.
“Knitters who think lace-weight yarn is difficult to work with or only for old-fashioned shawls are in for a big surprise! These 25 patterns–created by Carol J. Sulcoski and a group of talented designers–break beautifully free from the flowery, heirloom mold. The fresh, contemporary ideas range from an asymmetric tank top and beaded skirt to opera-length gloves and airy infinity scarves. And to make the knitting easy, a comprehensive basics section offers tricks for avoiding yarn tangles, tips on knitting with a lifeline, information about choosing fiber content, and much more. Contributors include : Véronik Avery, Fiona Ellis, Franklin Habit, Brooke Nico, Marlaina Bird, Barbara Brown, and more.” (Syndetics summary)

Inspirational craft ideas for winter – Craft books for June

Winter is a great time for cosying up with craft books and this selection with delightful finds, may be just what you need to lighten up the winter blues. Starting with Baby Brights there are some delightful crochet projects to brighten a nursery and more. Have fun!

Syndetics book coverBaby brights : 30 colorful crochet accessories / Kathleen McCafferty.
“Whether you are looking for perfect baby gifts or have a little one of your own, this beautiful book gives you 30 adorable crochet projects from leading designers, in playful colours that will delight young and old alike. Designed for beginners, seasoned crocheters and even general crafters, the collection in Baby Brights incudes items to wear, to use in the nursery, for play and for travel. Organised by type, there are patterns for rattles and teethers, bath time toys, hats, booties, toys, nursery and blankets, all to make, use and enjoy while your baby is young and to cherish for a lifetime.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandmade style : 23 must-have basics to stitch, use, and wear / Anna Graham.
Handmade Style showcases blogger Anna Graham’s talent for creating cleverly constructed pieces with simple, clean lines. It’s the first sewing book ever to present a collection of projects specifically designed to complement each other. And, it’s your ticket to creating a cohesive, sophisticated, fresh look from top to bottom for your home. This thoughtful collection will keep any sewist busy for a full year.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLearn to crochet, love to crochet / Anna Wilkinson ; photography by Laura Edwards.
“Anna Wilkinson encouraged a new generation of crafters to take up knitting with her debut book, Learn to Knit, Love to Knit. Anna is now set to popularise the creative craft of crochet in the same way with the companion book, Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet. The book is made up of a collection of twenty garments and accessories that will add ‘wow’ to your wardrobe but also, through making each project, you will learn the fundamentals of crochet. By making your way through the book you’ll have an enviable wardrobe of handmade garments that include a Granny square sweater, a Daisy motif top and a Circular clutch bag. So, if you have ever really wanted to learn to crochet but you have yet to find the right beginner’s projects to tempt you, then Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet is the book for you.

Syndetics book coverArm and finger knitting : 35 no-needle knits for the home and to wear / Laura Strutt.
“Breaking free from the constraints of normal needle sizes, Laura Strutt demonstrates how to do all the usual stitches and techniques using just your arms and hands, from plain knit stitch to seed stitch, increasing and decreasing, and knitting with two or more strands of yarn at a time. To make the best use of the unique texture and scale of no-needle knitting, she has designed 25 stylish projects for you to make, for the home and to wear. There are stylish arm-knitted scarves and cowls, and a simple stool cover, but also finger-knitted wall art, and even jewelry. It’s no wonder there is so much interest in arm and finger knitting when you can get spectacular results in such a short time.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover60 quick knit baby essentials : sweaters, toys, blankets, & more in Cherub from Cascade Yarns / the editors of Sixth&Spring Books.
“In 60 Quick Knit Baby Essentials, dozens of talented designers have created one of the most original and adorable collections of baby projects ever, inspired by Cascade Yarn’s easy-care Cherub line. From sweaters to blankets to onesies to toys, from simple garter stitch to cables, colourwork and lace, these practical designs are true essentials for every knitter and every baby. All the patterns use both metric and imperial measurements so all 60 designs are easily adapted to our yarns. Everyone loves baby knits, so quick to make with endless potential for fun and creativity, so grab a skein and start knitting for the cherub in your life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA beautiful mess : happy handmade home : painting, crafting, and decorating a cheerful, more inspiring space / Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.
“Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, the sisters behind A Beautiful Mess and the ‘Martha Stewarts of the Anthropologie set’, have attracted millions of fans with their happy, creative DIY style. Now, for the first time in book form, they share room-by-room, budget-friendly DIY projects anyone can do to transform their homes into cheerful, more inspiring spaces. Throughout are fun lifestyle extras, such as tips for stocking the perfect bar cart and how to shop for ‘personality pieces’ in thrift and vintage stores. Each chapter ends with party ideas, complete with decoration DIYs and recipes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA modern twist : create quilts with a colorful spin / Natalie Barnes, with Angela Walters.
“What happens when an interior designer with a background in commercial architecture turns her expertise to quilt patterns? Extraordinary designs! Natalie Barnes shows how to use color, contrast, and composition to achieve a one-of-a-kind look. Included is a chapter by the masterful Angela Walters on using the quilting itself to complement these concepts. Twist and turn simple blocks to create impressive, random-looking modern designs Learn to trust unusual color combinations and choose fabrics with confidence 13 enticing patterns: quilts, table runners, wall hangings, place mats, and quilted storage boxes” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnit wear love : foolproof instructions for knitting your best-fitting sweaters ever in the styles you love to wear / Amy Herzog ; photography by Karen Pearson.
“In this follow-up to Knit to Flatter, author Amy Herzog is back with more real-talk for knitters. In Knit Wear Love, she guides us through picking a base pattern that not only works for our inherent shape, but also suits our size and style–all with the skill of a top-notch teacher and designer and the honesty and humor of a BFF. Known for her uncanny ability to simplify what might initially seem complex, Herzog masterminded for Knit Wear Love an easy mix-and-match pattern system that allows us to choose among the eight key sweater forms; eight fashion styles ; a trove of customization details; ten sizes; and three gauges of yarn. The result? Sweaters we can knit with confidence, wear with pride, and love for many years to come.” (Syndetics summary)

Knit-in! World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday at the Central Library

Knit-in-slider1

What have you got on your needles this week?
Wellington Central Library celebrates World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday, 13 June with various knitting groups coming in to be part of a community knit-in event!

Join this knitting extravaganza and connect with other knitters to exchange ideas and inspiration, and enjoy each other’s company, doing something you love.  Anyone can come in to experience knitting or crocheting. There are also lots of books and magazines to browse and get ideas and inspiration from.

A splendid opportunity you can’t miss! Morning and afternoon tea will be provided.

Syndetics book coverKnitting [sound recording] / Anne Bartlett ; read by Beverley Dunn.
“Longlisted for the 2006 Miles Franklin award. Destined to be a bestseller, already a favourite with book groups. Rave reviews in the US by a local South Australian author. It’s been ten months since Jack died, and Sandra, a tightly wound academic, copes with her grief by immersing herself in the history of textiles. When she and Martha, a gifted knitter, meet over an unconscious body on the footpath, the unlikely threads of their lives tangle into each other. Sandra invites Martha to join her in a professional collaboration, but what begins as a working relationship becomes something deeply personal. Martha seems at ease with herself, in spite of her own experience of grief. But what does she carry around in those three large bags? “This is a deliciously daring and original book. Yes, it has to be said: it’s a jolly good yarn.” – The Advertiser “Knitting maintains a soft level of suspense with the unpredictability of its characters, whose simmering thoughts threaten to burst into action. The believable, well-constructed dialogue captures the tension and tenderness of friendship.” – Sydney Morning Herald” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDress-to-impress knitted scarves / Pam Powers.
“This designer collection contains signature designs for ascots, cowls, and other scarves that will make the perfect fashion statement no matter the occasion One-of-a-kind designs that derive their inspiration from sources as diverse as cowboy bandanas and vintage lace petticoats, worked up in a range of textured and colorwork stitches and fibers Photos include ideas for different ways the scarves can be worn Collection includes a stitch/technique photo tutorial section” (Syndetics summary)

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Yarn Magic – Nurture your creativity and keep warm

As winter sets in and we have all started to feel that chill, what better time to turn to the magic of wool with its endless types, colours and textures, for a cosy & creative season. Our catalogue is full of vibrant titles, from classic reference craft bibles to the latest trend in knitting and crochet design. Whether at home by the fire, on the bus, at a café chatting with friends or in a cosy nook of the library, get those needles and yarn out of your bag and get creating. Here is a selection of titles for inspiration but there is nothing like spending a moment among the library shelves (look for call number 746.43), browsing for that special project you’ve been meaning to get going.

The most immediate and satisfying knitting project is often the accessory you can create in a weekend and start wearing to compliment your wardrobe and keep those extremities warm. So, let’s start with titles on gloves, socks, hats and scarves:

Syndetics book coverA good yarn : 30 timeless hats, scarves, socks & gloves
“These 30 projects are inspired by some of the most popular and fashionable accessories sold by the North Circular. Each project has clear instructions and pictures. There is also advice on ethical buying and sourcing local, sustainbable wool. Handmade doesn’t have to mean compromising on style or quality.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUltimate mittens : 28 classic knitting patterns to keep you warm
“Offers an array of classic knitting patterns that are organized from simple to difficult and whose origins range from traditional Scandinavian and Canadian Maritime patterns to contemporary sewn and windblock patterns of Maine.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCustom knits accessories : unleash your inner designer with improvisational techniques for hats, scarves, gloves, socks, and more
“Custom Knits Accessories is the third book in the Custom Knits series and showcases the ever-popular quick-knits: hats, scarves, gloves, mitts, socks, and more. Each of Bernard’s 25 sassy-chic patterns offers specific ideas for customization–from switching out yarns to personalizing fit and style details–and fun, glamorous photographs show off the finished pieces. Also included are formulas for knitting all types of accessories without a pattern, using a single body measurement as a starting point.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWarm mittens and socks : dozens of playful patterns and skillful stitches to knit, crochet, and embroider / Eva Trotzig ; photography by Malin Nuhma ; translated by Ellen Hedstrom.
“Needlework queen Eva Trotzig shares her generous collection of tips, wisdom, and, of course, patterns that are perfect for crafting comfy knits for the whole family. Containing a colorful mix of styles, techniques, and projects, this is the perfect guide for hands trained in the basics of knitting and crocheting. Discover elaborate loops, delightful details, and patterns to make cold-weather clothes playful and fun to knit, crochet, embroider, and wear.” (Syndetics summary)

For the urban cool sartorialist,  here are a couple of our latest titles:

Syndetics book coverBeanies & bobble hats : 36 quick and stylish knits / Fiona Goble.
“Hip hats to knit yourself, including berets, hats for children, and even a headband or two Walk down any street and count the number of beanies and bobble hats you see–they are everywhere, and not just on cold winter days, but as a fashion statement to be worn throughout the year. Now Fiona Goble has designed 36 fun and fast-to-knit hats for you to make, for yourself or your friends. With great yarns and color combinations, and styles ranging from a fair-isle border beanie to a pixie pompom hat, you will stand out from the crowd. There are hats for men, women, and kids, including hoods, headbands, and even a knitted crown. As with Fiona’s previous book, ‘Scarves and Snoods’, many of the projects are quick and easy to knit, and only use a couple of balls of yarn.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScarves and cowls : 35 quick and stylish knits
“A scarf or snood is one of the simplest and quickest things that you can knit. Whatever your skill level and however little spare time you have, Fiona Goble has a project for you. She has designed 35 scarves and snoods with something for everyone, from an animal scarf to a sparkly evening capelet, and from an extra-long “preppie” scarf to a cowboy-style bandana for kids. Every project has full instructions for knitting and making up, but most will need little more than the sewing on of a button to finish them off, and some can be knitted in an evening. An added bonus is that many of the projects require only one or two balls of yarn, enabling you to use up your stash of leftovers from other projects.” (Syndetics summary)

Once, you’ve created a few wearable accessories, why not turn to accessories for your home?

Syndetics book coverModern crochet : crochet accessories and projects for your home
Modern Crochet offers a new and exciting take on this popular craft. Clear and colourful, the book is full of ideas and inspiration for the thread and hook. Molla Mills demonstrates how to crochet a variety of home furnishings, including rugs, cushions and storage baskets, as well as stylish accessories and jewellery for both you and your friends. The book introduces the tools and yarns you will need, then outlines basic crochet techniques, and follows with over 30 projects for you to make. The stunning graphic designs and patterns will bring a modern edge to any crocheted article. Mills is a Finnish designer whose products have been exhibited worldwide, and this book was inspired by her popular Virkkuri blog.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverKnit Nordic : 20 contemporary accessories inspired by 4 traditional sweater patterns
“Traditional Nordic patterns have become all the rage, and this fashion-forward collection from designer Eline Oftedal offers a modern spin on four iconic Norwegian patterns: Marius, Voss, Setesdal, and Fana. Twenty contemporary projects range from an iPad and phone cover to a teddy bear and hot pants. Oftedal delves into the inspiration behind the designs, exploring their origins and worldwide appeal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYarn, yarn, yarn : 50 fun crochet and knitting projects to color your world
“Follow interior decorators Susanna Zacke and Sania Hedengren as they redesign their world with vivid colors and playful patterns. Their exciting new crafting guide, offers delightful and creative projects guaranteed to inspire and personalize your home, wardrobe, accessories, and more. Don’t buy a spool of ribbon when wrapping presents for the holidays–crochet an ornate cord instead! Protect your laptop with a crochet cover, and make a matching one for your iPhone. Make a shawl for a friend made of colorful granny squares, and crochet teddy bears for the kids. Yarn, Yarn, Yarn is perfect for everyone in love with knitting, crocheting, and decorating with yarn.” (Syndetics summary)

If you are looking for vintage patterns, here are a couple of books that took some literary and mid-century fashion patterns and recreated them for today’s fashion conscious crafties.

Syndetics book coverLiterary knits : 30 patterns inspired by favorite books / Nikol Lohr.
“More than 30 projects inspired by classic literature Literary Knits features 30 knitting patterns inspired by beloved characters from classic books; from Pride and Prejudice to Moby Dick, The Catcher in the Rye to The Chronicles of Narnia –and many more in between. Inspired by some of the most beloved characters from favorite books, including an elegant Daisy Cloche inspired by The Great Gatsby and a late ’50s-inspired Holly Golightly Dress imagined from Breakfast at Tiffany’s , the more than 30 knitting projects in this unique collection will inspire knitters and book lovers alike. If you’re a book lover who knits, or a knitter with an appreciation for vintage patterns, Literary Knits is a timeless collection of one-of-a-kind knitting projects.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage knit : 25 knitting & crochet patterns refashioned for today / Marine Malak with Geraldine Warner.
Vintage Knit offers lovers of retro style 25 beautiful knitting patterns from the 1940s and 1950s, regraded to fit modern sizes (small, medium, and large) and to knit with yarns easily available today. A short introduction describes each garment and suggests how to style it, followed by clear instructions for knitting and making up. Details of the exact yarn used are given to ensure perfect results at home. Each garment is photographed on a model, letting you see how the styles of the past can be part of a very up-to-date look.” (Syndetics summary)

Stitch bibles

Sometimes, all you want is to find the perfect stitch for your next knitting project: here are some amazing collections to make your fingers twitch in anticipation.

Syndetics book coverPop knitting : bold motifs using color & stitch
“Celebrated Swedish textile designer Britt-Marie Christoffersson has studied color and texture in knitting for more than 25 years. Pop Knitting showcases her intensive work, demonstrating how minimal ingredients can be combined in seemingly endless ways to create striking, graphic knitted fabrics. Using a variety of innovative stitch manipulation techniques, this book explores how to construct highly textured fabrics and gorgeous knitted strandwork. You’ll also learn how to create knitted fabrics with holes, pleats, double-fabrics, and more. Knitters of all skill levels will love the projects and inspiration Christofferson presents and the aesthetic masterpiece of Pop Knitting will have the most advanced knitters eager to experiment.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVogue knitting stitchionary [1]. Volume 1, Knit & purl : the ultimate stitch dictionary / from the editors of Vogue knitting magazine ; [foreword by Carla Scott].
“An essential reference for knitters from novice to expert, this fully illustrated sourcebook is the first of three “stitch dictionaries,” to be written by the professionals at Vogue® Knitting . Some 300 stitches are detailed, and hundreds of charts, photographs, and illustrations make it easy to understand how to construct each stitch, as well as the ways they can be used in projects. The experts at Vogue® Knitting demonstrate rib stitches such as brioche, herringbone, chevron, and quilted patterns; traveling patterns like parquet, ripple, and diamond stitches; lace, including daisy and wave patterns; and such unusual stitches as eye of lynx, bobble block, peppercorn, and bamboo. The most complete book of its kind, this is the definitive stitch reference!” (Syndetics summary)

And its companion titles:

Syndetics book coverVogue knitting stitchionary 2 : the ultimate stitch dictionary. Volume two, Cables

Syndetics book coverVogue knitting stitchionary 3. Volume 3, Color knitting : the ultimate stitch dictionary

Syndetics book cover Vogue knitting stitchionary 6. Volume 6, Edgings : the ultimate stitch dictionary

A lot of these titles are also available as ebooks. Make sure you check our ebook collection here

Finally, check out our magazine collection which includes titles such as Creative Knitting and Simply KnittingInterweave Crochet & Interweave Knits are also available from our in-library shelves and in our Zinio emagazine collection.

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Hooked on Crafting? New Craft books in May

Find lots of ideas and easy to follow designs in this brilliant collection of crochet, knitting and quilting newly arrived library books.
It’s the perfect time now that winter is approaching to knit a stylish sweater or wrap yourself up in a crochet shawl and feel warm and elegant!
And if you are a pet lover, take a look at some modern and functional design ideas for your cat or dog. Until next time, happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverCrochet so lovely : 21 carefree lace designs / Kristin Omdahl.
“Enjoy 21 beautiful crochet patterns that you will wear again and again in Crochet So Lovely. Author Kristin Omdahl offers a collection of crochet lace patterns along specific themes–creating interesting lace by playing with gauge; creating allover lace; keeping lace as the focal point; and working motifs–as well as the time-honored techniques of broomstick lace, Tunisian crochet, and Bruges lace. Wrap yourself up in crochet accessories like shawls and cowls, along with sweaters, cardigans, and tunics. You will find a veritable orchestra of crochet ideas to choose from, even felting, in the form of a sumptuous felted handbag.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnit wear love : foolproof instructions for knitting your best-fitting sweaters ever in the styles you love to wear / Amy Herzog ; photography by Karen Pearson
“In Knit Wear Love , Amy Herzog guides us through picking a base pattern that not only works for our inherent shape, but also suits our size and style–all with the skill of a top-notch teacher and designer and the honesty and humor of a BFF. Known for her uncanny ability to simplify what might initially seem complex, Herzog masterminded for Knit Wear Love an easy mix-and-match pattern system that allows us to choose among the eight key sweater forms; eight fashion styles; a trove of customization details; ten sizes; and three gauges of yarn. The result? Sweaters we can knit with confidence, wear with pride, and love for many years to come.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover1000 quilt inspirations : colorful and creative designs for traditional, modern, and art quilts / Sandra Sider.
“As one of the core, traditional crafts, quilting is enjoyed by countless enthusiasts around the world – and its popularity is only growing. This collection of one thousand quilt blocks builds upon this interest, showcasing some of today’s most innovative and beautiful patterns. Whether a quilter or a collector, a craft-lover or an art enthusiast, 1000 Quilt Inspirations is sure to inspire your admiration and appreciation of the art of quilting. It’s also likely to get you itching for some fabrics of your own!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe quilter’s practical guide to color / Becky Goldsmith.
“Did you know that the biggest struggle for quilters of all types is color selection? Unlock the secrets to winning color combinations from best-selling author Becky Goldsmith of Piece O Cake Designs. Learn how every quilt has a foreground and a background, how to use clear versus gray colors plus other essentials that will shake up your design process. Quilters of all skill levels will appreciate Becky s practical, easy-to-understand advice. Put your newfound knowledge to the test with 10 pieced and appliqued projects designed to focus on specific aspects of color. Includes visual examples to explain all color topics.”” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitted rabbits : 20 easy knitting patterns for cuddly bunnies / Val Pierce.
“Toy rabbits are always popular, and have been for many years. With their long ears and cute, fluffy tails, they are loved by children and adults alike. This book contains a wide variety of rabbits to knit, from fun and quirky, to cute and cuddly. There are twenty patterns to choose from, and each one is accompanied by a beautiful, full-colour photograph of the finished rabbit, clear instructions, and a comprehensive list of the yarns, needles and embellishments you need… ideal for beginners as well as more experienced knitters.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVery British baby knits : 30 stylish designs fit for a royal baby / by Susan Campbell.
“Susan Campbell’s beautiful, hand-knitted designs ranging from baby clothes to toys and accessories that will make gorgeous gifts for any baby. Each project reflects the classic elegance of British design accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful photographs. Knitters of all abilities will relish making these gorgeous gifts which, with the author’s royal connections, are fit for your own little prince or princess!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCats in hats : 30 knit and crochet patterns for your kitty / Sara Thomas.
“Deck your cats out in hats that suit their many personalities! With The Punk Mohawk for edgier cats, The Unicorn for cats who are having identity issues, and The Cat in the Hat for any cat that loves great literature, there is a pattern in this book for every feline friend in your home. Complete with a breakdown of skill level and method of working (knit or crochet), suggestions for yarns, and written patterns and charts where necessary, you’ll be able to whip up amazing headwear, whatever your cat’s character.” (Syndetics summary)

New Year Inspirations – Craft picks for January

Start the New Year with lots of inspiring ideas found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Read about enchanting printmaking techniques for expressive mark making and unleash your inner artist. Have fun with crochet projects inspired by classic fairy tales or if you prefer knitting there are gorgeous ideas to add to your ‘To-knit list’ for this year. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverPrintmaking unleashed : more than 50 techniques for expressive mark making / Traci Bautista.
“Unleash your inner artist and join Traci Bautista as she shares inventive ideas for making marks with handmade tools, nontraditional materials and simple DIY printmaking techniques. Pulsing with exploration and whimsy, Printmaking Unleashed features 60+ step-by-step demonstrations and countless possibilities for creating original prints, fabrics, art journal pages, mixed-media collage, and so much more.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCrochet ever after : 18 crochet projects inspired by classic fairy tales / Brenda K. B. Anderson.
“Shows and movies based on fairy tales are incredibly popular, and crafty crocheters now have a book of fabulous projects that pay homage to their favorite stories. Little Red’s hood with integrated infinity scarf will stay put when she’s being chased by the Big Bad Wolf. Sleeping Beauty now has just the right nightie to wear while waiting for Prince Charming to wake her up. Gretel can take her snacks to go with her cupcake purse. Plus the Evil Queen will know exactly who the hottest in the land is when she gazes into her Mirror, Mirror on the Go makeup case. Heroines, fairy princesses, witches, and big bad wolves are all accounted for in this fanciful collection of crochet accessories, toys, bags, kids’ clothes, and more.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverChunky knits : 31 projects for you & your home knit with bulky yarn / Ashley Little.
“Here’s the secret of bulky yarns – they knit up quickly. This attractive book features more than 25 patterns that use bulky- or superbulky-weight yarn, and the great thing about them is that they are not the usual suspects. Yes, there are hats, mittens, and scarves and shawls, but there are also a delicate-looking lace capelet, a scalloped necklace, and even a lacy lampshade covering. Knitters looking for instant gratification will find it in smaller projects: braided wall art, jewelry, and round, cabled sachets.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverPainting made easy / Mike Chaplin with Diana Vowles.
“Professional artist Mike Chaplin demonstrates that anyone can paint if they are taught the necessary techniques in a simple and structured way. Starting from the premise that we all want to make marks to record the world around us, this book aims to give basic guidelines that will help anyone to express themselves through different media but especially watercolours, oils and pastels with essential skills and techniques presented in an accessible way.” (Adapted from Publisher’s description)

Socks & Plum Pudding for Christmas

In 1912, Lord Liverpool became governor of New Zealand. Alongside him, stood his wife, Annette Louise Foljambe, Countess of Liverpool. As soon as the War started in 1914, Lady Liverpool became an active supporter and fundraiser for the New Zealand troops sent to fight overseas.

Her Excellency's Knitting Book coverHer Excellency’s knitting book , compiled under the personal supervision of Her Excellency the Countess of Liverpool was published in 1915.  It was intended to encourage the women of New Zealand, as well as children (boys and girls!), to take up knitting as a valuable skill and turn it into a mass war effort by crafting useful items that would be sent to soldiers fighting for the Empire. Socks in particular were in high demand, a pair only lasting a couple of weeks. Often, the knitter would add a little hand-sewn personal note inside the garment for its recipient. The initiative became hugely popular and contributed to making soldiers feel that they weren’t forgotten back home.
One of these little books has been a treasure in our Rare Books room at the Central Library. It contains a hand-written introduction by Lady Liverpool herself, encouraging “the women of New Zealand” to take their part in the war effort by using the patterns in the book to produce some much needed comfort for the troops.

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The book despite its very modest dimensions as it was designed to be carried in a knitting bag, contains a myriad patterns and knitting instructions to guide the novice (“To wind wool so that you work from the inside of the ball, p.41) as much as the accomplished knitters . It is also dotted with quaint advertising from businesses all over New Zealand such as this Harringtons ad:

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The patterns not only cover garments of use to soldiers such as cholera belts, but items for women, children and babies. In case you always wanted to knit a cholera belt, here are instructions:

Cholera belt

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Christmas in the trenches Dominion articleThis clipping from The Dominion’s 16 July 1917 issue is a testimony of the extent of the contributions from the civilians back home. You can access the full article in the Paperspast database. Published in July, it was calling for “funds of gifts of various kinds” to ensure that soldiers on the front would receive comforting parcels from home, in time for Christmas. Plum puddings were highly prized for their capacity to travel well and their festive significance: “This year, owing to the shortage of certain classes of foodstuffs in the Motherland, these gifts, particularly plum puddings and fancy articles of food, should be more welcome than ever to the men in the fighting lines.”

 

Syndetics book coverOne of the most likely sources of the time for recipes of plum pudding would have been Mrs Beeton’s Every-day Cookery and Housekeeping Book as suggested in A Distant Feast : the origins of New Zealand’s cuisine by Tony Simpson (recipe p. 66).

Here are images of our own original copy of Mrs Beeton’s 1893 edition, available from our stacks on the second floor of the central library. It includes several versions of the Plum Pudding recipe (p. 379-381, pictured).

Mrs BeetonMrs Beeton Plum Pudding

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Syndetics book coverMrs Beeton was an incredibly popular influence in the  kitchens of the time and has remained a seminal influence in the art of cookery, as our collection bears testimony.
However, “her reputation as an innovator is unjustified“, according to Tony Simpson, author of A Distant Feast, who believes that Eliza Action should have claimed the title.
And indeed, Simon Hopkinson’s (British former chef and critic, considered to be one of the best cookery writers) quote on the cover of Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for private Families stands as more than a stamp of approval: “The Author’s Christmas Pudding is as perfect as any festive pudding can be. I would not cook, nor eat I wish to eat, any other than Acton’s.” You will find her recipe p. 416 of this edition.

To read more about Eliza Acton refer to Syndetics book coverThe real Mrs Beeton : the story of Eliza Acton  by Sheila M. Hardy with foreword by Delia Smith.
For her own recipes, read Modern Cookery for private families : reduced to a system of easy practice in a series of carefully tested receipts in which the principles of Baron Liebig and other eminent writers have been as much as possible applied and explained  with an introduction by Jill Norman.

And finally, another source of recipes that has withstood the test of time is Auguste Escoffier’s A Guide to Modern Cookery. Published in English in 1907, it became a Bible for many generations of chefs and amateurs cooks. Hailed as one of the greatest chefs and food writers of all times, Escoffier redefined French cuisine and propelled it into the 20th Century, influencing cookery internationally.  Here is a photo of the 1951 reprint we hold in the stacks with Escoffier’s version of the very British Plum Pudding.

Mrs Beeton Auguste EscoffierEscoffier3

For more contemporary publications regarding “The King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings”, Escoffier’s nickname, check our catalogue here.

Notes:
A very interesting documentary about Lady Liverpool and her war efforts, screened on TV3 News last August can be watched on this New Zealand History page with an accompanying article.

And for the francophiles out there, a recent episode of the highly entertaining food programme “On va déguster” produced by the French national radio station France Inter has a very informative piece on Auguste Escoffier. You can read and listen here! Bon Appétit et Joyeux Noël!