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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Winter warming

With the temperature dropping and the Summer season of home maintenance well and truly over, we bring you winter warming cookbooks and a selection of gardening books to peruse for ideas for your Winter garden!

Syndetics book coverDelia Smith’s winter collection / illustrations by Flo Bailey.
“A collection of recipes for wintertime, featuring ingredients from a progression of winter produce from October to April. Both meat and vegetarian dishes are included, and many of them reflect the influence of French, Italian, Spanish and oriental flavours and ideas.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverWinter on the farm / Matthew Evans ; photography by Alan Benson.
“Join chef, food critic and author Matthew Evans as he embraces winter with more than 85 warming recipes – from Winter Potato and Bacon Soup, and Stout, Beef Shin and Mushroom Pie to an exceptionally delicious Kentish Cherry and Elderflower Fruit Pudding. Winter on the Farm is the ultimate guide to cooking nourishing and hearty food, and will inspire you to create these rich, wonderful flavours as soon as you feel a winter chill in the air.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverBest winter plants / Stefan Buczacki ; special photography Andrew Lawson.
“Gardening expert Stefan Buczacki presents advice and information on growing the best winter plants. A reference for both beginning and expert gardeners about all aspects of plant care from propogation and pruning, to problem solving.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverWinter house / Charlotte Moss ; written with Jennifer Cegielski ; photographs by Jason Dewey.
“One of America’s top interior designers presents a beautifully illustrated guidebook for creating a comfortable, inviting winter home. With 200 color photographs.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrowing year round : vegetables, fruit, herbs / Dennis Greville.
“Dennis Greville is respected internationally for his plant and garden photography and is New Zealand’s most published gardening author and photographer. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener, growing year round will encourage and inspire you, with practical advice that will help you achieve optimum results in your garden, whatever its size, climatic conditions and soil type. Dennis provides readily accessible information and tips on how to do things better. These easy to follow ideas will enable you to take charge of your garden and its productivity.” (Fishpond) Includes seasonal recipes.

Syndetics book coverSeasons in my house and garden / written and photographed by Holly Kerr Forsyth.
“In her latest outing, beloved gardening writer Holly Kerr Forsyth takes readers from her garden into the home and kitchen. Season by season, and month by month, Holly shares her gardening secrets and hard-won wisdom from years in the garden. Inside the house, Holly offers ideas on how to transform the produce into beautiful dishes, as well as tips for flower arranging, table setting, and more. Fully illustrated throughout, and with useful identifying pictures for flowers and produce, Seasons in My Garden is the perfect companion for gardeners experienced and novice, homemakers and keen cooks.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverWinter in the Alps : food by the fireside / Manuela Darling-Gansser ; photography by Simon Griffiths.
“Take a culinary journey from the peaks of St. Moritz down to the glittering streets of Zurich–home to some of the most delicious food in all of Europe–in this attractive cookbook of Alpine cuisine. Be tempted by Cloud Souffle, Pappardelle with Duck Ragu, melt-in-your-mouth Spatzle, Rosti, and Creamy Zabaione; sip warming Gluhwein and roast chestnuts over the open fire and be transported to the enchanting heart of continental Europe during winter. Showcasing the culture, lifestyle, and food of this remarkably diverse region, this beautifully illustrated book is a stunning depiction of the unique cuisine and breathtaking beauty of the Alps.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe winter garden : structure, planting and romance in the garden in winter / Eluned Price, photographs by Clive Nichols.
“After the exuberance of summer, the garden in its winter transformation is every gardener’s greatest challenge. The Winter Garden looks at the ways of creating a garden that is beautiful in adversity, when the weather is cold and inclement. With the loss of the rich colours of autumn, it explores the importance of shape and form, of choosing trees as much for their leafless winter frosts as for their summer foliage and textures. Using beautiful and varied gardens as examples, it looks at ways of shaping the garden with topiary, trellis and tunnels, of providing form with architectural planting, of using statuary, urns and tubs. This beautifully illustrated book explores what it is that makes the winter garden magical, unpacking the aesthetic thrill that goes with the sight of the ghostly white arcs of bramble or the flaming wands of dogwood, the clean frame of yew hedging or the filigree of interlaced leafless branches.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverWhat to eat now : the best of autumn and winter eating / Valentine Warner ; photographs by Howard Sooley.
“In ‘What to eat now : the best of autumn and winter eating’ Valentine Warner take us on a mouth-watering journey seeking out the foods and ingredients the colder months have to offer. In this seasonal guide Valentine shows how autumn’s meat, including lamb, pork, duck and partridge, is often roasted, braised or served in stews and pies. Fish is found in batter, soup, on toast and quickly fried. There are rich dairy dishes and an abundance of vegetable dishes using beetroot, cabbage, sweetcorn, pumpkins and so much more. This is a book for the inquisitive eater with the recipes that are both simple and satisfying. Most of all with Valentine’s engaging style, it promises to bring a little pleasure into your kitchen and joy to your table.” (Amazon)

Taste of New Zealand winter / Robyn Martin.
“A recipe book for the winter months, illustrated with full colour photograph. The chapters range from ‘stock pot saviours’ and ‘fireside meals’ through ‘hot and hearty’ and ‘things to make on rainy days’ to ‘winter puds’. It is a companion book to Taste of New Zealand Summer. The author is food editor of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.” (Syndetics summary)