Unleash Your Creative Self: New Arts & Crafts Books

As we embrace the changing foliage of red, orange, and yellow, there is no better way to celebrate the slowing down nature of the season than to nourish your creative soul. From making marbled papers to painting projects, be inspired in this month’s new collection of crafts and hobbies books.

The art of paper marbling dates as far back as 1118 in Japan. Over the centuries, several marbling techniques have been developed, making paper marbling a quintessential craft to try. In the book Making Traditional Marbled Papers, Kate Brett walks us through its history and encourages us to try several techniques that can be practiced and appreciated by anyone.

Why not catch the mood of the changing season with a brush and palette of colours? Watercolor for the Soul: Simple painting projects for beginners, to calm, soothe and inspire and Still Life : Techniques and tutorials for the complete beginner offers tips and easy-to-follow exercises that are friendly enough to match any skill level, which makes approaching a blank page a positive experience.

With the changing season comes the cold snaps of winter weather. What better way to celebrate this time of the year than to show off your newly-made Peruvian ch’ullu hat, fingerless gloves and Bohus-style Peerie socks! Cozy Knits: 30 hat, mitten, scarf, and sock projects from around the world features an assortment of knitting projects inspired by people, places and traditions around the world. Likewise, if you fancy building up your knitted wardrobe collection, A Knitter’s Guide to Shawl Design explores different techniques and tips in creating your very own shawl. With an abundance of projects in Nordic colourwork, the book Traditional Nordic Knits: Over 40 hats, mittens, gloves, and socks is packed with stunning photographs complete with illustrated patterns and informative guides that would definitely inspire you to grab those knitting needles again.

Lastly, in the book Bonnie the Cow & Her Crocheted Friends: 20 loveable animals & birds to crochet using chunky yarn, Claire Gelder reimagines your traditional crochet projects using super chunky yarn! With straightforward instructions, varying difficulty level and easy-to-follow patterns, you may find yourself snuggling up with your own creation of Bonnie the Cow during movie nights.

Making traditional marbled papers / Brett, Kate
“Paper marbling is a beautiful craft with a long history that can be traced back to Japan in the twelfth century. This practical book introduces traditional patterns and explains the techniques that are used creatively today. It covers the history of marbling – from its origins in Japan to Persia, Turkey and then Europe in the seventeenth century. The process from preparing the size, to adding the paints, creating the pattern and then treating the sheets is covered in detail. Creative uses for marbling are given including step-by-step sequences for a range of projects.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Watercolor for the soul : simple painting projects for beginners, to calm, soothe and inspire / Stevens, Sharone
“Learn to use watercolor to soothe your soul with this beginner’s guide to painting for relaxation. Many watercolor books focus on the result of your painting, but this approach looks at the process of painting as a means to de-stress, with easy exercises for absolute beginners. The aim is to create art that relaxes both the artist and the viewer.” (Catalogue)

Still life : techniques and tutorials for the complete beginner / Johns, Susie
“Learn how to draw and paint sill life with this straightforward, accessible guide. With expert guidance you will discover how to construct simple, appealing still-life arrangements and create beautiful works of art using a range of beginner-friendly materials and techniques. Ten progressive step-by-step tutorials will help you to master this rewarding art form.”–Page 4 of cover” (Catalogue)

 

Cozy knits : 30 hat, mitten, scarf, and sock projects from around the world
“Cozy Knits presents 50 of the coziest, globally-inspired patterns for hats, mittens, and gloves-including stylish traditional projects from Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, the British Isles, the Americas, and Asia.” — Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

 

A knitter’s guide to shawl design / Vining, Emma
“As a desirable item of fashion, a cherished gift or a wardrobe essential, the shawl enjoys enduring popularity among knitters and non-knitters alike. A Knitter’s Guide to Shawl Design will inspire knitters of all levels to personalize their knitting and create original shawl designs. Author Emma Vining describes her own design processes, encouraging readers to explore and experiment with shawl shapes and stitch patterns. Beautifully illustrated with photographs, sketches and explanatory diagrams, this book explores tradition and innovation in shawl design.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Traditional Nordic knits : over 40 hats, mittens, gloves, and socks / Wallin, Johanna
“The classic Nordic knitting tradition is a widely-respected—and increasingly popular—source of exquisite patterns and design inspiration all over the world. 15 time-honoured patterns become over 40 different projects, gracing mittens, gloves, hats, and socks through designs suitable for all levels of experience, and each project is introduced with an example of a historic knitted item and a fascinating explanation of the pattern’s background and origin.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Bonnie the Cow & her friends : 20 loveable animals & birds to crochet using chunky yarn / Gelder, Claire
“Dragon’s Den winner Claire Gelder presents a new collection of crochet animals to crochet in chunky yarn. Bonnie the Highland Cow and Isla her calf, as well as other adorable, crocheted companions will complete your cozy companion set. With soft, chunky yarn and long, floppy limbs, you’ll have no choice but to pick them up, or snuggle on the sofa with them. Oversized, and full of life, these toys are about 28in tall and the babies measure about 14in. The projects are aimed at beginners to improvers, and are suitable for someone who has mastered the basics of crochet. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Flowers, needles, and Nordic knitting: New craft and hobby books

New Craft Books April

Could happiness be just a needle and a skein of yarn away? In today’s age of digital over stimulation and social distancing, this month’s new collection of books is an assortment of unadulterated joy to indulge your creative spirit.

Regardless of one’s sewing ability, anyone can benefit from YouTube star Laura Coia’s second book, Sew Very Easy Patternless Sewing : 23 skill-building projects : bags, accessories, home decor, gifts & more. From simple scrunchies to complex projects like featherweight case cover, this book is a fun and quick way of creating something amazing from scrap fabrics. Likewise, crocheting projects do not need to be a time-consuming endeavour! In Quick Crochet : no-fuss patterns for colourful scarves, blankets, bags and more, Kate Rowell presents 28 colourful projects that are grouped according to their completion time.

Needle Felting Teddy Bears for Beginners is a “must-borrow” book for fellow creatives who would like to learn simpler techniques and seamless process in producing adorable, fuzzy, little teddy bears.

The repetitive and rhythmic flow of knitting can be a delightfully meditative process. Brandi Harper invites readers to venture into her personal knitting journey in her book, Knitting for radical self-care : a modern guide. Readers are encouraged to indulge in gorgeous projects, stunning visuals and honest musings on self-care and creativity. On the topic of knitting, we also suggest The Nordic knitting primer : a step-by-step guide to Scandinavian colorwork. Its wonderful images go hand-in-hand with its straightforward instructions and charts to guide anyone looking to start doing colorwork.

Floral enthusiasts, rejoice! Lucy Hunter’s The Flower Hunter: seasonal flowers inspired by nature and gathered from the garden offers not only inspiration but also practical tips in floral design, flower drying and other creative projects. With the author’s wit and grace in the narration, this enchanting book is a visual feast not to be missed!

Sew very easy patternless sewing : 23 skill-building projects : bags, accessories, home decor, gifts & more / Coia, Laura Ann
“YouTube sew-lebrity Laura Coia returns with 23 projects, now available as printed, step-by-step instructions for the first time. Stitch up beautiful bags, accessories, and home decor with no pattern pieces”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

 

Quick crochet : no-fuss patterns for colorful scarves, blankets, bags and more / Rowell, Kate
“In just a few short hours, you can create vibrant accessories, cheerful home decor items and handmade gifts that are guaranteed to brighten up every space and occasion! Crochet designer Kate Rowell combines simple stitches and smart techniques to bring you this stunning collection of eye-catching projects that work up in next to no time.– Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Needle felting teddy bears for beginners / Balchin, Judy
“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 award-winning authors Judy Balchin and Roz Dace show how to make 20 wonderful little teddy bears using this tactile technique.” (Catalogue)

 

Knitting for radical self-care : a modern guide / Harper, Brandi Cheyenne
“There is no such thing as being kind-of a knitter. The wobbly scarves and that oversized sweater you tried to shrink all count too. Each contribution that you make to the world through knitting is meaningful, but maybe you’ve slowed your commitment to this craft, or you can’t seem to find the time to be creative. There’s a lot to be distracted by, and the path forward isn’t always clear. Brandi Harper aims to bring those challenges to the forefront and help you unearth the immense benefits that knitting has to offer. In her debut book, Knitting for Radical Self-Care, Harper offers tips and suggestions for carving out time for creativity, alongside beautiful patterns to try yourself.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an ebook.

The Nordic knitting primer : a step-by-step guide to Scandinavian colorwork / Drysdale, Kristin
“Gorgeous Scandinavian knitwear is within reach for knitters of all levels with this collection of timeless patterns and essential techniques… Inspired by Kristin’s Scandinavian heritage, these designs combine traditional patterns and motifs with stylish, easy-to-wear shapes. Knitting with multiple yarns creates a warmer knit fabric for high-quality garments and accessories to gift or wear all year long”–back cover.” (Catalogue) Also available as an ebook.

The flower hunter : seasonal flowers inspired by nature and gathered from the garden / Hunter, Lucy
“Lucy’s evocative, gently humorous words accompany her glorious photographs and exquisite floral arrangements, as she encourages the reader to marvel at the intricate cycles of the natural world, develop their own innate creativity, and to look for beauty in the everyday. Her garden provides the raw materials for Lucy’s floral artistry-breathtaking naturalistic arrangements with all the painterly beauty and flourish of a Dutch still life. Simple projects accompany Lucy’s text, from drying garden flowers for an autumnal wreath to making your own journals and natural dyes to assembling lavish arrangements that showcase the voluptuous beauty of garden roses.  The Flower Hunter will encourage you to find your own creativity and help it to blossom”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

From quilting to amigurumi: New books on crafts and hobbies

Knitting, weaving, quilting, and pattern making have been called by different names in history, and still we find ourselves in awe at the sublime intricacies of these crafts. These artforms are forever capturing the zeitgeist of the modern world.

The book Te Puna Waiora : the distinguished weavers of Te Kāhui Whiritoi is a stunning depiction of the great mana of Aotearoa’s senior Māori weavers who not only honour the tradition, but also ensure the survival of the masterful practice today.

Pamela Vanderlinde’s book, Patternmaking for Dress Design: 9 iconic styles from empire to cheongsam, is packed with vivid illustrations and depicts the historical backdrops behind nine iconic dress designs. It showcases a comprehensive, project-based approach to classic cuts for modern-day, fashion pieces that even the present generation would love to wear.

Like weaving and pattern making, the art of crocheting traces its inception to China’s Shang dynasty, but has evolved into numerous cross-cultural forms. Learn by starting off with basic stitches in Crocheted bags : 25 quick and easy projects to make.

Crocheting has found its way, too, into the modern world. With a bale of yarn and hook, crocheting gave birth to amigurumi. Although amigurumi has been a trend for the last ten years, the Japanese form of knitting small stuffed creatures has swept the world’s imagination. Considered as one of the offshoots of the kawaii craze that started in the 1970’s Japan, amigurumi is a cuteness overload for the modern day world. Two new books in our collection: Crochet at work : 20 career dolls to make and customize and Anyone can crochet amigurumi animals : 15 adorable crochet patterns provide whimsical, crocheting journeys for everyone.

Finally, our new book on quilting, Quilt as you go : a practical guide to 14 inspiring techniques & projects, makes a great resource for those who simply don’t have much space or time, or are wanting to start a new fabric project in small manageable sections.

Te Puna Waiora : the distinguished weavers of Te Kāhui Whiritoi
“The weavers of Te Kahui Whiritoi are the senior Māori weavers of Aotearoa New Zealand. Here, their works and stories reveal the complexity and beauty of raranga, placing te whare pora, the house of weaving, at the centre of Māori life, where it connects the weaver to their whakapapa and whenua, their whānau, iwi and tūpuna”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Patternmaking for dress design : 9 iconic styles from Empire to cheongsam / Vanderlinde, Pamela
“Detailed patterns and step-by-step instructions guide fashion designers through creating 9 iconic dresses. With background on each garment’s historical significance and examples of how they’ve reinvented in contemporary collections”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

 

Crocheted bags : 25 quick and easy projects to make / Osmond, Emma
“Crochet your way from clutch to tote, making a variety of beautiful bags in between, with the latest title in the Weekend Makes series.  Grab your crochet hook and yarn and join the trend by creating a carrier for every outing. Whether you’re a newcomer to this craft or have been hooked for a while, you’ll find a project to kickstart your creativity and learn the skills required to make it. With detailed techniques, tools and materials sections, this book provides everything you need to know to get started.”–Amazon.com.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Crochet at work : 20 career dolls to make and customize / McCully, Kate
“Discover 20 adorable amigurumi dolls to crochet, each dressed for a different career. Customize the dolls by choosing the body shape, skin and hair colour, hairstyle, outfit and accessories. There are over 100,000 possible combinations!” (Catalogue)

 

Anyone can crochet amigurumi animals : 15 adorable crochet patterns / Simpson, Kristi
“Whether you’ve been crocheting for years or have never picked up a crochet hook before, this accessible, exciting project guide will show any crafter of any skill level everything you need to know to successfully make adorable amigurumi animals! This crochet project book opens with expert guidance on basic tools and techniques and insightful introductory sections on the basics.  Each project that follows features clear, easy-to-follow instructions, how-to crochet illustrations, photo step-outs for detail work, and additional insider tips and tricks to make the most of your crochet projects. Also included are stitch guides, a comprehensive glossary, a handy abbreviations sheet, and more.” — Amazon.com.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Quilt as you go : a practical guide to 14 inspiring techniques & projects / Forster, Carolyn
“Choose from a variety of hand- and machine-sewn styles including stitch-and-flip, envelope-style, lined circles, Suffolk puffs and cathedral windows. Each technique is photographed step by step, and then each completed, discrete block can be transformed into a stunning quilt project, which comes complete with full instructions. If you like taking your creative work with you when you travel, love the convenience of working in small, manageable blocks, or simply want to try out some different techniques before committing to a full-size quilt, this book will help you achieve remarkable results. All the templates required are included at full size.” (Catalogue)