Purapura Whetū: A Matariki festival in our libraries

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau! This July, we are celebrating Matariki with Purapura Whetū, a special festival of events, crafts, storytelling, and reflection for whānau and tamariki all over our city.

As well as all the programmes listed below, each of our libraries will have special crafting stations set up where you can make your very own star to add to our city-wide purapura whetū; a pattern, or web of stars.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Come down to your library to make your whetū (star) and add it to our constellation!

Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! As well as the Purapura Whetū craft activity happening at every branch, there are many other fabulous events to look out for celebrating Matariki during the school holidays:

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki
Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 10 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Friday 17 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Making Matariki Stars
Join us for this special Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki star using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own! Then, we will add your star to our purapura whetū — our pattern of stars — for everyone to enjoy and admire.

  • Monday 13 July, 11.00am at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga

Matariki By Torchlight
Head down to the library at twilight for this special evening of Matariki and Aotearoa-themed stories and songs under the starlight (or clouds!). Bring your own torch and come along in your PJs ready for some heart-warming bedtime stories and songs.

  • Monday 13 July, 6.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Music Makers: Making Taonga Whakatangitangi
Come along and celebrate Matariki by crafting music makers inspired by the porotiti, and making Matariki stars. You can take your creations home, or display them at our libraries during our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival.

  • Friday 10 July, 2.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Online Storytimes
Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Saturday 4 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Sunday 5 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Monday 6 July, 7.30pm — online!

Matariki Storytimes
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Then, why not try your hand at making Matariki stars at our crafting stations? There will be a range of activities available for your whānau.

  • Tuesday 7 July, 10.30am at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tarikākā
  • Wednesday 8 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Wednesday 15 July, 10.30am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

String Bean Puppets: Once in a Full Moon
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local library with Anna Bailey and her string bean puppets! Anna’s puppets will be helping her perform the magical tale “Once in a Full Moon.” One evening, a lonely kiwi looks up in the sky and sees something remarkable… can kiwis fly after all?

  • Monday 13 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Tuesday 14 July, 11.00am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
  • Wednesday 15 July, 2.00pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-Taia
  • Friday 17 July, 2.00pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

 

 

Crafting inspirations for everyone!

Find inspiration and handy instructions to help you discover your favourite crafts by browsing through this list of our latest arrivals. Enjoy crafting!

The Making It guide to crafting / Welker, Liz
“A compendium of crafting inspiration and instruction by the creators of Making It. Features photography from seasons one and two and projects inspired by the episode challenges.” (Catalogue)

Crocheted wreaths for the home : 12 gorgeous wreaths and 12 matching mini-projects for all year round / Nikipirowicz, Anna
“Wreaths are not just for Christmas – they can be used to decorate your home all year round. Anna Nikipirowicz shows you how to create sumptuous crocheted wreaths and other decorations that will grace your home and look beautiful, whatever the season. If you love crochet, you’ll love Anna’s imaginative designs.” (Catalogue)

The leathercraft handbook : a step-by-step guide to techniques and projects / Lau, Candice
“Stylish, accessible and aspirational. Learn the traditional craft of leatherworking through 20 contemporary projects, from stylish accessories to essential homewares. Each piece focuses on a different technique and is accompanied by guidance on how to make the design your own. Arm yourself with everything you need to know to design and create unique leather pieces from scratch with The Leathercraft Handbook.” (Catalogue)

Knitting stashbusters : 25 great ways to use up your yarn leftovers of one ball or less / Goble, Fiona
“For knitters who want to know how to make use of their stash and avoid waste, this collection of 25 patterns has the answer. You can make a cute garland of hearts to brighten up a room, or knit a penguin toy for a new baby. Perhaps you’d like to make all sorts of cozies, or knit storage pots and a pencil case. And once you’ve reduced the size of your stash, what better excuse could you have to go out and buy more yarn” (Catalogue)

Plus size knits : 25 knitting patters for sweaters & accessories
“No longer are the days you need to be disappointed by knitting large versions of clothes. Plus Size Knits contains 25 stylish patterns, from pullover sweaters to cozy cardigans and more, that have been specifically designed for plus sized women. Resulting in sweaters and accessories that are well-constructed, flattering, and perfect for you! Featuring stunning photography and helpful size charts and diagrams to create pieces that are tailored just for you, this is a must-have for plus size knitters” (Catalogue)

Kawaii crochet : 40 super cute crochet patterns for adorable amigurumi / Bradley, Melissa
“Hook up a rainbow kawaii goodness with this super-cute collection of 40 amigurumi patterns from modern crochet designer Yarn Blossom Boutique. From three adorable peas in a pod, to a winking fortune cookie, these 40 fun and easy amigurumi makes will bring the Japanese culture of cuteness into your hands and your heart.” (Catalogue)

Make it simple : easy, speedy sewing projects to stitch up in an afternoon / Walnes, Tilly
“24 super-quick dressmaking projects for people who think they don’t have time to sew. Whatever your level, you’ll learn the secret of how to take sewing shortcuts while still getting a great-looking finish. With the help of clear step-by-step photographs and Tilly’s award-winning instructions, this book will help you create a dream wardrobe in no time.” (Catalogue)

Sew cute quilts and gifts : 30 lovely bags, quilts and accessories to stitch, appliqué & embroider / Matsuyama, Atsuko
With over 30 projects to choose from, you can create multifaceted designs using patchwork and applique, along with embroidery, beading, and other special embellishments.” (Catalogue)

Make your Christmas special creating crafts for your family!

Add  your special touch to this coming Christmas by making your own crafty decorations and flower arrangements. Merry Christmas!


Syndetics book coverCrocheted wreaths & garlands : 35 floral and festive designs to decorate your home all year round / Kate Eastwood.
“Crochet beautiful home decorations in a contemporary style with these 35 patterns for every season, special occasions, holidays, and all year round.
If you want to make one that will look good all year round, try the Bobble Bunting in strong pastels, or the Shaker Birdhouse Garland in soft, neutral shades to suit any room.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTaste of Home handmade Christmas.
“Touch hearts and make memories this season with simply enchanting homemade gifts.
From whimsical elves made of felt to cleverly custom greeting cards, the inspired ideas in Taste of Home Handmade Christmas promise to make everyone’s holiday merry and bright.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChristmas at home : holiday decorating, crafts, recipes / edited by Valerie Rains.
“Have yourself a merry little Country Living Christmas with this gorgeous guide to decorating, cooking, and celebrating the best holiday ever! Country Living knows how to make Christmas memorable, and that’s why this spectacular book will become your new go-to resource every year. It’s filled with more than 200 beautiful decorating ideas, recipes, and crafts, plus tips galore.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQuilled Christmas : 30 festive paper projects / Alli Bartkowski.
“Celebrate the season with 30 colorful and charming paper-quilling projects for Christmas decorations, ornaments, gift tags, greeting cards, and more. Each project is designed for a specific skill level, and you’ll find a comprehensive introduction and step-by-step photos of the essential techniques needed to create basic shapes, elegant typography, and dazzling linear art.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMini felt Christmas : 30 decorations to sew for the festive season / Sachiyo Ishii.
“Making your own decorations in the run-up to Christmas has never been more popular! In this delightful book, well-known crafter Sachiyo Ishii shows you how to make fabulously cute and quirky felt ornaments to adorn your home during the festive season. All the techniques and stitches you need are explained carefully through clear, step-by-step photographs at the beginning of the book, and all the templates are provided at the back. This wonderful book is a feast of ideas and inspiration for a creative Christmas.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaper Christmas : 16 papercrafting projects for the festive season / Emily Dawe.
“Craft your own Christmas in paper – 16 festive projects for the perfect homemade holiday! Give your holiday season the homemade touch, from wrapping paper to tree decorations, using very few materials and innovative techniques, such as printing with shaving foam and creating stunning greeting cards using gold embossing ink.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSew with me : 60 fun & easy projects to make your own fabulous décor and accessories / Brandy Nelson.
“Want something your kids can create on their own? Sew With Me teaches kids how to be creative with fabric while honing in a lifelong skill. Geared towards kids, or kids who might need a little help from mom, you can use both hand sewing and machines with your kids to make fantastic sewing projects that they will enjoy creating and using. Projects include reading pillows, pincushions, sleep masks, cat toys, bookmarks, wall hangings, gift bags, hoop art, felt purses and coasters.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Beautiful ideas for knitting and crochet!

Cute projects for every crafter who would like to experiment with knitting or crocheting.

The art of circular yokes : a timeless technique for 15 modern sweaters
“Knit a masterpiece! Discover the how yarn and needles become artistic tools when you work on the beautiful canvas of a circular yoke. The timeless technique of knitting sweaters with nearly invisible shaping allows for painterly colorwork, illustrative lace, beautifully chiseled cables, and so much more. No handknit wardrobe is completely with one of these iconic sweaters.” (Catalogue)

30 knit ponchos & capes / Maassen, Rita
“Ponchos and capes are so easy to wear! They don’t slip and slide like shawls can; just toss one over a basic tee and you are ready to go and look anything but basic. They go with nearly anything and can be dressed up or down as you please. Add in the fun of knitting a variety of styles, textures, and stitch patterns in a plethora of gorgeous yarns and colors, and these projects become irresistible. With 30 designs to choose from, each unique in its own way, you can transform your look with a few stylish knits” (Catalogue)

Mindful crochet : 35 creative and colourful projects to help you be in the moment, relieve stress and manage pain / Leith, Emma
“Being “in the moment” is an essential part of following a pattern, keeping your yarn on the hook, counting stitches, and remembering which color to use next. Emma Leith shows how these qualities can become a form of mindfulness practice, bringing you peace, calm, and a greater sense of well-being. The satisfaction you’ll get from creating these lovely makes and seeing others appreciate them is another important way in which crochet can encourage a positive outlook and bring happiness.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Mabel Bunny & Co. : 15 loveable animals to crochet using chunky yarn / Gelder, Claire
“Crochet the most adorable animals in cosy, chunky yarn. Fun patterns and handy guides mean the only difficulty will be choosing which animal to crochet. As well as fifteen different animals, including a dragon, a polar bear, an octopus and a pig, you can also make mini versions, which are 30-40cm tall. The projects are pitched at beginners to improvers and are suitable for someone who has mastered the basics of crochet. So be inspired, choose a pattern to start and be prepared to fall in love with this collection of adorable toys.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Granny Square Flower Garden, Margaret Hubert (ebook)
A granny square is a piece of square fabric produced in crochet by working in rounds from the center outward. Granny squares are made separately and then assembled to create a blanket. Since you work on small pieces one at a time, this technique is perfect for those who are new to crocheting.
A crocheting basics section provides techniques, abbreviations, and the instructions needed to make the 12 granny square projects included in this step-by-step booklet. (adapted from Overdrive description)

Timeless knitting projects – Latest craft books at your library!

Enjoy a variety of knitted works and eye-catching masterpieces for you and your loved ones. Find them at your local library!

Colorful knit soxx : 26 sock patterns for warm, happy feet / Balke, Kerstin
“The 26 designs in this book will ramp your sock knitting from ho-hum to WOW! Each pair is a masterpiece of luscious color, but the repeating patterns ensure that the knitting is still relaxing. New to sock knitting? Explanations of sock knitting techniques–from the anatomy of a sock to how to work the heel and toe–are included. Your feet will be doing a happy dance every time you wear these beautiful socks you knit yourself.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Knit blankets : 25 colorful and cozy throws / Sixth&Spring Books (COR)
“There is no better way to show off Noro’s trademark colour changing yarns than in big projects, and this collection of 25 blankets allows Noro aficionados to do just that. Collecting the most popular patterns, alongside several new exclusive patterns, a number of techniques are utilized. From mitered squares to intarsia or from entrelac to motifs, the textures and colors of these blankets make stunning combinations that are fun to cuddle or to display.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Knit Shawls & Wraps in 1 Week : 30 Quick Patterns to Keep You Cozy in Style / Greene, Marie
“Pattern designer Marie Greene, author of Seamless Knit Sweaters in 2 Weeks, has created 30 fast new patterns for beautiful boutique-quality accessories. Every project is created to be easy-to-memorize and portable, so even knitters with busy schedules can finish in a week or less. These knits may be quick, but every design is infused with Marie’s signature classic style, modern features and lasting quality.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The art of circular yokes : a timeless technique for 15 modern sweaters
“Knit a masterpiece! Discover the how yarn and needles become artistic tools when you work on the beautiful canvas of a circular yoke. The timeless technique of knitting sweaters with nearly invisible shaping allows for painterly colorwork, illustrative lace, beautifully chiseled cables, and so much more.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Lace Knitting : 40 Openwork Patterns, 30 Lovely Projects, Countless Ideas & Inspiration / Samson, Denise
“Openwork knitting is striking and eye-catching–and, potentially, more than a little complicated, if you haven’t tried it before. Denise Samson, is back with another helpful handbook perfect for crafters with some experience under their belts who want to take their knitting to the next level. Discover 40 openwork patterns, introduced to you step-by-step, with full-color photographs, charts, and instructions to guide you.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Craftfulness – The joy of making

Handmade Glamping book cover

Craftfulness is the joy of making, and the benefits it brings to your wellbeing (borrow Craftfulness below to find out more!). If you’re in need of a project, have a browse below!

Syndetics book coverCraftfulness : mend yourself by making things / Rosemary Davidson & Arzu Tahsin.
“What is that unique feeling that goes hand-in-hand with making something from scratch? Do you ever wonder where the time goes when you’re lost in drawing or working with clay? Are you happiest when you’re sewing or knitting? Drawing on the first-hand accounts from everyday crafters, Craftfulness considers the vital well-being effects to be gained from the simple expression of your creativity, and investigates the soul cleansing and stress-relieving benefits of making things by hand.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandmade glamping / Charlotte Liddle & Lucy Hopping.
“Using a variety of crafting techniques including knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery, patchwork and appliqué, Charlotte Liddle and Lucy Hopping have created a wonderful range of accessories that will bring retro charm to your idyllic country getaway. Whether you fancy a quiet retreat to secluded beaches or are off to live it up at the summer festivals, you will find something to make your home away from home look stunning, and feel cozy and comfortable.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe unicorn craft book : over 25 magical projects to inspire your imagination / Isabel Urbina Gallego.
“The magical realm of unicorns comes to life in this dazzling craft book, brimming with sparkles and rainbows. Let your imagination run wild in creating dozens of fun and entertaining projects to make for yourself or give as gifts, including an amazing unicorn soft toy, a glittering headband and a rainbow-coloured charm. Get ready to spread the magic!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeehive alchemy : projects and recipes using honey, beeswax, propolis, and pollen to make soap, candles, creams, salves, and more / Petra Ahnert.
“From crayons to cough drops, cookies to candles, Beehive Alchemy offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life. Beehive Alchemy is a continuation of Petra Ahnert’s best-selling Beeswax Alchemy. With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover350+ quilting tips, techniques, and trade secrets : how to be better at what you do / Susan Briscoe.
“350+ Quilting Tips is here to help you master all the techniques you need to create a beautiful, professional-looking quilt. With this indispensable resource, full of color photographs and step-by-step tutorials, you can learn all the inside knowledge you’ll need to make quilts you can proudly display or give to your very best friends and family. Whether you are a beginner or just eager to perfect your skills, this is the perfect companion for any level of quilter.” (Syndetics summary)

New Craft books at your library!

Craft the Rainbow book cover

Crafting is an amazing skill. The projects we have listed take a little time and effort, but there’s a lot of information to guide you every step of the way. Have fun!

Creating the vintage look : 35 ways to upcycle for a stylish home / Laycock, Ellie
“Upcycling is about taking something old, vintage, treasured or possibly even broken, and giving it a new lease on life by turning it into something new. Its a thrifty way of decorating and enhancing your home that avoids waste, but is also stylish.” (Catalogue)

Craft the rainbow : 40 colorful paper projects from The house that Lars built / Jepsen, Brittany Watson
“What began as an Instagram hashtag and project collection (#CrafttheRainbow) that quickly went viral has become a showstopping book, offering a rainbow of completely new project ideas. Learn how to make playful party decorations, luscious flowers, amazing cards, and sophisticated wreaths, garlands, centerpieces, and more than you can imagine–all with nothing but the creative power of paper.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

How to knit beautiful bags : 22 gorgeous designs / Brown, Sian
“Knitted and crocheted accessories are totally on trend, and bags are particularly popular. They are relatively quick to make and knitters of all abilities can try new techniques that don’t take too long to complete. Sian Brown has created 22 beautiful designs in a range of sizes and styles, suitable for beginners as well as more experienced knitters. There is a range of designs to choose from, including simple bags, totes, summer bags and evening bags, and the extensive techniques section at the back of the book provides step-by-step guidance.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Boho felt crafts : 35 colorful projects for gifts, decorations, faux flowers and succulents, and much more / Henderson, Rachel
“Let Rachel Henderson and Jayne Emerson inspire you to create your own boho paradise made from felt with fresh green faux succulents, cheese plant leaves, and needle-felted cacti. Wall hangings and mobiles are a great way to change the look of a room quickly, and there are some great ideas here. With beautiful illustrations guiding you every step of the way, you will feel confident in embracing a wide range of techniques for working with felt, a versatile and inexpensive material with endless possibilities.” (Catalogue)

Decorate this, not that! / Lee, Janet
“A former Oprah Show producer, Lee has all the tips necessary to create an exceptional environment on a budget of time, space, and finance. She also knows how not to lose control of achieving the perfect small-space environment, and steers readers clear of these pitfalls. Decorate This, Not That! decodes small-space decorating into easy to digest snack-size bites for every petite room in (or out of!) the house, including an outdoor pocket garden.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Craft for modern living: New craft books in your library

Making Books image from Syndetics

In this mass manufacturing world we live in today, handmade items are unique. They represent the passion, energy, knowledge and determination of the artist and usually, they have a story to tell as the art of craft is as old as our species! Enjoy the new books we have chosen for you.

Syndetics book coverCraeft : how traditional crafts are about more than just making / Alexander Langlands.
“In a period of meaningless mass manufacturing, our growing appetite for hand-made objects, artisan food, and craft beverages reveals our deep cravings for tradition and quality. But there was a time when craft meant something very different; the Old English word craeft possessed an almost indefinable sense of knowledge, wisdom, and power. In this fascinating book, historian and popular broadcaster Alex Langlands goes in search of the mysterious lost meaning of craeft. Through a vibrant series of mini-histories, told with his trademark energy and charm, Langlands resurrects the ancient craftspeople who fused exquisite skill with back-breaking labour – and passionately defends the renewed importance of craeft today.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaking books : a guide for creating hand-crafted books / by the London Centre for Book Arts ; Simon Goode and Ira Yonemura.
“This is a modern, stylish and practical guide to the traditional craft of bookbinding, written by the founders of the London Centre for Book Arts, a destination workshop space that attracts visitors from all over the world. Accessible enough for complete beginners, while full of inspiration for those with more experience, this is the ultimate guide to making beautiful books by hand. Starting with an introduction to the bindery and a useful inventory of necessary tools and equipment, you’ll also learn about different paper types, and special finishes such as cloth coverings, headbands and ribbon markers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLeatherworks : traditional craft for modern living / by Otis Ingrams ; photography by Simon Brown.
“Learn to make stylish and beautiful items from leather, from homeware to fashion accessories, in your own living room. From a woven bench or log basket, to bags, a sunglasses case or even an apron, this cool craft book teaches you how to make 20 simple yet stylish leather projects. This book is the perfect introduction to working with leather.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTechniques using slips / John Mathieson.
“A form of liquid clay, has been used since ancient times to add color and texture to ceramics. This method of clay decoration, practiced from Rome to Mesoamerica, continues to develop internationally. Slips allow ceramicists to give their works rich, intriguing surfaces in a range of hues. In Techniques Using Slips, expert potter John Mathieson explains how to formulate and apply slips successfully to embellish earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Techniques Using Slips is a must for any potter’s library. Ceramic artists and educators will turn to this handbook again and again for direction and insight.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMastering hand building : techniques, tips, and tricks for slabs, coils, and more / Sunshine Cobb ; foreword by Andrea Gill.
“From pinch pots to coiled boxes to soft slab tableware, mastering hand building is a lifelong pursuit. In this book, Sunshine Cobb covers all the foundational skills, with lessons for constructing both simple and complex forms from clay. Ceramic artists will also find a variety of next-level techniques and tips: designing templates and replicating pieces, lidded vessels, using molds, a variety of decorative techniques, and other avenues of exploration are all inside.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaking candles : create 20 decorative candles to keep or to give / Sarah Ditchfield.
“Candles are a much-loved feature in the home, and make thoughtful, handcrafted gifts for friends and family. Sarah Ditchfield shows you how to make beautiful, unique candles for all occasions, using traditional and modern materials and techniques.” (Syndetics summary)

Get ready for winter: New craft books

Loom Knitting

Knitting is a great craft for all! Some of the projects we have chosen take little time and effort with a lot of information to guide you every step of the way. Happy knitting!

A selection of this month’s winter warmer craft picks!

Syndetics book coverWinter knits made easy / senior designers, Jane Ewart and Clare Shedden.
Winter Knits is packed with 40 easy knitting projects alongside knitting patterns that make cable, fair isle, and textured knitting accessible to everyone. Step-by-step tutorials for knitting stitches explain how to knit, and are followed by straightforward practice projects. Learn all the tools and techniques you need to knit luxury bed socks or a cute bobble hat. From cables and twists to circular knitting and casting on, each technique comes with a practice project such as cushions, beanies or socks, where you can try out the new skill and create your very own project. After you’ve mastered the basics create cosy gloves, warm blankets or even newborn mittens, perfect for personal gifts or keeping warm all winter!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPonchos to knit : more than 40 projects and paired accessories in classic and contemporary styles / Denise Samson.
“A poncho collection you won’t want to miss! These simple garments are all the rage, and for good reason. There are endless ways to shape them, style them, and wear them-their versatility is impossible to deny. Now handcrafting expert Denise Samson, author of The Cable Knitter’s Guide, has brought together her favourite poncho variations, along with the techniques that make them stand out from the crowd. Inside you’ll find striking knitwear designs from some of the finest Norwegian yarn producers alongside Samson’s own original patterns, plus four fabulous crochet projects.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLoom knitting : 35 quick and colourful knits on a loom / Lucy Hopping.
“Transform your home and make unique gifts using a loom! Here are 35 colourful and quick knitting loom projects–using Lucy Hopping’s helpful instructions you will soon be whipping up creative gifts and vibrant home decorations in no time. There is something for everyone and the projects include ideas for variations so you can match your decorations to your home and personalize your gifts.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverModern knitted shawls & wraps : 35 warm and stylish designs to knit, from lacy shawls to chunky Afghans / Laura Strutt.
“There’s simply nothing more versatile than knitted shawls. They can be lacy or chunky, bright or neutral, cabled or just plain garter stitch, but they are always stylish, useful, and perfect for when you need a little extra warmth. Laura Strutt has designed 35 beautiful shawls and wraps, with something for everyone, from novice knitters to experts. Whether you are knitting a cover-up for yourself, or a gift for a friend or family, you will be spoilt for choice with these beautiful designs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAdd one stitch knitting : all the stitches you need in 15 projects / Alina Schneider.
“Author and renowned blogger Alina Schneider demystifies the knitting process and helps you learn 15 essential knitting stitches with this easy, step-by-step guide. Starting with the simple knit and purl stitches, each lesson will help you combine these building blocks to create more complex stitches such as moss, waffle, rib, seed, and more. Build your skill set and create lots of beautiful, stylish projects.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Celebrating ceramics: New Craft books

The interest and demand for bright colour and bold pattern ceramics have made them popular again and this selection of books with recent works and some clay and glaze recipes reflects on their appreciation.

Syndetics book coverFlowstones : beautiful creations from polymer clay / Amy Goldin.
“Conceived of by artist Amy Goldin, “flowstones” are crafted by molding a sheet of polymer clay around a smooth river rock. They impart a sense of calm to the holder, grounded by the weight and soothed by the smooth surface. Each stone’s unique shape and pattern gives it a beauty all its own. In Flowstones, Goldin shares beautiful photographs of the many stones she has created, captured in nature, where their striking appearance contrasts with landscapes of smooth river rocks, grassy parks, and sandy beaches.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUrban potters : makers in the city / Katie Treggiden ; edited by Micha Pycke & Ruth Ruyffelaere.
“Clay is back: the age-old craft of ceramics is being embraced by a new generation of urban makers and collectors–and by interior designers. Here, Katie Treggiden explores the contemporary revival of pottery, focusing on six inspiring cities and their makers. Twenty-five young and passionate ceramicists in New York, London, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Sydney, and Sao Paulo introduce us to their work, their studios, and their inspiration.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVitamin C : clay + ceramic in contemporary art / Louisa Elderton and Rebecca Morrill, editors.
Vitamin C celebrates the revival of clay as a material for contemporary visual artists, featuring a wide range of global talent as selected by the world’s leading curators, critics, and art professionals. Clay and ceramics have in recent years been elevated from craft to high art material, with the resulting artworks being coveted by collectors and exhibited in museums around the world. Packed with illustrations, Vitamin C is a vibrant and incredibly timely survey – the first of its kind.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSurface decoration / Kevin Millward.
“This step-by-step guide will encourage the reader to explore the full range of surface treatment techniques and help them to give a professional finish to their work by guiding them to an appropriate finish choice. Surface Decoration looks at all manner of surface decoration techniques, at every stage of the ceramic process and from a practical perspective explains how to achieve these effects. This is the perfect guide for any ceramic artist interested in exploring new surface decoration techniques.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMid-century modern : living with mid-century modern design / Judith Miller.
“From the ‘soft modernism’ of Scandinavian furniture, to the sleek clean lines of the lighting created by the Castiglione brothers in Italy, all the iconic designs and designers of the period are featured in this guide to one of the most exciting periods of design history. The careers and influence of groundbreaking designers, including Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto, Robin and Lucienne Day, Georg Jensen, Anne Jacobsen and many others, are described in stand-alone feature pages. This invaluable book explores the most desirable furniture, ceramics, glass, metalware, interiors, and textiles from the late 1930s through to the early 1960s.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)