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)

Inspiring Craft projects for the New Year. Happy Crafting!

Find a variety of craft books, with wonderful ideas and reconsideration of craft, accompanied with step-by-step handy tips, how to make these fabulous creations. Have fun!

The art of pressed flowers and leaves / Ashmore, Jennie
“A ground-breaking book on the art of pressed flowers and leaf works from leading flower artist, Jennie Ashmore. She covers everything from the choice of flowers to the various methods of pressing them, to designing with the finished pressed flowers and leaves. Templates will help you get started, and a plant directory at the back of the book shows you what various plants look like when pressed.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Seasonal Scandi crafts : over 45 projects and quick ideas for beautiful decorations & gifts / Myers, Christiane Bellstedt
Create 45 simple projects with a Scandinavian flavour, including home decorations, garlands and beautiful gifts. Try out some simple embroidery on the lavender pillows, which would make great gifts. So why not get the family involved and make each season really special by making decorations together? You can then relive those happy memories each year as you decorate your home.” (adapted from 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. Or you could choose to make a cute cottage doorstop using colors that match your own house.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Quick crafts for parents who think they hate craft / Scott-Child, Emma
“Skeleton Mask, Pompon Monsters, Paper Bag Stars, Woven Paper Chessboard, and more. Quick Crafts for Parents Who Think They Hate Craft is packed with 40 projects free from crazy origami to lose your cool over and glue to clean out of everyone’s hair. Get creative with your children even if you’re short on time (or patience). Split into four sections: play with it, wear it, spruce it up and useful things, all of the crafts have been created to ensure that play can continue once the crafting is over. Crafting doesn’t have to leave you cranky and the floor sticky” (adapted from Catalogue)

Knit shawls & wraps in 1 week : 30 quick patterns to keep you cozy in style / Greene, Marie
“It’s all about the layers in Marie Greene’s new collection of 30 stylish, versatile shawls, wraps and cowls. Easy to memorize and portable, these patterns range from voluminous wraps to cute cowls, making it easy to enjoy the satisfaction of a finished project or last-minute gift, even when your knitting time is limited. Whether you’re looking for a light spring layer, a summer statement piece or a thick toasty shawl, you’ll find a wide array of colors, shapes and yarn weights to complement your style, no matter the weather.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Beginner’s guide to colourwork knitting : 16 projects and techniques to learn to knit with colour / Austin, Ella
“If you long to knit stunning fair isle jumpers and brightly colored blankets for your home this is the perfect book. Learn all the techniques for how to start knitting with color and create really desirable projects as you learn. Choose from brightly colored stripy socks and work your way up to a patterned beanie hat and even a stunning sweater with a colorwork yoke. Even if you can only knit and purl–with this book you’ll be making gorgeous colorwork accessories before you know it” (Catalogue)

Embroidery now / Riggs, Jennifer Cardenas
“A beautiful guide to 30 modern hand embroidery projects for your home and wardrobe. Embroidery Now is a stylish hand-embroidery guide for the modern maker. You’ll learn about the materials included in the practice, nine different stitch techniques with illustrated step-by-step instructions, and 30 individual projects designed for you to use in your home and wardrobe. Packed with tips and tricks and a lot of inspiration, Embroidery Now shows that anything can be embroidered and gives you the confidence to continue to embellish your world through embroidery.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Craftfulness : mend yourself by making things / Davidson, Rosemary
“Integrating mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology, and creativity research, Craftfulness offers a thought-provoking and surprising reconsideration of craft, and how making things with your hands can connect us to our deepest selves and improve our well-being and overall happiness. Whether you knit, crochet, sculpt, weave, quilt, tat, draw, or bind books–working toward small, attainable goals gives us a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and control that is proven to positively impact our mental health and happiness, creating a safe space for failure, and ultimately, how to make peace with imperfection.” (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)

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)

Quilting, knitting — why not both? New Craft books in June

This month’s selections are packed with a great variety of quilting and knitting ideas for the new season! Browse through Pat Sloan’s teaching instructions and learn amazing quilting techniques. Explore some modern and chunky knitting patterns and choose your favourites for you and your family. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverPat Sloan’s teach me to machine quilt : learn the basics of walking-foot & free-motion quilting / Pat Sloan.
“Popular teacher, designer, and online radio host Pat Sloan teaches all you need to know to machine quilt successfully. In this book of her beginner-friendly “Teach Me” series, Pat guides you step by step through walking-foot and free-motion quilting techniques. First-time quilters will be confidently quilting in no time, and experienced stitchers will discover the joy of finishing their quilts themselves. No-fear learning for quilting novices — Pat covers all the information you need to quilt from start to finish and guides you through simple and fun practice projects, including a strip-pieced table runner and an easy applique design.” (Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverPat Sloan’s teach me to appliqué : fusible appliqué that’s soft & simple.
“Offers step-by-step, illustrated instructions for a variety of fusible appliqué projects for machine-stitched quilts, including bed quilts, banners, and wall hangings.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverPat Sloan’s teach me to sew triangles : 13 easy techniques plus 12 fun quilts / Pat Sloan.
“Pat Sloan–well-known teacher, designer, and online radio-show host–teaches all you need to know to create triangles with ease. Take your skills to the next level with this second book in her beginner-friendly “Teach Me” series. You’ll discover 11 different ways to sew triangles–at least one method will be just right for you!” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverLucky charm quilts : 17 delightful patterns for precut 5″ squares / compiled by Lissa Alexander.
“Join the Moda All-Stars as they use 5-inch charm squares to make scrappy quilts with style. Got one charm pack, two packs, or three? Make the most out them with quilts that use up nearly all of the charms in your favorite packs. You don’t need a huge fabric stash to achieve a dynamic, scrappy look–just your choice of charm packs. Make a range of projects, from table runners to lap-sized quilts, all by top Moda designers. Tips and tricks from each designer are included to help you show off your unique collection of charm squares.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverBig knit love : 20 chunky knit fashions / Linda Zemba Burhance.
“Big yarns make big style! Knitting with chunky yarns bulky, super bulky, and roving has been called one of the most important trends. Modern chunky knit garments and accessories have been all over the runway this season and knitted home decor items are hot. Chunky knits work up quickly and feature lush stitches that have a rich texture. 30 patterns from knitwear designer Linda Burhance are organized by type of big yarn and are complete with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for beautiful garments and accessories for you and your home.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book cover60 quick knitted toys : fun, fabulous knits in the 220 Superwash collection from Cascade Yarns / the editors of Sixth&Spring Books.
“Knitters will love creating this collection of 60 cool toys, which range from tools like a saw, hammer, and screwdriver to a ballerina doll. Whip up a menagerie of stuffed hippos, owls, foxes, and monkeys; games like a jumbo knitted tic-tac-toe board and penguin bowling; or a unique medieval set that includes a king, a queen, an adorable dragon, and a building-block castle! Every project will capture your heart.” (Amazon.com)

Be creative this season! New Craft books for March

Take a look at a delightful selection of fun and easy to follow projects with ideas and instructions how to create simple and stylish pieces. Find some fantastic knitting, quilting and crocheting ideas for you to start your own project. Have fun!

Syndetics book coverMade in paracord! : 25 great jewelry, accessories, and home projects to knot / Caitlin Wynne.
“This collection of 25 designs, all created in brightly colored paracord, will inspire you to get knotting. There are no special skills required, and paracord is an easy, and easily available, material to work with, so you’ll be creating simple and stylish pieces in no time. You’ll find tons of accessories, including survival and other bracelets, key chains, bags, belts, and headbands, as well as homewares like wall hangings, hammocks, bowls and plates-and more!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover200 fun things to crochet : decorative flowers, leaves, bugs, butterflies, and more! / edited by Victoria Lyle.
“If you ever find yourself wondering what to crochet next, then just open this book, and you’re guaranteed to find the answer. 200 Fun Things to Crochet is an irresistible collection of cute little crochet projects for all levels of ability. Containing a mix of beautiful projects inspired by nature–crochet flowers, birds, bugs, leaves, and even sea creatures–as well as a collection of charming floral squares, you’ll want to pick up your hook, sort through your yarn stash, and get started right away.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigner crochet accessories : fresh, new designs for hats + scarves + cowls + shawls + handbags + jewelry and more.
“Sometimes, all it takes is the right accessory to pull off a great look. And if that accessory happens to be handmade by you? All the better! In this book, popular author/designer/teacher Melissa Leapman shows you how to make more than 25 fresh and beautiful crocheted accessories. From winter warmers like cozy hats and scarves that make a statement to all-season wardrobe builders such as one-of-a-kind jewelry, colorful handbags, and stunning shawls, Melissa Leapman’s Designer Crochet Accessories has it all.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDresden carnival : 16 modern quilt projects, innovative designs / Marian B. Gallian and Yvette Marie Jones.
“A parade of modern Dresden quilts awaits, packed with playful colour choices, new layouts, and exciting borders. Peruse 16 projects, 4 bonus variations, and 5 alternate colourways, for creativity that knows no bounds! Basic needle-turn techniques are included, and patterns range from beginner-friendly to more advanced. These truly innovative Dresden blocks for the next generation take a perennial favourite and infuse it with pizazz!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting without needles : a stylish introduction to finger and arm knitting / Anne Weil.
“Who knew you could actually knit without needles? Put down those complicated knitting projects that take forever to finish. Knitting Without Needles brings cool home, gifts, and clothing accessories–cowls, totes, rugs, poufs, scarves, and more–within arm’s reach. An all-in-one resource for a new kind of craft, this book shows you how to loop yarn with your fingers or your forearms with thirty patterns that are simple to follow and produce stylish results. Best of all, many of them knit up fast–in less than an hour!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverModern knits from Sweden : a warm mix of shawls, scarves, cowls, mittens, hats and more / Erika Åberg ; photography, Malin Nuhma.
“All your favorite contemporary knits, in one book: shawls, scarves, hats, wrist warmers, mittens, and gloves! With delightful easy-to-wear accessories in all styles and sizes, from classic and elegant to cozy and colorful, garter stitch and stockinette to entrelac and herringbone, Modern Knits from Sweden will keep any experienced knitter warm all winter long.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe knitted hat book : 20 knitted beanies, tams, cloches, and more.
“Brimming with quick and fun-to-knit designs for stitchers of all skill levels, The Knitted Hat Book features a modern take on classic knitted caps. In this top-notch collection, your favorite knitwear designers have created more than 20 head-turning toppers. Hats of all shapes and styles: berets, beanies, tams, cloches, toques, and more. Whether you’re looking for instant knitting gratification, a few chic designs to perk up your wardrobe, or the perfect small project to hone new skills, The Knitted Hat Book has you covered.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Help the babies – Knitting group special meeting on Saturday 25th February

We have received an urgent appeal for singlets, blankets, bootees and jackets for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Wellington Hospital. The library knitting group will hold a special meeting this Saturday 25th February to work on items for this appeal. If you could spare a little time on this day your help would be gratefully received.

Share some fun and fellowship while doing some good in the world!
Wool and patterns will be provided. Being small, the items will be quick to knit.
We will meet behind the escalators on the first floor of Central Library from 1-4PM
A continuous and substantial afternoon tea will be supplied.

CONTACT : Sue Dale
E-mail : sue.dale@wcc.govt.nz
Phone : (04) 801 4146

Books to inspire you:

Syndetics book coverKnitting for good! : a guide to creating personal, social & political change, stitch by stitch / Betsy Greer.
“Every time we knit, we have the opportunity to create positive change in ourselves, our community, and in the world. That’s Betsy Greer’s fervent belief, and in this book she shows us how. Betsy explores the ways we can use knitting to slow down in a fast-paced culture, while using the craft to benefit charities in our communities, to advocate for worthwhile causes, and to support individuals and communities across the globe.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting green : conversations and planet friendly projects / Ann Budd.
“Detailing a wide range of perspectives and approaches to environmental issues, this unique crafting manual offers ideas for knitting conscientiously. Leading figures of the industry, from designers to yarn company executives, share their methods for integrating green principles into their work and lives.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTogether : how small groups achieve big things / Henry Hemmings.
Together is about the extraordinary revival of small groups in Britain today.What happens when a room full of people decide to work towards the same dream? Why is it that when we come together in small groups we are so much more than the sum of our parts?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting yarns : writers on knitting / edited and with an introduction by Ann Hood.
“The impressive collection of writers here have contributed essays that celebrate knitting and knitters. They share their knitting triumphs and disasters as well as their life triumphs and disasters.” (Syndetics summary)

A space of your own – The Central Library Knitting Circle

Would you like to have a quiet space to work on a craft project in the company of other cheerful crafters? Have you eve wanted to learn how to knit or crochet but have had no-one to teach you? The Wellington Central Library Knitting Circle meets on the last Saturday of each month on the first floor between 1PM and 4PM for craft and chat. Afternoon tea complete with sweets and biscuits is provided.

Our next meeting is this Saturday 28th January, 1-4pm.

Knittinggroup

You can choose to work on your own project or to knit for any one of a number of charities – Foster Hope, The SPCA, the homeless shelters, or Women’s Refuge. Patterns, wool, yarn and knitting needles are available. Current craft books and magazines will be on display and available for loan.

Come, take time for you, be creative and do some good in the world! You can drop by at any time during the knitting circle – stop by for a quick chat, or make yourself comfortable for some serious crafting.

Contact Sue Dale for more information by email: sue.dale@wcc.govt.nz
or phone: 801 4146

After tomorrow, our next meeting will be held on Saturday 25th February, 1-4pm.

Here are some examples of what we have been able to achieve in the past:

Craft-a-thon World Wide Knit in Public Day 2016

Clever ideas – New Craft books for January

It’s the perfect season to expand your crafting repertoire and try new methods and techniques of creating unique pieces. Make gifts for family and friends or craft items that can be passed down from generation to generation. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover100 little knitted gifts to make / text, Susan Penny, Val Pierce, Fiona McDonald, Susie Johns, Sue Stratford, Monica Russel, Susan Cordes, Lee Ann Garrett.
“Knitting continues to be a very popular craft, and this book has a very wide appeal both to beginners and more accomplished knitters. The book covers a wide variety of themes from knits, baby bootees, phone covers, mug hugs, headbands and scarves, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Special stitches used are explained in detail, and yarns are described in generic terms, so that readers can use what is available to them, wherever they live. The projects are satisfying to make and can be made as gifts for special occasions and celebrations to family and friends.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe urban woodsman : a modern guide to carving spoons, bowls & boards / Max Bainbridge.
“This book appeals to the modern man and woman looking for a creative outlet that will connect them to their environment, be they in the city or the countryside. Max discusses the basic tools and hand grips, and with step-by-step carving and cutting techniques you will soon be mastering the skills to make your own creations. Starting with eating spoons, cooking spoons and spatulas, you can move on to butter knives, coffee scoops and chopping boards – even small bowls can be mastered without using a lathe. And there is added advice on finishing your projects – how to sand, ebonise, scorch and texture the surface as well as waxing and oiling your new, beloved kitchen creations.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSimply shibori : handmade, hand-dyed projects for the home / Fiona Fagan.
“Shibori is a resist dyeing technique and there are full instructions on making colour dyes using natural ingredients such as saffron. More than 30 projects are included, each made from plain fabrics, encompassing items for the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bedroom as well as a selection of lifestyle projects that would be perfect to make as gifts. This treasure trove of desirable projects includes an assortment of cushions, covers, bed linen, up-cycled lampshades, table runner, and napkins, to name just a few. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMind-blowing modular origami : the art of polyhedral paper folding / Byriah Loper.
“Modular origami is the latest craze in paper folding! These three-dimensional models are created from a number of small pieces of paper that are easily folded and then cleverly fit together to form a spectacular shape. They range from paper polyhedra to ornate flower-like spheres. Author Byriah Loper has been creating modular origami sculptures for just five years, but in that time, he’s pushed the upper limits of the art form with some of the largest, most complex geometric paper constructions ever assembled. A great way to learn origami, the easy-to-follow diagrams and step-by-step instructions in this book show you how to fold the paper components and then assemble them to create 22 incredible models.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDIY string art : 24 designs to create and hang / Jesse Dresbach.
“String art is making a comeback with seemingly endless new designs, and author Jesse Drebach’s modern, more flexible approach lets you methodically string away to your heart’s content. This book is full of patterns–simple to more intricate designs–that help you quickly get to the fun part of the craft–the stringing! DIY String Art includes simple geometrics, nature-inspired motifs worked on tree slices, zodiac signs, and even patterns for negative space string art. These are cool, urban designs, and they look amazing no matter where you hang them. Jesse’s double-wrap technique lets you add pronounced details and even create a string frame–he’s thought of, basically, everything you need to know to string a gallery of modern art!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover100 simple paper flowers / Kelsey Elam.
“Paper flowers are cropping up everywhere, taking centre stage in upmarket window displays and bringing pops of colour to winter weddings. They make a great impact, and offer an uplifting hit of colour at times when real flowers are scarce or too expensive. Best of all, they’re easy and enjoyable to make. 100 Simple Paper Flowers shows you how to put together dozens of ideas. With templates and projects, discover how a handful of techniques can work across the board, whether you want a bunch of daisies for your desk or an outsize bouquet of lilies for an event.” (Syndetics summary)

Christmas yarn craft meetup at the Central Library

Join our yarn craft event on Saturday 19 December at the Central Library for inspiration and help making some unique gifts. Monica, our coordinator for the day, will have spare needles and yarn for those who would like to try knitting! You are welcome to bring along your own knitting or crochet project to work on. This is a family-friendly event with a touch of Christmas cheer and we hope to see you there!

Sessions will run 12.00 – 1.30 pm and 2.00 – 3.30 pm

Christmas Crafts small

You are, of course, welcome to knit and crochet in the library outside the hosted session times. Be sure to browse our extensive collection of craft books and magazines on the first floor (you’ll find large and small books on our shelves at the call number 746.43)! We also have a growing collection of ebooks you can check out here not to forget Zinio eMagazines.

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)

Read more

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)

Read more

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)

Read more

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)

Read more

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)

Knit-in-slider

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.

cover crochet

 

 

 

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.

LLannotation1LLannotation2 

(click to view larger)

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:

p169

(click to view larger)

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

(click to view larger)

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

(click to view larger)

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!

How to Knit a Friend

Last year I happened to see this really cool book on our display…

Syndetics book coverKnitted dolls / Arne [Nerjordet] & Carlos [Zachrison]. “These knitted versions of themselves are so hilarious and scarily accurate. It was too much to resist and I had to take up the challenge being a bit of a mad knitter and willing to give almost anything a go! Luckily I had all the colours I needed in my ‘stash bags’ and after much deliberation with my daughter chose which of the gorgeous dolls to make.

SisselHer name is ‘Sissel’. It was easy to follow the instructions to start with, until I got to turning the ankles. Then, for some reason I ended up getting all confused and gave poor Sissel two left feet! Still, it doesn’t seem to matter much overall to her appearance and I don’t think she’ll be going out dancing anytime soon… I hope! (queue creepy music). And here she is! Isn’t she cute? My daughter just loves her. There are also lots and lots of gorgeous patterns for their dolls’ clothes so now we have to start dressing her.” (Ellie, Newtown Branch Library)

Check out Arne amd Carlos’s other books too:

Syndetics book cover55 Christmas balls to knit : colourful festive ornaments, tree decorations, centrepieces, wreaths, window decorations / Arne [Nerjordet] & Carlos [Zachrison] ; [translation by Carol Huebscher Rhoades].

Syndetics book coverEaster knits / Arne & Carlos.

Red hoodie for winter

red hoodie frontNow that it’s a bit colder, I’m taking every opportunity to wear my cosy new red hoodie. This is designed by Ysolda Teague, one of my favourite knitwear designers and a bit of a knitting rockstar. Her patterns balance cute, feminine details with very well-constructed, flattering tailoring and they are a total joy to knit. red hoodie side

red hoodie bkHer book Little Red in the City came out last year, and as well as having 7 lovely jersey and cardigan patterns, it has a solid reference section with extensive information on tailoring, technique and garment care. Wellington City Libraries also has a couple of zines, Whimsical Little Knits & Whimsical Little Knits Two, which are treasure troves of modern, sweet treats like this Ishbel shawl.

ishbelshawl

(click on the photos to view larger version)

Making things with Milly Molly Mandy

The Milly Molly Mandy books by Joyce Lankester Brisley were among my favourite stories as a girl.  I felt very nostalgic recently when I came across the book  Milly Molly Mandy’ things to make and do by Sam Hay; based on the stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley. It’s packed with all the favourite things Milly Molly Mandy, little friend Susan and Billy Blunt loved to do.

french knittingIt was fun trying to  remember  which story the activity came from; like the one when Milly Molly Mandy learns to cook with Teacher. My daughter and I started with  French knitting.  She was so excited at the sound of  knitting, she announced that she was going to knit a blanket. I persuaded  her to instead knit a  length long enough to make a small knot that would be big enough to embellish  the end of a hair clip.

While Milly Molly Mandy suggests making a bracelet for a friend, we got the  idea for the hair clip from the book State of Craft edited by Victoria Woodcock.  The book has pulled together a lot of ideas from different makers and designers.  The French knitted hair clips are a simple idea, that can easliy be modified for the beginner.

Instead of two strands of knitting, we used one, and made the length quite a bit shorter then suggested, so not to waste any of our precious knitting.  The clips look very cute, and now that my daughter has got the hang of French knitting, she’ll be able to get started on that blanket she’s so keen to make.  But in the mean time, we’ve got a lot of activities to try in our Milly Molly Mandy Make and Do book.

More make and do books for children

Cherry cake and ginger beer by Jane Brocket

Ripping things to do by Jane Brocket

50 things to make and do by Fiona Watt

The joy of finishing something!

If you have been looking at the new craft books coming through the blog lately, you will have seen my on going battle to actually finish something!
Well on Wednesday I finally managed to finish a project! Admittedly a small one, but still. A family member requested this for his young son, and after a push of “you know it is cold” I finally got it finished. This was a great little knit, quick, simple and the wool was lovely to knot with! It’s a Bear hat, 1-2 years, Cashmere merino.

The hat comes out of Simply knitting., the Feb 2011 issueBear hat 1-2 years

Crafts Extravaganza at the Central Library

craft50

The month of May has seen unprecedented activity at the Central Library in the field of Crafts.  Two Showcases on 13 and 14 April brought an enthusiastic crowd to the first floor where members of the public, young and old, watched, shared and experimented with a wide range of crafts experts.

On 21 May guests were invited to mingle with our crafts collection afterhours, during our Crafts Lock-in where they could share and exchange craft techniques and secrets with fellow crafters. Participants had a chance to review and borrow the latest in our crafts books collection, to everyone’s delight. The event was an all out success.

Birds, butterflies and paper worlds

I wanted to share 3 books I have come across recently. They are a treasure trove for crafters and creative people in general.

The first one, 75 Birds, butterflies & little beasts to knit and crochet is a delight to flick through. Armed with this wonderful book, you can create an entire natural world out of yarn. Who wants to knit scarves and sweaters when you can create apples and flowers, mushrooms and snails? A shear delight!

The other two books are about papercrafting, a skill that amazes me.

Paper Illusions is about the creations of artist Isabelle de Borchgrave, who makes  exquisite historical costumes out of paper. The book is luxurious and the models are set in grand period decor. Well worth a look.

[Medium bookjacket]

And as it happens, Isabelle de Borchgrave is also the subject of an article in the latest issue of Ornament Magazine and one of her works features on the cover.

The last book, simply called Papercraft,  is a collection of paper creations from many contemporary artists. The book is teaming with amazing visuals of all types. The inventivity of the works displayed is mind boggling and awe inspiring. I think I might go and buy myself a copy. I will find it very difficult to share this book.

syndetics-lc