Creative Maker Inspirations: New Crafts and Hobbies Books

This festive season of gift-giving can be a daunting task. Discover the inner crafter in you and check out this month’s crafts and hobbies books to kick off your creative process and explore new possibilities. After all, what other gift could be more thoughtful than something special made with your own hands?

This December offering includes ideas on modern block printing, a feminist embroidery guide, unique “refashioning” projects, crochet patterns for dolls and other elements inspired by nature, just to name a few. The various projects are accessible to all crafters regardless of skill level. From moulding simple scented candles for keen beginners to finishing a crocheted festive tree for experienced makers who want to go a notch higher with the difficulty level, anyone can find inspiration to create a special gift and share the love. Turn your creativity into an infinite deposit of ideas with the help of beautiful photographs, guides to tools and materials, and easy-to-follow instructions and pattern guides. Even if you are a crafter on a budget, there is something to make for your tribe!

Serena sews : how to make beautiful, interchangeable, sustainable and unique clothes / Baker, Serena
“Forget fast fashion and cheap trends, Serena Baker is here to help you craft the sustainable wardrobe of your dreams! In 2021, Serena Baker became the youngest ever and first Scottish winner of The Great British Sewing Bee. She thrilled the judges with her incredible attention to detail and wowed viewers with her distinctive ‘refashioning projects’, putting sustainability at the heart of her creations. Whether you’re brand new to sewing or already know the ropes but fancy trying something a little different, Serena will take you on a journey to reinvent your wardrobe. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sisters gonna stitch : a feminist embroidery guide
“A fabulous collection of funny, sassy, uplifting embroidery patterns for the modern-day stitcher. Be inspired to kickstart your crafting journey with 50 gorgeous designs, as well as hints and tips from the experts at Cotton Clara. Each pattern features an empowering, inspirational message that will speak to a new wave of embroiderers looking to add a fun, feminist slant to their artwork.” (Catalogue)

Crochet with flowers and plants : 35 beautiful patterns inspired by nature and the seasons / Eastwood, Kate
“Kate Eastwood is known and loved for her wreaths and garlands covered in crocheted decorations, and her exquisite attention to detail in everything she makes. Crochet with Flowers and Plants brings together her love of nature and the seasons with her eye for color and style. These 35 different patterns for blankets and pillows, home décor, table decorations, and wreaths and garlands all feature flower, leaf, or plant motifs, and in a few cases they actually recreate the whole plant!” — Publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Modern block printing : over 15 projects designed to be printed by hand / Sivyer, Rowan
“Modern Block Printing explores the ancient craft of printing by hand, through contemporary and simple designs. Rowan Sivyer demonstrates the versatility of this beautiful medium through 15 easy projects: from greeting cards to printing on fabric and clay, to ideas for making homewares such as cushions and lampshades and even making your own unique Christmas ornaments and gift wrap. She is often inspired by nature, particularly in her homelands of New Zealand and Australia. Modern Block Printing showcases these influences through Rowan’s use of pattern and colour, before teaching readers how to transform their prints into beautiful objects to gift or decorate the home with. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Crochet you! : crochet patterns for dolls, clothes and accessories as unique as you are / Amiel, Nathalie
“Create unique dolls for loved ones with this collection of crochet patterns for all. Learn how to adapt the basic pattern by changing the shape, colour and hair style of your doll, and by adding details such as scars and vitiligo. Then mix and match the selection of outfits and medical aids to make the perfect doll for you. There are step-by-step instructions for a range of clothes, shoes and accessories including feeding tubes, orthosis, a hearing aid and glasses, as well as a wheelchair and an assistance dog – nobody is left out.” — Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Blazed wax : creating sculptural candles for any space / Kannava, Ruby
“Blazed Wax is a comprehensive and colourful guide to contemporary candle making from friends and designers Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri, with twenty-five projects for beautiful candles and candleholders that will light up your life. This book brings together everything you need to start making your own sculptural candles at home – from mould-making using everyday items like fruit and vases, to dip-dyed candle-pouring, or even making fun twisted candles from supermarket candles.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Spring Project Ideas: New Crafts and Hobbies Books

Spring brings forth new life and growth as we say goodbye to the blistering winter chills. What better way to welcome the changing foliage than with these wonderful craft activities!

With 50 home-crafting projects and insights on how to reignite your creativity, get entwined with Catherine Carton’s journey in her book Dainty Dress Diaries. Similarly, The Wisdom of Our Hands: Crafting, A Life  by Doug Stowe offers a fascinating reflection on creativity and explores the sheer joy of working with your hands, based on his decades of experience as a woodworker and teacher.

For the avid needle and fabric crafters, this month’s collection does not disappoint! The Great British Sewing Bee: the Modern Wardrobe by Juliet Uzor, based on the popular BBC program of the same name, offers sewing tutorials that are easy to create, mix and match; while the book Needlepoint: A Modern Stitch Directory will keep you hooked for hours with its extensive stitch directory and modern projects to explore. Furthermore, Knitstrips: The World’s First Comic-Strip Knitting Book is a visual delight for knitters and graphic novel readers alike! 

For those who want to harness the bounty materials found in nature and create something sustainable, the book Wild textiles: Grown, Foraged, Found is an enchanting  journey into textural art.

Happy crafting!

The Great British Sewing Bee : the modern wardrobe / Uzor, Juliet
“Discover how one pattern could become three different looks through a series of simple alterations. The 27 projects in this book will help you gain confidence as you learn how to make clothes you love and cherish. Expand on crucial techniques and further your understanding in how to bring in more of your own personal style into the clothes you want to wear. Complete with stunning photography, clear illustrations and instructions, demystify the pattern process to create a variety of flattering garments for every occasion that suit your style and fit your figure.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dainty dress diaries : 50 beautiful home-crafting activities to awaken your creativity / Carton, Catherine
“On her award-winning blog, Dainty Dress Diarries, Catherine Carton welcomes us into her floral, chalk-painted, tea-dress-wearing cornor of the internet. Here, in her first book, she shares over fifty of her favourite creative projects-upcycling, crafting, sewing, painting and gardening-many of which take unloved items and make them shine again. Getting crafty is fun, but it also gives us a few moments of peace in our hectic, plugged-in lives. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The wisdom of our hands : crafting, a life / Stowe, Doug
“A guide to living fully and humanely by learning the wisdom of authentic manual work. Many of us live in a world of constant abstraction, immersed in our heads and our screens. But there is a deeper wisdom to be found in working with our hands in the real world. Based on his 45 years as a woodworker and 25 years as a teacher of handcrafts, Stowe argues that human beings have a natural need to express themselves creatively through tangible work. The use of one’s hands and whole body to make physical things and reshape our surroundings promotes both physical and mental health and fosters a sense of mastery in both young and adult students. “– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Wild textiles : grown, foraged, found / Fox, Alice
“Textile artist Alice Fox shows how to work with found, foraged, gathered and grown materials to create fabulous textile pieces that are inspired by, and made from, nature. Alongside advice on growing your own plants (such as flax or nettles), the book is packed with practical ideas for foraging – from weeds, dandelions and other plants useful for making cordage, or leaves that can be stitched, quilted and shaped into vessels, to grass, wool, plastics and mud that can be gathered and delightfully repurposed by the textile artist. “– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Needlepoint : a modern stitch directory : over 100 creative stitches and techniques for tapestry embroidery / Homent, Emma
“The essential guide to needlepoint for beginners and experts alike, with over 100 stitches and techniques demonstrated with photos and diagrams. Alongside the stitch directory, you’ll find all the information on materials, equipment and stitching techniques and 10 easy and accessible projects with full-colour charts.” (Catalogue)

 

Knitstrips : the world’s first comic-strip knitting book / Beltran, Alice Ormsbee
“Knitstrips presents 22 original patterns, boundless humor, and seriously appealing knitting instruction. Inspired, original, and laugh-out-loud funny, knitstrips are patterns and knitting instruction mixed with advice and humorous commentary–and presented in illustrated comic book panels. The book includes 22 brand-new patterns and is designed to mimic a bound collection of comic books in a series: each issue with its own cover and wry theme–from yarn stashes to binge knitting–that is close to the heart of knitters.” (Adapted from  Catalogue)

Unleash Your Creative Self: New Crafts and Hobbies Books

This month’s collection of crafts and hobbies books offer a delightful cornucopia of creative pursuits and inspiration. From pattern-free sewing how-to’s to finishing an animal crochet block, there are so many fun DIY to explore or upskill. Each project would guide you through with varying level of difficulty, beautiful photographs, and clear step-by-step instructions.  Whether you plan to embroider flowers to give new life to an old shirt or upcycle pages of an old book, there are endless possibilities to channel that urge to explore and create.

Sew it yourself : 20 pattern-free projects (and infinite variations) to make your dream wardrobe / Braid, Daisy
“Sew It Yourself with DIY Daisy is a colourful, size-inclusive and inspiring book for sewers of all stages and abilities, beginners included. It includes guides on everything you need to get started (including equipment, materials and basic techniques) and step-by-step projects with clear instructions, photographs and illustrations that will take the scary out of sewing. Just remember: sewing is self-care, and you make the rules!” (Catalogue)

Sundressed : natural fibres and the future of fashion / Tonti, Lucianne
“In this superbly written book, fashion insider Lucianne Tonti looks beyond sustainable fashion to a future remade by natural fibres.An exploratory dive into the art and industry of clothing and an ode to the possibilities in nature, Sundressed is an accessible, engaging and optimistic challenge to designers, farmers and business to think bigger. She uncovers a growing hive of activity worldwide, from mulberry groves in China and cotton collectives in California to Mongolian goatherds and Australian sheep farmers. With a designer’s eye for detail and an insider’s understanding of the market, Tonti shows us where our clothes come from and why it matters.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Creative book art : over 50 ways to upcycle books into stationery, decorations, gifts, and more / Youngs, Clare
“Transform old books and magazines into beautiful paper crafts, with over 50 inspiring projects. Packed full of ideas for everything from stationery and homewares to paper animals and gifts for kids, Creative Book Art shows you how to make stunning projects that look impressive but are deceptively simple to make. Get cutting and gluing to make display scenes and decorations such as a fairy-tale castle, printed feathers, and hanging paper birds. With just a few basic tools and some old books or magazines to get you started, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to repurpose pages into unique items to keep or gift.”–Publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Seasonal flower embroidery : a year of stitching wild blooms and botanicals / Aoki, Kazuko
“Small embroidered gifts for every season. Give the gift of embroidery! Inspired by flowers in every season, theses small projects make the perfect gift. From small purses and pins to stunning artwork, these embroidery projects are small but stunning and make a big impact with just thread, needle, and fabric”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

 

Cute & easy crochet with flowers : 35 fantastic floral crochet patterns / Trench, Nicki
“Bring nature with you wherever you go with these 35 beautiful projects, all incorporating floral motifs. Divided into three chapters, the book begins with projects perfect for first-time stitchers. Next, move on to Practice Makes Perfect, where you can develop your crochet skills to make beautiful pillow covers, place mats, and blankets to decorate your home. Finally, more experienced crafters will love the projects in Confident Crocheting–from a Daisy Scarf and Floral Bag, to a Vintage-style Vase Coaster and Gypsy Queen throw that will stay in the family for generations. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

52 weeks of scarves
“52 Weeks of Scarves is a contemporary collection of 52 patterns for scarves, shawls, wraps, cowls and collars, from Nordic knitting experts Laine. This stunning book contains a beautiful scarf pattern for every week of the year. The 52 projects have been contributed by leading knitwear designers from across the world and showcase an exceptionally wide range of yarns, techniques and difficulty levels, including two crochet designs. Comprehensive patterns are supported by extra material on the Laine website, and stunning photography and styling evokes the inspiring Nordic lifestyle and slow living.”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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

New Craft Books April

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Needle felting teddy bears for beginners / Balchin, Judy
“Needle-felting is an easy and fun technique, requiring little in the way of expensive materials or equipment. Its accessibility means it’s becoming more and more popular, and award-winning authors Judy Balchin and Roz Dace show how to make 20 wonderful little teddy bears using this tactile technique.” (Catalogue)

 

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

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

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

Resilient stitching: New craft books for your wellbeing

New Craft Books

via GIPHY

The weather’s getting colder and you know what that means! It’s the perfect time to get into a new cosy craft. We’ve compiled a handy list of recent additions to our collection, featuring how-to’s for a number of different delightful hobbies to do at home. Some highlights include Resilient stitch : wellbeing and connection in textile art, which considers how the art of textiles can influence the wellness of individuals and their communities, and Making a Living: How to Craft Your Business, a guide for making your love of crafting into a viable business practice. We’ve also got books for making cute crochet bags, building your own birdfeeder and making your own wardrobe from scratch.

Some of these books are on order, which means they are on their way but not currently on the shelf. Reserve them today to be one of the first to issue them, and happy crafting!

Crocheted bags : 25 quick and easy projects to make / Osmond, Emma
“Crochet your way from clutch to tote, making a variety of beautiful bags in between, with the latest title in the Weekend Makes series. Crochet has been brought bags up-to-date and now fills Instagram and Pinterest – not to mention catwalks and high-end fashion houses – with modern masterpieces. Grab your crochet hook and yarn and join the trend by creating a carrier for every outing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Eco-resin Crafts : 30 Hand-crafted Projects for the Home / Oliver, Hazel
“Resin craft is a great way to make beautiful items for your home and jewellery for yourself or others.” (Catalogue)

Rag rug techniques for beginners : 30 planet -friendly projects using rag-rugging methods from around the world / Jackson, Elspeth
“Learn ten different rag-rugging methods and use them to create 30 stylish and practical items for yourself and your home. In Rag Rug Techniques for Beginners, Elspeth Jackson details ten methods that will help you learn the art of rag rugs, and inspire your craft creativity. Each chapter focuses on a different technique, from Shaggy to Locker Hooking, Loopy to Two-String Loom, and more. Elspeth will show you the skills, tools, and equipment you’ll need for each one, as well as providing advice on choices of fabrics and design.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Resilient stitch : wellbeing and connection in textile art / Wellesley-Smith, Claire
“Following on from her textile hit Slow Stitch , author Claire Wellesley-Smith considers the importance of connection and ideas around wellbeing when using textiles for individuals and communities, including practical ideas around ‘thinking-through-making’, using ‘resonant’ materials and extending the life of pieces using traditional and non-traditional methods. Contemporary textile artists using these themes in their work feature alongside personal work from Claire and examples from community-based textile projects.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Making a Living: How to Craft Your Business / Rochester, Sophie
“Carefully crafted to support anyone looking for practical, hands-on advice and inspiring stories to motivate them to make their dream business a reality. With chapters on market research, valuing & pricing your work, branding, marketing & sales, plus accounting & legal considerations, this is a step-by-step guide to getting your idea off the ground” (Catalogue)

The Wild Craft: Mindful, Nature-Inspired Projects for You and Your Home / Seixas, Catarina
“From botanical cookies, acorn coffee and wild green pesto, to making your own calendula salve and building a bird feeder The Wild Craft is filled with seasonal nature-based projects designed to reignite your love of the natural world and connect you to the earth.” (Catalogue)

Around the Kitchen Table: Good things to cook, create and do – the whole year through / Hansen, Sophie
“Best-selling Sophie Hansen and her artist and art teacher mum Annie Herron have teamed up – with recipes to cook, preserves to make, things to sketch, crafts for the not-crafty, and more.” (Catalogue)

The act of sewing : how to make and modify clothes to wear every day / Philip, Sonya
“A complete guide to sewing simple garments-with 4 full-size patterns-and all the tricks of alterations and embellishments explained so that you can make a wardrobe all your own”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Canine Craft Weekend

Autumn is round the corner and my dog tends to feel the cold, with her greyhound like thin constitution. Having come across a gorgeous woolen tartan at a fabric sale, I decided to make her a cosy coat she could wear outdoors on crisp winter mornings, or indoors, when she needs that extra bit of warmth.

So, at the end of a crafty weekend, I went for a walk with Manu and took a few pictures of the model.

Check out our collection of dog knits books for stylish ideas to keep your pooch happy in the cool months ahead. (Click on the image to check our catalogue)

syndetics-lc      syndetics-lc     syndetics-lc