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)

Ignite your creativity with these new craft books

Enjoy this month’s splendid selection of craft books and the variety of exciting projects! Get inspiration from the most recent quilt as-you-go designs and teach yourself easy techniques. Find countless tips and ideas for knitting from temporary style to classic accessories. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverLearn to crochet : 25 quick and easy crochet projects to get you started / Nicki Trench.
“Nicki Trench has taught hundreds of people how to crochet, so she knows what beginners need: clear instructions, and simple patterns on which to practise their newly-learned skills. Learn to Crochet starts with a step-by-step techniques section to teach you all the basic stitches and skills. Once you’ve learned the basics, there are 25 patterns for accessories to wear, items for the home, and bags and covers for the things you carry with you. Practice makes perfect, and with 25 patterns to choose from, you’ll soon be able to crochet with confidence.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPopcorns, bobbles & puffs to crochet : the visual guide to everything you need to know / Lindy Zubairy.
“These wonderful textured stitches show up everywhere and in many guises. You will come across them in so many patterns, old and new, and in projects from the exquisitely fine gauge to the funkiest chunky. With its carefully photographed step-by-step sequences, smart captions, and useful annotations, this book will quickly enable you to pick up the skills and get familiar with the techniques–before getting started on the projects to put it all into practice. And just to make sure you get the hang of it, the book includes links to five one-minute films that show some of the step-by-step sequences repeated.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQuilt as-you-go made vintage : 51 blocks, 9 projects, 3 joining methods / Jera Brandvig.
“Get comfortable with basic piecing and machine quilting – one block at a time! Best-selling author Jera Brandvig is back, this time with a romantic take on her quilt-as-you-go designs. Try your hand at 9 projects, including an elegant sampler with 51 mix-and-match blocks. For quilt as-you-go enthusiasts, Jera shares three optional joining methods, including her technique that makes your quilt reversible! No matter how busy your schedule, you can set attainable goals and practice quilting patchwork blocks in small, manageable pieces.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYoko Saito’s patchwork bags & accessories.
“Yoko Saito’s sewing designs for bags and accessories are distinctive for their use of creative motifs and charming details, while her modern aesthetic utilizes muted tones for a soft, relaxing feel. In her new book she offers detailed diagrams and instructions for each project to guide you through the process of creating your own one-of-a-kind patchwork pieces. 25 designs–10 eclectic bags, 5 stylish pouches, and 10 sundry items like a placemat, notebook covers, pen case, rooster pillow cover, and more Follow Yoko Saito’s color choices, or branch out into your own favorite palette Each piece is infinitely customizable!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPat Sloan’s teach me to sew triangles : 13 easy techniques plus 12 fun quilts / Pat Sloan.
“Well-known teacher, designer, and online radio host Pat Sloan 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. Find the method that’s just right for you! Find expert tips throughout, including the math to make each type of unit with ease.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cable knitter’s guide : 50 patterns, 25 projects, countless tips and ideas / Denise Samson.
“Cables are beautiful and fun to knit — but if you’ve never worked one before, it’s hard to know where to start! The Cable Knitter’s Guide is divided into two parts: The first introduces 50 elegant variations on the basic cable, accompanied by detailed photographs and instructions. Novices can follow the links provided in the book to a series of YouTube videos of the author demonstrating how to work each cable! The second section forms a collection of 25 patterns for garments, accessories, and furnishings, each using one or more of the cables introduced earlier to add a little something extra to these delightful, striking designs.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPonchos to knit : more than 40 projects and paired accessories in classic and contemporary styles / Denise Samson.
“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 favorite 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.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitted cats & dogs / Sue Stratford.
“Combining the best from Knitted Cats & Kittens and Knitted Dogs & Puppies, the patterns are here produced all together in one book. The designs are fun and quirky, easy to follow and come in a range of characters, styles, shapes and sizes to suit knitters of all tastes and abilities. Each pattern comes with a comprehensive list of the yarns, needles and embellishments you need, and there are general notes too on basic techniques, materials, equipment and making up.” (Syndetics summary)

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

Crafting with gloves and socks

My daughter was really keen to make sock puppets during the school holidays.   I’d  also found a book about sock toys at  the library and thought we could make some soft toys from socks and gloves too.

So it was off to the local opportunity shop for socks and gloves only to discover someone had been in earlier in the day and bought all the socks.  Perhaps they had the same school holiday activity in mind?  We did find two non-matching gloves, but  thought that would be OK.     Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamori is a lovely story about Billy the glove dog and Marcus the sock monkey.  They need some friends, so put lots of gloves and socks on mum’s table and hope she will make them some.  She does, and they have lots of fun together.  Mum even makes them  some clothes.

glove bunnyThe patterns are included in the back of the book, and are very easy to follow. I really liked the diagrams of the socks and gloves with cut and stitch lines drawn over each.  The patterns range from very simple (like the fish) to quite complicated (like Marcus the monkey).  We choose something made with two gloves, and something made with socks.  We think our sock bunny is very soft and cute.
Most of the sock animals need the whole sock (or two), so using socks with holes won’t work.  We found some nice stripped socks for the bird, and a coat toggle in the button jar at home for her beak.      Sock Bird and Glove Bunny are the best of friends…just like Billy and Marcus.

Other sock and glove books

Stupid sock creatures: making quirky lovable  figures by John Murphybunny and bird

Sewing: 25 projects for a crafty afternoon edited by Kathreen Ricketson

Sock Monkey boogie-woogie: a friend is made by Cece Bell (children’s picture book)

Sock Monkey rides again by Cece Bell (children’s picture book)

Recycled sewing

I try as often as I can to reuse fabrics, buttons, zips and the like when I’m sewing.  I really enjoy coming across new ideas for upcycling or repurposing, and found lots of new ideas in Sewn by Hand by Susan Wasinger.  While the book encourages hand sewing, I used my machine as often as possible.

apronMy favourite idea from the book was the business shirt apron.  Using the front of two shirts, including the button holes and buttons, the shirts are cleverly cut and resewn to make a really neat apron. I used a white striped shirt for the apron bib and a brown shirt for the bottom.  The remainder of the shirts could easily be made into the cafe napkins with built-in napkin rings, also from the book.  My daughter’s jeans are looking very cool as well, thanks to Sewn by Hand.  I’ve patched the holes in the knees with pretty cotton prints and stitched around the patches with embroidery thread.  She can’t wait for more holes to emerge so I can add a few more patches!

My next project is the pilot’s hat.  I haven’t sewn it yet, but I have sourced a couple of ribbed jerseys from the local opportunity shop.  I’ve decided against adding the contrasting trim and fabric flowers, instead keeping it as simple and plain as possible.  I’m keen to get going on that project – it looks so warm!

I’m sewing with Christmas in mind, and have a family member who loves baking cupcakes who I’m sure could use an apron.  I’m also sure a friend who experienced a lot more snow then me last week could use a new hat.  With the remainder of the jersey I’m going to try the felted slippers for another friend with cold toes…just hope they don’t read this post!

Other titles that reuse and repurpose

Eco – Craft by Susan Wasinger

The reclaimers: a complete guide to salvage by Sally Bevan

1000 ideas for creative reuse: remake, restyle, renew by Garth Johnson

The repurposed library: 33 craft projects that give old books new life by Lisa Occhipinti

Alabama studio style: more projects, recipes and stories celebrating sustainable fashion and living by Natalie Chanin

Fairy tale craft

My daughter loves fairy tales.  While Cinderella is her all time favourite,  she can happily recite almost all of the well known fairy tales.  I recently came across a couple of patterns for fairy tale characters in More Softies that give funky, modern twists to classic characters.  I was especially taken by the Princess and the Pea and knew as soon as I saw it, I had to make it.

princess in bedI used a mix of cotton fabrics and recycled blankets for the mattress covers and filled them with foam so they would stack nicely.  I used polyester fill for the top mattress and pillow  to give the pile a snug look.  My pea is quite a bit bigger then the pattern for some unknown reason, but as a result we haven’t lost it!  I finished the set by making a matching draw-string bag to keep it all together.

princess and the peaGive yourself plenty of time to make the complete set.  The book gives very clear step by step instructions and making it is not difficult. It’s just that there are a lot of pieces to it…  but well worth the time.

And my daughter loves it!  The only disappointment is that the Princess doesn’t have arms!

Red Riding Hood is another neat pattern in the same book.  Have a look at the following titles for more modern, funky soft toys.

Softies only a mother could love edited by Jess Redman and Meg Leder.

Simple softies: for the whole family by Julie Renouf.

Bobby Dazzlers make your own misfits by Julie Kamijo and Rosie Short.

One of my favourite craft books

There are so many great sewing and craft books in the library.  Occasionally   I come across one that really inspires me.  Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule is one such book.  Everytime I pick it up I find something else in it I want to make!

I’ve  already made several of Amanda’s projects, and found them to be straight forward and reasonably simple.

bookmarksOne of my favourite ideas from the book is the handmade bookmark.  Like the book suggests, I used drawings my daughter did as a pre-schooler.  I found it easier to photocopy the drawing and then turn the copy into an iron on transfer using a transfer pencil.  Much easier than drawing directly onto fabric.  That way I got to keep the drawing too.

bathmatI’ve also made the bathmat (I recycled a candlewick bedspread) and the fiber garland.  I’m keen to update our mouse pad, and think I’ll be stepping out in a sweater hat this winter.  So many great ideas!

pincushionIf you’re looking for quick, easy sewing projects as well as ideas for living, this is well worth a look.

Garden craft

I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden this summer, and I’ve had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes.  This month I’ve been thinking about how I can take my love of craft outdoors.  I started with bunting flags, inspired by Danielle Proud’s, House Proud.

bunting flagsHanging in the porch, they have livened up the entrance to our house and were very quick and easy to make.  I used bias binding rather then string and spaced my flags to fit the space where I wanted to hang them.

I’ve come across a number of other titles that have great craft ideas for the garden.  Have a look at the wire birds and butterfly I made from Jennifer Swift’s Creative Bloom: projects and inspiration with fabric and wire.

wire birds and butterflyI used soft wire and a pair of pliers to shape the birds and butterfly to the template provided .  They are now at home sitting in the tree in my front garden.

 

Other titles with craft ideas for the garden:

The craft & art of bamboo: 30 eco-friendly projects to make for home & garden by Carol Stangler.

Garden craft for kids: 50 great reasons to get your hands dirty by Diane Rhoades.

Sewing books to check out!

Some great new sewing books have arrived recently and I thought I’d share my picks with you.  Now these are for women’s clothing, just to let you know, but I’ll do a post on children’s clothes later!

First up there’s a couple of books by Built By Wendy designer Wendy Mullins.  Built by Wendy is a New York based clothing line designed by Mullins.  She’s turned her hand to writing how-to books for sewers and we hold three in this series.
Syndetics book coverBuilt by Wendy dresses : the Sew U guide to making a girl’s best frock / Wendy Mullin, with Eviana Hartman ; illustrations by Beci Orpin ; additional illustrations by Dana Vaccarelli.
I think this book is fantastic!  I can sew, but not well, and I found it easy to follow and understand.  All patterns are provided and the instructions and variations are clearly explained.  Its written in a chatty, informal way which helps too.  Mullins also makes sure that any problems you may encounter are covered, which is extremely useful.
Syndetics book coverSew U : the Built by Wendy guide to making your own wardrobe / Wendy Mullin with Eviana Hartman ; illustrations by Beci Orpin ; additional illustrations by Agnieszka Gasparka.
This is an earlier book in the series and it covers skirts, shirts and pants.  It has basic patterns for each, simple instructions and how to alter each for different sizes and other variations.  Similarly, its full of helpful tips and tricks.  The third book Built By Wendy: Coats and Jackets is on order at the moment – reserve it now!
Syndetics book coverLittle green dresses : 50 original patterns for repurposed dresses, tops, skirts, and more / Tina Sparkles ; photography by Erica Beckman.
This book is good for fans of secondhand shopping and those who want to be more eco-conscious with their fashion choices.  It covers mainly patterndrafting and how to alter secondhand purchases.  It also looks at finding good uses for vintage fabrics, buttons and other bits and pieces you may accumulate along the way.  Definitely worth a look!
In a similar vein is ReSew (also a new order – reserve here) which looks at repurposing secondhand finds.
Syndetics book coverTwinkle sews : 25 handmade fashions from the runway to your wardrobe / Wenlan Chia.
Any knitting fan will know about Wenlan Chia and her innovative designs.  Chia is also a designer, overseeing an entire Twinkle range.  What I like about this book are the great designs – these are not basics, these are clothes I’d actually like to wear!  This book’s not for beginners though, you’ll have to know what you’re doing.  But the instructions are clearly written and easy to understand.  Unfortunately, assembling the patterns can be problematic, but it’s worth persevering.

Stitched up softie

Making one of the creatures from the Softies book, proved to be a great way of using up the poly-something filling from a cushion chewed by the dog a couple of years ago (she’s much better behaved now.  Uncannily this replicates the conduct of my brother’s dog –  maybe there is something to sibling behaviour after all!).

creating softie

The last time I used my sewing machine was hemming curtains so dealing with the intricacies of this scaled down cuddly item was very different.  The trickiest thing for me was the face. I used felt and stitched on the eyes and mouth rather than using buttons or eyes as the intended recipient is small and at the chewing or rather gumming things to taste what they are.  Dredging up chain stitch from distant memories of CDT (Craft Design Technology) school days didn’t come as an entire capsule of proficiency, so I had another go.  Mary Thomas’s dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (new Edition by Jan Eaton) originally published in 1934 struck me as an authorative set of instructions.  Apparently chain stitch was the original machine stitch, so go the sewing machine connection!
smaller softies4
I changed the original design a bit by increasing the arm size as I thought the little nubbins that resulted from the first one were a little out of scale.  Esthetic is an individual thing after all, and it’s all there to play with right?  I also forgot to add the horns on the first one, (hemming curtains really is my forte) so luckily I didn’t have to cut out new ones. By the end I was pleased to be stuffing the little creature and stitching up the sides… Tah-dah!

Some other sources for soft toys in the Library:
Stitched toys : 20 stunning but simple designs
Bobby Dazzler’s make your own misfits : 35 unique and quirky sewn creatures
Needle felted figures
and one from the Children’s collection:
Beanbag buddies and other stuffed toys
Do you have any great patterns you’ve found? Or items created from sources in the library? Let us know!

Big Softie

Copy of iStock_000006226913LargeSo having become a new Aunty and being filled with benevolent Aunty type feelings I decided to create a something for the new family addition. Initially I thought mobile, as I’ve always been intrigued by those aerial seesaws and in theory the creation would be out of the grasp of the dog which can grab anything 2 metres away in the 360 degree radius. Then I thought something to grab and chew, by the niece, not the dog, might be better. The library shelves have a lot to offer on the soft toy line. I chose to look at the Softies. Apparently this isn’t a particular brand but a new wave of soft toy making that delights in original shapes using vintage fabric. Perfect, if like me, your bungles or ‘original’ stitching will look like an intentional quirk! The library holds a range of books with ‘Softies’ in the titles, I thought I’d start at the beginning: Softies : 22 friends for you to sew, knit and crochet.

Not being too proficient at crochet (I have crocheted a hat, but that only required one stitch!) I’ll be sewing mine from fabric.  Check back in to see how it all progesses, maybe 2 would be better, one for the niece and one for the dog =)

Other titles the Library holds:

Zombie felties: how to raise 16 gruesome felt creatures from the undead
Simple softies : for the whole family
Softies only a mother could love ; lovable friends for you to sew, knit or crochet
More softies : 22 new friends for you to sew and crochet.

Sock creatures aren’t too much of a leap, the library had a bit of a whirlwind romance with them last year for Leadership week when patrons and staff members created some great versions of their own.

Page 62 of Burda 3/2010 has a similar idea titled ‘exotic creatures’ (Burda).

Also visit these sites for ideas:
The Penguin Softies site (this has a free pattern so if these popular books are all out take a look online =))
Flickr Softies pool for loads of pretty pictures of people’s creations. Great for some inspiration

Blogs:
Leadership Week
absolutely small
Softie making
The Needle Blog