It’s summertime, and the living has shifted to camps and cottages. Lots of outdoors activities figure into these days of ease. But what happens when it rains and the children are bored with their usual pursuits? Reaching for a copy of “Puppet Play” by Diana Schoenbrun is a good place to begin. Her book gives instructions for 20 puppet projects using recycled mittens, towels, socks and other stuff around the camp, cottage or house. Patterns are included. Turn a green bandanna into a frog, create an elephant out of mismatched leg warmers, a raccoon from a mitten and some felt — or best of all, in my opinion, a robot constructed from aluminum cans, old keys, springs, a thimble and refrigerator light bulbs.
The book provides a great way for a family to have fun together making puppets, putting on a show or holding a puppet-making party.
While the craft supplies are handy, have a look at “Vintage Craft Workshop” by Cathy Callahan. Think macrame, applique, decoupage, crochet and embroidery. In her book Callahan focuses on a fresh look at projects culled from craft books and magazines of the 1960s and 1970s. Each project features a photo of what the project looked like when it was featured in a book or magazine 40 or so years ago and a photo of Callahan’s interpretation for the 21st century.
In the book, readers will find background information about people, usually women, who were innovators in the craft movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
Each project in the book is interpreted by a different artisan, including the author.
The one drawback of the book, for me, is the small size of the typeface which required me to don magnifier glasses to read it easily.
If your idea of a quiet evening at camp is to curl up and plot knitting strategy for the fall, “Sock Knitting Master Class” by Ann Budd will keep you happily occupied. Socks in this book sport cable, colorwork, lace and entrelac techniques. Knitters seeking a challenge will find instructions for making socks knit from the toe up. Some of the sock designers contributing designs to the books will be familiar to readers, including Ann Budd, Nancy Bush, Eunny Jang and Anna Zilboorg.
The book comes with DVD featuring techniques and patterns. And I have to say, this book, too, employs tiny type size which, in my opinion, impinges on its user-friendly aspects.
“Knit Noro” features designs that use Noro yarns produced in Japan and distributed throughout the world. The Noro Yarn Co. was not damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in March or affected by radiation leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
This book offers readers 30 designs, including cardigans, pullovers, vests, afghans, hats, gloves, socks, shawls and other accessories. In spite of the tiny type size, I found myself drawn to instructions for the Sideways Strips Vest, the Block Cardigan, the Trinity Stitch Sweater and the Patchwork Afghan.
To learn more about these books, inquire at your local bookstore or library or look for them online.
On behalf of Washington-Hancock counties Project Linus coordinator Dianne Finnegan, St. Croix International Quilters president Bonnie Hunter recently delivered 25 quilts to Greenland Point Center in Princeton. The quilts were made at a recent workshop in Calais that Finnegan coordinated. Greenland Point Center Executive Director Jon Speed accepted the quilts.
Project Linus is composed of hundreds of local chapters and thousands of volunteers across the United States. Each volunteer and local chapter work together to help achieve the mission, which is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need, through the gift of new, handmade quilts, blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteers.
Greenland Point is a conservation camp that promotes healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship by providing all children and adults, including those with disabilities, with a natural setting and programs that teach outdoor skills, leadership, ethics and alternatives to substance abuse. They realize this mission with a special appreciation and understanding of the Maine ecological heritage and an acknowledgement of the responsibility everyone has to continue this legacy.
For more information about Project Linus, call Finnegan at 497-5947; St. Croix Quilters, Hunter at 726-5117; or Greenland Point, Jon Speed at 796-5186.
Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153, or email email@example.com.