Knitters who want to put their knitting in an international mode should reach for “60 More Quick Knits,” which features 20 hats, 20 scarves and 20 mittens knit with Cascade 220 Sport yarn. Look for accessories in Baltic, Norwegian and Fair Isle moods. The book also contains designs featuring cables, bobbles, lace and whimsey, such as the Puppy Hat (for a person, not a dog) and the Birdcage Beanie. For the most part, the projects are geared toward intermediate and experienced knitters. The cost of the book is $17.95. For information visit sixthandspringbooks.com.
If felting is on your list of new skills to learn this year, or you want to take it a few steps beyond what you already know, look no further than “Knitting Never Felt Better” by Nicky Epstein, also author of the “Knitting (and crocheting) On the Edge” books. In this book, Epstein calls in the “gods of the washing machine,” using hot water and agitation, to shrink handknits to transform them into “felted’ pieces. Throughout the book, Epstein scatters tips that knitters in pursuit of felting will find useful. The book offers the how-tos of dimensional felting, working with various stitch patterns such as cables, lace and florals. Projects in the book include hats, bags, shawls, scarves, containers and other items. There’s also how-tos of felting thrift shop wool sweater finds that can turn cut and sewn fabric into slippers, bags, toy animals and hats. The cost of the book is $29.95. For information visit sixthandspringbooks.com.
Quilters yearning to create an alternate path to fabric bliss will be intrigued by “Quilting Modern” by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen. Their book is a classroom that will teach quilters improvisation techniques, such as free piecing, improvisational Log Cabin, slice and insert, stitch and flip triangle, strip piecing, modern crazy piecing and improvisational curves. The book offers 17 quilt projects and and four busting projects — pillows, placemats and a tablerunner. The aim of the book is to enable quiltmakers to break free of tradition to make contemporary, artful projects. The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs of finished pieces and schematics for cutting and piecing. Three designs that caught my eye were the Sea Glass Quilt, the Add It Up Quilt and the Going Crazy Quilt. The cost of the book is $26.95. For information visit interweave.com.
“Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry” by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Seigal lets beaders tap into 50 do-it-yourself designs that use cords, ribbons, leather and other trims to complement each piece. The designs use traditional jewelry making techniques such as knotting, stringing, and wire wrapping. The book authors say the designs are inspired by nature using wood, stone or clay and feature bright colors. In addition to beads, some of the designs call for buttons.
All of the designs are fashion-forward, but two that caught my attention were “Afternoon Tea,” a lariat necklace of russet ribbon embellished with blue and white beads; and the “Queen Anne’s Lace” necklace that uses vintage lace as the starting point for adding silver chain links and a ceramic floral pendant.
This book will appeal to both those who want to create the designs right down to the last bead and those who want improvise.
The cost of the book is $22.95. For information, interweave.com.
When it’s too hot to knit during the summer months but the yen to craft is still upon you, reach for “Paper Made!” by Kayte Terry. Readers will find 101 projects to make out of ordinary paper. The skills required to do the projects are, for the most part, basic — cutting, gluing, folding, crumpling and hand stitching, plus a few jewelry-making skills, such as bending and cutting wire. Instructions are clear and often limited to one page. The book is well-illustrated and templates for various projects are available to download at workman.com/papermade.
Materials for making the projects include candy wrappers, magazines, wallpaper, old maps, newspapers and cardboard — stuff that flows through everyday life in abundance. With it you can make stuff for the home, items to wear, blank books, gift wrap and stuff for parties.
Projects that I will want to try include Bird on a Wire Mobile which incorporates a twisty twig one might find on the beach as driftwood, a handbag made from the hardbound covers of a book, the I Want Candy Bracelet fashioned from candy wrappers, the Bonne Chance Pop-up Card featuring a Paris scene, the Out to Sea card featuring fish and a boat, a desk organizer made of four empty toilet paper rolls and the Amazing 10-Minute Notebook.
The book also contains instructions for making paper lampshades out of playing cards and torn paper scraps.
Many of the projects in the book would make unique and useful gifts, such as the paper bead jewelry necklaces, picture frames and paper collaged side table.
As usual, with most craft and needlework books being produced these days, the typeface is very small, so plan on wearing magnifying glasses to read it.
The cost of the book is $16.95. For information visit workman.com.
Jodi Clayton, owner of One Lupine Fiber in Bangor, will be featured as artist of the year at the 17th annual Arts in the Park July 7-8 at Heritage Park in Belfast. For information visit artsintheparkbelfast.org.