The craziness (read: workload) from last year’s Vickie Howell for Caron Sheep(ish) launch along with writing my 7th book, sort of hi-jacked my work life for the past 9 months. In the meantime, piles of great books from other designers have graced my desk and albeit late, there are a few I’d love to introduce (re-introduce?) you to. Here goes!
Stencil 201, by Ed Roth (Chronicle Books)
I’m a huge Ed Roth fan. His stencils are graphic, cool and right on trend. I’ve used them at my baby shower, on t-shirts, on my daughter’s wall, and to make wall hangings for my sons. I loved his first two books, so I was thrilled when he asked me to be a part of his third; this one filled with great collaborations. For my part, I wrote up needle felting instructions using roving and his stencil on a repurposed, felted sweater. Ed then had a friend whip up a version of the project. Nab this book for loads of kik-arse stencils (now in plastic!), and instructions for using them with non-traditional mediums like embroider, plaster, frosting and leather! Oh, and don’t forget to read my conversation with him in Craft Corps!
Socktopus, by Alice Yu (Taunton Press)
I’m admittedly not much of a sock knitter or designer. I sort of get it, but it normally just isn’t my thing. This book however (and Alice Yu), may have me converted. Here’s why: a.) It’s name involves wordplay. You know how I loves me the puns, and although this isn’t quite one it’s still really good. b.) the designs and yarn choices are all lovely, without being too frilly– she did a great job of juxtaposing bold, modern colors with traditional stitch patterns. c.)The photography and styling are right up my alley–a little bit vintage mixed with an urban flair and saturated color. d.) the pages are filled with great, photo tutorials, yarn explanations, and easy to read charts. If you’re a sock knitter, Socktopus is a must-have book. If you’re not, well, it still is.
Knitter’s Life List: 1001 Inspirations for Every Knitter, by Gwen Steege (Storey Publishing)
The work that had to go into putting this book together, kind of makes my head explode. It’s an amazing collection of photos, articles, information and inspiration celebrating our love of knitting. In other words: a veritable, written candy store for stitchers! You’ll keep this book on your coffee table or nightstand, for those moments you want to sneak a little tidbit from its pages. Whether you’re in need of a knit tip, are interested in some history, are curious about new fibers, or want to meet a few yarn-y personalities (like yours truly on Pg. 175) in the industry, Knitter’s Life List will make any knitter’s day a bit brighter.
If you’re into beading or jewelry making, then you’ve likely heard of my friend Margot Potter. She’s whip-smart, prolific and good in bead. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Margot’s latest book explores making jewelry using “unexpected combinations” of materials along with the obligatory wire and beads. In this book you can expect to learn to work with both vintage and modern baubles, found objects, buttons, findings and gems, as well as how to put them together using a myriad of techniques. Each step of every piece Margot has created, is beautifully photographed and explained in easy-to-understand detail. Oh and hey, for the hookers among us, there’s even a crocheted wire necklace tutorial. Holla’! Get wired; get this book.
BONUS: I have two copies of Margot Potter’s book to give away. Just post a comment that includes your real name (if you use a screen name) and your favorite jewelry medium to work with, by March 8th to win! Winner’s will be posted as an update here.