Fresh as the first crocus, here are the books that are filling my spring with the joy of making and learning. Brew a pot of your favorite tea and browse on, friends!
What Lopi yarn is to Iceland Rauma Garn is to Norway. Bente Presterud took on the dauting task of selecting and reimagining nearly a century’s worth of patterns for this book. The results are things you might expect like classic Norwegian-style colorwork, and surprising things too, like dresses and a lot of textured patterns all presented in updated silhouettes and colors.
Modern Japanese Crochet: Classic Stitches Made Easy by Nihon Vogue
Perfect for spring and summer carry-along projects, this book is full of quick and cute crochet accessories. The patterns are easy to follow and delightfully cute. The stitches, if you are newish or need a reminder, are presented in progressive photos which makes them a snap to work.
The Nordic Knitting Primer: A Step-by-Step Guide to Scandinavian Colorwork by Kristin Drysdale
New to or intimated by colorwork? This book will walk you through Scandinavian-style colorwork from your first two-handed, two-color project to a complex multi-color sweater. The encouraging, unintimidating approach along with detailed and copious step-by-step photography makes this book a gem.
Stripes by Vera Välimäki
In Stripes, Vera Välimäki helms a group of designers who remind us that this humble motif can be whimsical or classic, but always in style. The designs span the simple, but chic, striped scarf to adventurous sweaters that combines color, lace and texture.
Knit Fold Pleat Repeat: Simple Knits Gorgeous Garments by Norah Gaughan
36 patterns start with a basic simple knitted shape—a rectangle, triangle, or square—transformed into swooping, swirling, ruched, and puffed magnificence and proving once again that Norah Gaughan is one of the most unique knitting designers working today. If you need to be reminded (or introduced) to how creative knitting can be, spend some time with this book.
Icelandic Mittens: 25 Traditional Patterns Reimagined by Guðrún Hannele Henttinen
Interested in Icelandic knitting, but not ready to tackle a sweater? These Icelandic mittens use traditional motifs on a smaller canvas, like a tasting menu of Icelandic knitting. All of the mittens in this book are updated in color and yarns from historic mittens that are in the Textile Museum of Iceland in Blönduós.
Shedding the Shackles: Women’s Empowerment Through Craft by Lynne Stein
Artist Lynne Stein introduces us to women deeply involved in textile crafting around the world. The first third of the book explores women who are preserving traditional crafts, and the rest of the book is devoted to women’s craft collectives and initiatives that are their means to economic empowerment. I was enthralled by the inspiring stories and vast talent from the very first page.
When my creativity starts to wane, I turn to this book with its short, pithy calls to action.
I’ve used it to unstick myself in everything from my textile work to rearranging our house. This book will remind you how wildly creative you are.
All that She Carried is a seamless melding of the history of a single artifact and a meditation on the matrilineal history of slavery. If you read one textile history book this year let it be this beautiful book.
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