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Here comes summer, and do I have a pile of books for you! 

For me summer is the season to wrap up those WIPs (Daytripper Cardigan FTW), try new things while sitting outside contemplating the garden or hanging with friends (Again! Finally!), and start my winter gift knitting. So from my hammock to yours …

You Will Leave a Trail of Stars: Words of Inspiration for Blazing Your Own Path by Lisa Congdon

If the past year (and then some) has you feeling a little lost creatively, pick up Lisa Congdon’s new book. It was exactly the pointed, yet loving, kick in the pants I needed to get back to making for my own joy.

Evolution: 13 Wearable Hand Knits Inspired by the Vintage Shetland Project by Susan Crawford 

Who remembers the Vintage Shetland Project? Susan Crawford took eight years to recreate Shetland knitwear held in the Shetland Museum archives.

In Evolution Susan employs the patterns, motifs and shapes she knows so well and makes them thoroughly modern. She uses some traditional construction, a color chart, or a portion of a motif, and takes them for a spin layering them on swingy a-line shapes, comely accessories, and swirling shawls.

60 Quick Knit Blanket Squares: Mix & Match for Custom Designs Using 220 Superwash Merino from Cascade Yarns by Sixth&Spring Books

You know it’s going to get cold again. Why not knit 12″ squares all summer to be joined into a blankie when the weather turns? Haul out all of those single, same-gauge skeins you bought this past year and get to knitting. Hammock and cocktail optional.

Move the Needle: Yarns from an Unlikely Entrepreneur by Shelley Brander

The real superstar of Knit Stars is Shelley Brander. This woman is equal parts creative impresario and savvy entrepreneur. You know why she does it, but this book tells you how (sweat and support).

Texture: 20 Timeless Garments Exploring Knit, Yarn, and Stitch by Erika Knight

In Texture, Erika Knight combines her deep-down punk aesthetic with couture and sustainable fashion. The designs are so deeply textured, just looking at some of them is like taking your eyes on a roller coaster ride. There are interesting texture combinations, dropped stitches and asymmetry galore—throw your hands up and shout “Woooooo!” as you proceed.

Natural Palettes: Inspiration from Plant-Based Color by Sasha Duerr

While you are hanging out in the yard, you may as well do some natural dyeing. This book has 25 distinct palettes. Each palette is made up of 5-6 different materials like black bean water, mandarin orange skins, and pomegranates. Each material is used to dye silk with three different mordants. The result is a natural dye color-chip bible.

Maker Camp: Heritage Crafts and Skill-Building Projects for Kids by Delanie Holton-Fessler

Got crafty kids? Get Maker Camp. This book is written for the adult that is going to help make projects fun and meaningful for the kids in their life. It’s written with practicality and wisdom. Delanie shows you how to approach planning and executing projects and how to create a great and inspiring (and practical) maker space. 

The Resilient Stitch: Well-Being and Connection in Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith

The Resilient Stitch is not a how-to stitch book. It’s a book that shows you  how to elevate an act you may do as a daily creative practice into textile and stitching projects that can help our mental health, our community, and our planet.

The Art of Tapestry Weaving: A Complete Guide to Mastering the Techniques for Making Images with Yarn by Rebecca Mezoff

If you are interested in tapestry weaving, the kind like The Unicorn Rests in a Garden, you want Rebecca Mezoff to teach you. She teaches with passion and precision.

Just getting started? This is the only book you need. Want to move from beginner to intermediate weaver, coincidentally this is also the only book you need. If you even have the mildest itch to weave tapestry, buy this book, you won’t be disappointed. 

Punch Needle Rug Hooking: Your Complete Resource to Learn to Love the Craft by Amy Oxford 

You would be correct in thinking that the inventor of the indispensible and ubiquitous Oxford punch needle would write a sensible, straightforward, and indispensible book on the craft. This book feels like the best kind of soup-to-nuts workshop. 

MDK makes a commission from books purchased through the links in this article. 

Save it for later! Here’s how to tuck Jillian’s recommendations away for reference with one click.

About The Author

Jillian Moreno spins, knits and weaves just so she can touch all of the fibers. She wrote the book Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want so she could use all of the fiber words. Keep up with her exploits at


  • A great collection! I have Evolution and it is a beautiful book. The only one I would add is The Act of Sewing from right here on MDK, I just got my copy and it is totally inspiring!

  • Each and everyone of those is an excellent recommendation. I love the variety!

  • Erika Knight + MDK=Field Guide

  • This is a wonderful variety of book suggestions, something(s) for Everyone! I am really looking forward to seeing The Resilient Stitch, and to add it to the several titles that I already have. Maker Camp wasn’t even on my radar! Thank you Jillian!

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