Friday, February 10, 2006

Craft Books for the Modern Gal and Guy

Yay crafters, we need no longer groan at craft books whose target audience is aging grandmas with a penchant for pastels. The last few years have seen individual crafters, designers and craft collectives publishing their own funky, innovative and inspiring designs. Knitted fried-egg earmuff, anyone?

While Kyobo bookstore in Gwanghumun and possibly the Kangnam branch stock both StitchnBitch books as well as Sublime Stitching Embroidery kits, you'll have to order the goodies below by post.

The books' titles link to the reviews that I cut and pasted below.

Super Crafty: a book by the women's craft collective PDX Super Crafty, containing over 75 amazing how-to projects, everything from shrink art and jewelry making to recycled crafting, plus "Social Craft Action," "Glitter Therapy," "Crafting Disasters," and more.

In Bazarr Bizarre: Not Your Granny's Craft Book Greg Der Ananian, founder of the bicoastal craft fair of the same name, combines a variety of how-to projects from radical crafters on his bazaar circuit. From silk painting to quilting and bookbinding, projects such as Anarchy Soap and Vinyl Record Cuffs teach basic skills of popular crafts and offer tips on how to creatively customize with thrift store purchases.

Yarn Girls Guide to Simple Knits is a crocheter's knitting book. Why? Well, mainly because we crocheters are used to patterns that work up fast, and the high-fashion patterns in the book are all made with nice bulky yarn that works up quickly. It's geared towards beginners but without the boring or shapeless patterns often offered to new knitters. Knitting basics are included with nice clear illustrations (there's even a small section on using crochet for edging). (review from The Hook and I)

Second-time Cool: The Art of Chopping Up a Sweater presents an amazing array of ideas that can be made from a wool sweater that has been washed in the hot cycle and dried until it becomes like felt.

The Art of Knitting: Inspirational Stitches, Textures, and Surfaces is a creative and inventive overview of stitches and fabrics, both hand-knitted and machine-made, presenting hundreds of sumptuous ways of working with yarn, from silk thread to Shetland wool.

This book has the cutest and quirkiest knitted toys I've seen in a while - robots, two-headed toys and rabbits. There are only limited copies remaining here for order (as of January 25, 2006).

Oddball Knitting contains 31 patterns to provide you with inspiration when it comes to using up your left-over yarn. We felt this book was most useful when discussing the "how" of oddball knitting. The sections on combining colors, determining how much yarn you have, measuring weights, and calculating lengths to finish a row are creative . We always wondered how to estimate the length of yarn remaining in a partially used ball and now we know.

Knitorama 25 original and stylish yet practical designs that have step-by-step instructions on how-to knit each project, suitable for adventurous beginners and other knitters. Entertain your friends with knitted cakes; surprise them with fried-egg earmuffs; take revenge on bad TV with a woolly hand grenade; protect your speakers by knitting covers; cook with yarn vegetables; and make a glam cardigan from squares.

Knitheaven also has a great book review section.

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