Festive Gift Guide Part 4: Newly released craft books

Being both a bibliophile and a crafter, I love hearing about the craft book releases each Autumn and get to review* many of them. Here are a few I think are worth checking out as gifts for your family and friends. Beneath my opinion of each, I've included who I think would like them. All are widely available and I've also included Amazon (affiliate) links.

1. WALL ART, by Clare Youngs

Clare Youngs is a crafter with a history in graphic design, product design and illustration / book design and these are all evident in the range of interesting and varied projects contained in this 140+ page book. You could just follow the step by step instructions to product some lovely pieces, but using the techniques shown, the author encourages experimentation and adding your own personality - she  says "Be bold. Be brave. Unleash the artist in you and go create some amazing walls!

Projects include weaving, fabrics, appliqué,paint, macramé, paper, washi tape, magnets - you name it!  The blurb says: 
"Treat your home as your canvas and adorn your walls with hangings, paintings, stencils, paper crafts, tapestries, plants and more. Make a geometric work of art using silber adn copper leaf and turn your vintage ephemera into a gallery wall in your living room, using simple handmade box frames.... Update your interiors with these innovative, contemporary projects, some of which can be created in an afternoon... All you need to do is find a bare wall and get started."
WHO WILL LIKE IT? - Me! I like this book a lot. I think it would appeal to a wide range of people, including anyone who is interested in interior design, who is decorating on a budget, or is interested in trying out some different craft techniques. 'Wall Art' is widely available in shops and online, including Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


2. SEW SCANDINAVIAN, by Kajsa Kinsella

Kajsa Kinsella's book includes four different sections (Home, Accessories, Nursery and Celebrations) which all combine Scandinavian simplicity and elegance. The collection includes various projects inspired by the author's childhood as one of a 'creative family of six'. The projects are designed to be easy to follow and indeed there are several which my daughter is hoping to make, and could probably manage quite well. 

While a few of the household projects are a little twee for my personal taste, the nursery section is a total joy with cute slippers, a felt memory game, matchbox pets, a cute bag, and a fabric 'tic tac toe' which would make a lovely gift. 

WHO WILL LIKE IT? - This book is a great source of gift ideas, for crafting with (reasonably competent) children, and for anyone who loves the Nordic aesthetic and to sew. It is available in all the usual stores, including Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

3. MODERN GRANNY SQUARE CROCHET and More, by Laura Strutt

Laura Strutt's name is not new to this blog as I reviewed another of her books previously. This latest offering is a crochet collection of "35 stylish patterns with a fresh approach to traditional stitches". As you'd guess from the title, there are a whole lot of granny squares, circles and triangles in this book! Many are on a large scale, and most are in vibrant colours.

Patterns are clearly laid out with stylish photography which also makes it easy to see exactly what you'll be getting. There are no charts, but as the patterns are straightforward I'm sure that's little more than an inconvenience to people like me, who find it much easier to work from a visual chart than a written crochet pattern.

WHO WILL LIKE IT? - I think this is a good collection of patterns for a novice crocheter. The author talks about going 'back to basics' and that's exactly what she does with these simple but attractive designs - there's nothing innovative here, but the does exactly what it sets out to do, and does it well. Order a copy from your local bookseller, or from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com.


4. BIG NEEDLE KNITS, by Melanie Porter

Melanie Porter is a graduate of Central Saint Martin's College and worked as a knitwear designer for a decade, before turning her hand to designing prestigious furniture and hand-knit panels. In this book, Melanie presents a collection of patterns which use 10 mm to 25mm needles which use a variety of large yarns.

There are all sorts of projects including homewares, garments and accessories. Some of them I absolutely love (mainly the homewares) and others not so much (some of the clothing is 'interesting'), but this kind of enormous knitting is proving popular with people who are younger and more fashionable than me, and I think the book will be popular as a result.

WHO WILL LIKE IT? Those who'd like to knit big things for their home, but don't know much about knitting and need to learn from scratch (there's a good chapter on techniques and materials), fans of Wool and The Gang, experimental knitters, and trendy young people who can get away with unconventional clothing. Get it for them from good booksellers, including Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Next week I have a gift guide post which includes 'stocking filler' ideas. (I may have added all of them to my own wishlist!!)
*I was provided with review copies of all these books (and more) courtesy of the publisher(s). All opinions are entirely my own. 

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