I’m writing this in my text editor because a Russian satellite has apparently drifted from its proper orbit and it’s messing with our Internet access here in the cloudy, rainy North. Sound like a conspiracy? Maybe. But usually this time of year there’s something interfering with our communications. Sun spots. Storms. Brown outs. This time, a wayward satellite. Nothing surprises me anymore.
Two books came in the mail yesterday, and I wanted to share them with you.
The first is Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet, by Mags Kandis. Mags is co-owner and former creative director of Mission Falls yarns. Although the subtitle of says “lovely little things to knit and crochet,” the book also has small felting and sewing projects. In fact, half the projects involve some kind of felting or fulling. The designs are small—intended to be made quickly for gift giving. There are even a pair of upcycled arm warmers made from a thrifted sweater. The sleeves are felted, then trimmed and embroidered for a pretty chill-stopping gift. I love the “Weekend Socks,” They’re Norwegian sweater-inspired footwear in a light blue grey and white with bright contrasting red toes and heels.
Mags doesn’t shy away from bright colors, and her choices shine in projects like “Baby’s First Felted Feet,” tiny felted slippers with needle-felted polkadot embellishments. I was surprised to discover that there are recipes like “Ginger Syrup,” “Tomato Jam,” and Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix sprinkled throughout the book as well. If Gifted is a nice collection for the versitile crafter who loves little felting projects. I were simply a crocheter who did not knit, I would pass on this book because there are only 6 crochet projects—one is a show stopper: a lovely patchwork felted granny bag. Instead I would buy Kim Werker’s Crocheted Gifts, also from Interweave which is a beautiful collection of crochet accessories and home projects to make and give.
Perhaps this is the time of year to be releasing “gifty” books.The other craft book in my mail box today is from Potter Craft, titled, Simply Sublime Gifts: High-Style, Low-Sew Projects to Make in a Snap, by Jodi Kahn. One of the practical fun things about this book is the “Supply Closet.” A list at the beginning of the book that tells you the basics you’ll need for completing projects. Of course, there are specific materials for some projects not listed here, but it’s a great way to make sure you’ve got the essentials.
These are “low-sew” and “no-sew” projects using iron on transfers glue and other fun crafty materials to embellish things you buy at the store. The first project is a set of pretty linen towels made by using ink-jet iron on transfers and a repeating design you create with wrapping paper. There are some tricky substitutes for sewing like a little pouch made with washcloths, duct tape and staples.
Jodi loves unusual materials, like the shammies she used to make baby jammies, and the notebooks made out of cereal boxes. Some of them verge on the ridiculous, like the “fabric cans” with screen printed Campbell’s soup labels. My favorite project might just be the shopping bag upcycled from a pillow case. Not only does Simply Sublime Gifts have some fun-to-make project ideas, it also provides some creative inspiration—once you’ve learned how to transfer images from your computer onto fabric, and “sew” with duct tape and staples, you could go on to invent your own gift ideas.