Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Inspiration - Books 2011

You've probably already figured out that I am a book addict!  I love them!  I buy many books over a year's time - some are for inspiration, some for projects, some are to just take out occasionally to pour over.  Here are four I've bought this year that I highly recommend, one on my wish list, and three coming out next year that have good possibilities.

Robin Cholula's Crochet Stitches Encyclopedia is one of the best crochet books I've seen in a long time.  If you like to use different stitch patterns to alter patterns you already have or if you like to design your own crochet, you have to take a look at the book preview on Amazon.  It's already been helping me with my work on a few new crochet patterns I'm working on for 2012.  Hmmm .... just writing about it makes me want to pick it up again and resume experimenting with stitches!

I've been having a lot of fun with Lesley's Stanfield's 75 Birds, Butterflies, & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet - I haven't figured out what I want to do with all the little critters I'm collecting, but something will occur to me at some point!  So far, I've only been working on the crochet patterns.  In the past, I've taken small stabs at learning to knit, but have become too frustrated with my attempts.  That may change this coming semester as the fibers class I'll be taking includes knitting.  Hopefully I'll be able to add the knit motifs from this book to my menagerie!  This one also has a good preview on Amazon.

So far I've just been enjoying reading Susan Briscoe's Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match, but I think I'm getting close getting a plan for a quilt to begin working on.  I love the graphic simplicity of many Japanese quilts.  I'm planning on using traditional blue on mine - maybe even indigo dyed.  You'll be seeing more on this next year also.  And again, Amazon has a good preview.

I'm currently reading Elissa Auther's String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft in American Art and thoroughly enjoying it.  If you're at all interested in fiber art (good chance since you're here!), you'll want to get this.  Auther looks at the history of American textile art at the point it began moving from craft to art.  She covers several artists who were integral in this shift and just has a generally fresh take on it. 

On my wish list for this Christmas is Jill Berry's Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed Media Map Making.  I've always been fascinated with maps and have recently been thinking of how to incorporate the idea of maps in my own artwork, so when I read about this book's release in November, I immediately wanted it!  Jill has also started a blog here that complements the book.

And there are several books coming out in 2012 I feel confident will find their way onto my bookshelf!  Sandra Meech's Connecting Design to Stitch looks very interesting.  The preview says it covers the elements of design and applies them to quilt making.  Intriguing!  It has a July 2012 release date.

If you got intrigued by the interesting hats worn at last spring's royal wedding, you might want to check out Susanne Wood's Hat Shop.  It promises 25 projects "from practical to fascinating."  There's just something about hats that really are fascinating, although I really don't see me wearing anything other than a winter cap!  Look for this in May.

 And just one month away, and latest in the series, is Jessica Polka's 75 Seashells, Fish, Coral, and Colorful Marine Life to Knit and Crochet.  Oh yeah - more critters for my collection!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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