Crafts & DIY Reviews | October 15, 2012

starred review star Eckman, Edie. Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs: Creative Techniques for Joining Motifs of All Shapes. Storey. Oct. 2012. c.256p. illus. index. ISBN 9781603429733. $19.95. CRAFTS

Eckman’s ( Around the Corner Crochet Borders ) specialty is crochet motifs—she has a knack for turning simple stitches with colorful yarn into something fresh and contemporary. Here, she introduces a new batch of crocheted motifs as well as a variety of creative methods for joining the motifs together. Full-color photographs of each motif are included, as are written and charted directions. As a bonus, there are 12 patterns that use the motifs and connection techniques covered in the book. This isn’t for beginners—readers need to know how to crochet to get the most out of it—but Eckman may inspire some noncrocheters to learn, just so they can experiment with the techniques she describes. ­ VERDICT Eckman’s eye for color and design make this an excellent addition to any crafter’s crochet collection.

Osborn, Kate Gagnon & Courtney Kelley. November Knits: Inspired Designs for Changing Seasons. Interweave. Oct. 2012. c.159p. illus. ISBN 9781596684393. pap. $24.95. CRAFTS

Osborn and Kelley’s (cofounders, Kelbourne Woolens; Vintage Modern Knits ) newest collection is inspired by late autumn—when the weather is starting to cool, but people aren’t sick of winter quite yet. This time out, Osborn and Kelley invited a number of other popular and up-and-coming designers, such as Gudrun Johnston and Veera Välimäki, to contribute to the collection. True to both the season and the authors’ aesthetic, the garments and accessories featured in the book are classic and cozy, yet flattering. The designs are best suited to knitters comfortable with cables, lace, colorwork, and shaping knits to fit, although basic information on each technique is provided. VERDICT Knitters who enjoyed Osborn and Kelley’s previous collection will be interested in their latest book—as will fans of the other featured designers.

Gidez, Mabeline. I Can Right Angle Weave: From Basic Stitch to Advanced Techniques, a Comprehensive Workbook for Beaders. Lark Crafts: Lark Books. (I Can). Nov. 2012. c.128p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454703662. pap. $24.95. CRAFTS

In the first installment of Lark’s new jewelry-making series, Gidez, a jewelry designer and instructor, considers the right-angle weave (RAW). Starting with flat RAW, in which beads are woven into square units, Gidez explores the use of this versatile stitch in jewelry design, including sections on increasing and decreasing, embellishing basic RAW units, and tubular RAW. Each project includes clear step-by-step directions, and most steps are accompanied by a diagram with the thread path clearly marked. The projects are small enough to be completed quickly yet substantial enough to give beaders new to RAW the opportunity to practice the skills the project is designed to reinforce. ­ VERDICT Novice and intermediate crafters will appreciate Gidez’s straightforward approach to RAW and the attractive variety of projects in which to practice their jewelry-making skills.

The following titles are reviewed in the October 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Bleiweiss, Sue. The Sketchbook Challenge: Techniques, Prompts, and Inspiration for Achieving Your Creative Goals. Potter Craft: Crown Pub. Group. 2012. c.144p. illus. index. ISBN 9780307796554. pap. $21.99. ART INSTRUCTION


Tedman, Nicola & Sarah Skeate. Steampunk Accessories: 20 Projects To Help you Nail the Style, from Goggles to Mobile Phone Cases, Gauntlets and Jewelry. Barron’s. 2012. 128p. illus. index. ISBN 9781438000947. pap. $18.99. CRAFTS

do it yourself

Walker, Lester. Designing a House: An Illustrated Guide To Planning Your Own Home. Overlook, dist. by Penguin. 2012. 144p. illus. ISBN 9781590201398. $27.95. DIY

Hess, Anna. The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency. Skyhorse, dist. by Norton. Nov. 2012. c.368p. illus. index. ISBN 9781616088828. pap. $17.95. DIY

fiber crafts

McCarthy, Mary. Dressmaking 200 Q&A: Questions Answered on Everything from Stitching Seams to Setting in Sleeves. Barron’s. 2012. c.224p. illus. index. ISBN 9780764165443. $18.99. FIBER CRAFTS

Sulcoski, Carol J. Sock Yarn Studio: Hats, Garments, and Other Projects Designed for Sock Yarn. Lark Crafts: Lark Books. Oct. 2012. c.144p. illus. ISBN 9781454702856. pap. $19.95. FIBER CRAFTS

interior design

Fishbein, Dena (text) & Johan Ellis (photog.). The Painted Home by Dena: Patterns, Textures, and Colors for Inspired Living with 20 Projects and an Original Stencil. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 2012. c.208p. photogs. ISBN 9781584799627. $25. INTERIOR DESIGN