I have some books on my book shelf that I love to turn to for inspiration when I want to cook or knit for my family or when I am in a gardening mood. These books serve a dual purpose. First I get a lot of pleasure from browsing through the books; occasionally I snatch some time to myself, and then I enjoy settling down with a cup of special coffee, some chocolate and one of my special books. Then I also find that having good books on my book shelf and so always available to me means that I do use them when I need a good recipe, a special pattern or some gardening help .
This is a list of those special books on my shelf. And the best thing is that you can build up your own library with the best books at the best prices and FREE delivery, no matter where you are in the world!
KNITTING AND CRAFTS
Knitting is making a comeback in popularity and is the new cool craft. I like to knit on long car journeys, while watching television or chatting with friends, or listening to an audio book. I go for reasonably simple patterns; ones that I can pick up and knit at any time, rather than ones that need my full attention.
Simple STYLE by Ann Budd. I really like the flavour and style of this book of 19 beautiful designs. The book has lots of design tips, technique tips and guidance on all the detail of choosing a pattern, acquiring supplies, preparing to knit and then assembling what you have made. Everything is appealing and simple without being too basic or too complicated. And the patterns are very appealing too. It’s definitely worth place on your bookshelf.
Learn to Knit: Clear Stitch Diagrams and Instructions – 20 Simple Projects to Make (Paperback) By Sue Whiting A great book for those who are just starting out on this adventure of knitting.
Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. This book has 50 unique, innovative projects and ideas for the beginning and intermediate-level knitter, many of which can be made in a weekend or less. Every project is presented with full-colour photographs and with clear instructions. I love the beautiful accompanying photos in this book, they are relaxed, gentle, peaceful and yet very modern. I like the quotes in the book too, from people like Rose Wilder Lane, Virginia Woolf, Pablo Picasso and Saint Francis of Assisi. There are also recipes for treats such as hot cocoa and butter cookies and tips about fun and stress-reducing activities like hand massages, taking a bath and hosting a knitting film festival. If you are a knitter or a knitter-wannabe, then treat yourself to Weekend Knitting for your home library.
Have you met the Yarn Girls? I love their books; they are cool, chatty, helpful, and inspirational…
The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Simple Knits (Hardback) By Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs. This is a fabulous starter book, I love the drawings and detailed descriptions of how to knit, cast on, cast off, purl…
The Yarn Girls Guide to Baby Knits: Patterns for Babies and Toddlers (Hardback) By Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs. This is one of my favourites.
The Yarn Girls’ Knits for Older Kids: Quick-to-knit Patterns for Four- to Ten-year-olds (Hardback) By Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs.
The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Beyond the Basics (Hardback) By Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs.
Debbie Bliss has very beautiful, modern patterns, her books have wonderful photographs and easy-to-follow instructions. Her books are a wonderful place to start your adventure in knitting. Her patterns are always knitted flat and sewn together, and they are big on texture.
Tips for Knitters by Debbie Bliss. A great book to help you start off in knitting and to have as a reference on your shelf.
Debbie Bliss Baby and Toddler Knits: 20 Gorgeous baby knitting patterns for jackets, sweaters, hats, bootees and more.
Special Family Knits by Debbie Bliss. Great patterns for your little ones.
Books for knitters who want to branch out and make things that fit really well without being a slave to patterns.
Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman. If you wish you had a grandma who could teach you knitting in more detail and tell you all her secrets, then wish no more! Here she is, and her book is very popular, and full of sage advice on knitting. I think I would call her a knitter’s knitter. Some people love her books and a very few don’t like them. I like the chatty style and explanations. If you are brand new to knitting you might find it a bit off-putting, but if you have been a knitting pattern slave for a while, you are probably ready for this one. Elizabeth’s patterns are usually knitted on circular needles from the top down.
The Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Projects for each month of the year
Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel. I do like this book! The patterns are mainly raglan sleeve women’s tops in a great variety of beautiful styles. But the interesting thing about this book is that the patterns are knitted from the top down. There are lots of advantages to knitting a garment this way, including being able to try the garment on while it is still being knitted, so you can check the length, ensure a good body fit and alter things as you go.
“The Garden at Highgrove“. I have read this book from cover to cover, more than once, and I am very glad to have it in my home library. This large estate in Gloucestershire was converted to oganic gardening in the late seventies. It is now flourishing, beautiful and successful in every way. The story is totally inspirational and captivating and it was the inspiration to Philip and me to make our own raised bed organic veggie gardens and mini orchard in our comparitively tiny quarter-acre in ‘paradise’.
HOUSEHOLD AND CRAFTS
Old-Time Farm and Garden Devices: And How to Make Them By Rolfe Cobleigh. Simply written, abundantly illustrated text provides handy tips for building everything from a cheese press, hog house, and even a bicycle-powered washing machine to advice on the proper way to split wood, sharpen scissors, and paper a room. 200 black-and-white illustrations.
Check back here regularly, because I will be adding more books as time allows.