In today's thriving maker culture, kids are hungry for hands-on guidance in creating stylish wearables and practical objects, or hacking and customizing existing ones. Authors Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman get them started with complete instructions for mastering six favorite fiber crafts. Step-by-step photos teach kids ages 9-14 the basics of how to sew, knit, crochet, felt, embroider, and weave, plus how to make three projects for each craft. From woven patches and a knitted backpack to embroidered merit badges and a crocheted bracelet, the fresh, kid-approved projects encourage creative variations and build confidence along with valuable life skills.
- ISBN-13: 9781612127507
- ISBN-10: 1612127509
- Publisher: Storey Publishing
- Publish Date: October 2017
- Dimensions: 9.9 x 8 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Page Count: 208
- Reading Level: Ages 9-14
Lifestyles: Well threaded in winter
Since it’s January and all, I thought I’d highlight two crafts that can keep us content indoors, beneath a cozy blanket: sewing and knitting. Stitch Camp: 18 Crafty Projects for Kids & Tweens presents the full gamut of fiber-based crafts to a young audience—at least that’s the intention—but I’d argue it’s an equally welcoming guide for any novice with needles. Do I want to take my first tentative stitches in creating a colorful beanbag that’s also a hand warmer? I do, indeed. All the better that my 9-year-old can learn alongside me. Other cute projects abound: felt envelopes, arm warmers, phone cozies and woven necklaces. Authors Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman point out the “solo or social” quality of fiber crafts, adding that while they’ve done their best to provide easy-to-follow instructions, “there is still no substitute for learning these skills from a real, live human.” With that in mind, a “fiber-fun” afternoon with my kiddo and her grandmother sounds like a date I need to put on the calendar.
THE PERFECT STITCH
Another new title to celebrate the art of needle and thread is Natalie Chanin’s The Geometry of Hand-Sewing: A Romance in Stitches and Embroidery from Alabama Chanin and the School of Making. Chanin is the creative force behind Alabama Chanin, her lifestyle company known for its commitment to sustainability and breathtakingly embroidered garments. Here, she passes her expertise onto readers, anchoring stitchery lessons in the useful tool of two plastic stitching cards, included in the back of the book. Not unlike old-school cardboard guides created to introduce children to sewing, these cards are based on a geometric grid system and can be used to practice stitches or to stencil patterns onto fabric. The stitches detailed here can be combined in any number of dazzling ways, but even Chanin’s simplest stitch could do wonders to a basic cotton T-shirt or scarf.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
Confession: I’m a hard sell on any book that purports to teach me how to cultivate joy and kindness, unplug or develop an attitude of gratitude. Excellent objectives, all! I’m just a reluctant student. Bear this in mind when I say that A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness, based on Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst’s award-winning Dutch magazine Flow, wooed me with its smart design and abundance of what the editors call “goodies” that make it a paper product-lover’s interactive feast. This is way more than just a book: It’s loaded with pullouts like stickers, posters, small blank books, postcards and more. Each piece offers a simple way to live more mindfully and in the now. The layout and illustration styles change with each new article, giving the compendium a magazine-like feel. You can open it up anywhere and dive in—just do so slowly, as its creators encourage. Savor, reflect and breathe in that glorious smell of paper and glue!