Books and Reviews at Greenberry House

Like most booksellers, reading is a large part of my life here at Greenberry House. I have a special old chair, so worn that it sags, where I love to curl up with a good book. Old favorites, exciting new writers, spiritual or challenging, fiction or fact; all pass through my hands and many are worthy of comment. I plan an occasional mention here of a recent book I've read, either to recommend or to warn!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop or Weave

by Jacqui Carey

Interweave Press, Publisher, 2007



It would never have occurred to me that someone could put together a book on trims, much less an interesting and clever book of 250+ pages filled with pictures, techniques and information about materials, including beads.  The techniques are clearly illustrated with full color photographs and each step is made to look easy and attractive.  Along with twisting, knotting, looping and weaving, other techniques covered are interloping and ply-split darning, plus there is a nice section on working with beads to enhance your creations.  A section of completed braid and trim examples is arranged by design and structure, with references back to the techniques involved.  There's even a section on how to use the completed trims and braids in your projects as decorative design elements, edging, and how to finish the braids and trims attractively.


This is an interesting and useful book that would appeal to any textile artist, with techniques that can be used with quilting, crochet, knitting, weaving and more!


Single Crochet for Beginners

by Cindy Crandall-Frazier

Krause Publications, Publisher



$22.99.  A very beginner friendly book that takes one stitch, the single crochet, and teaches how to alter the fabric made from this simple and most practical stitch.  A very interesting section on crochet hooks reveals the very different styles available, and why a reader might prefer a hook with a more pointed head, for example, as opposed to a blunt one.  Still another interesting section features the technique for working back and forth in the round to create a fabric that can match an article worked flat in the usual back and forth stitchery of crochet.  More than thirty projects are included, with step-by-step instructions, and there is a quick facts guide to color and fiber to help with future projects.


I have been crocheting for more years than I care to remember, but I found several new hints and techniques in this book, even though it is geared toward the beginning crocheter.  I also had the pleasure of meeting the author recently and admire her enthusiasm for crochet and look forward to seeing more of her and her work!


$15.95.  Sassy Debbie Stoller has done it again with a book for crocheters and wanna-be crocheters that has all the boldness and excitement of her earlier knitting projects.  The stitch instruction section is lively and well illustrated with photos and step-by-step drawings of each stitch progression, and the titles of the sections are are entertaining as they are informative.  40 patterns are included ranging from simple for beginners to advanced for the more skilled.  Designs for younger women in particular are featured and the patterns are fresh and contemporary, using interesting yarns and yarn combinations.  I especially like "Violet Beauregard", a sassy skirt, and the patterns for crocheted purses.  Several designers contributed to the patterns and there is a biography of each designer included.  The Happy Hooker is a delightful book with some personal thoughts from the author about handwork and traditions, and might even convert a few knitters!

Bags With Paper and Stitch

Innovative Surface Techniques for Embellishing Bags

by Isobel Hall

Interweave Press, Publisher, September 2007



$24.95.  Papermaking is something I know very little about.  So recent Fiber Femmes articles and this interesting book are intriguing me toward yet another fiber obsession.  When will it end?


I think a real newcomer to the art of papermaking would probably benefit from either a class or a basic book before tackling the beautiful projects in this book.  Many of the terms and materials used were totally unfamiliar to me.  There are large sections of instruction for the techniques, though, and a little background would enable anyone to produce beautiful and intricate pieces from Hall's instruction.  There is a very good section on handles and fastenings for bags, with some creative suggestions and ideas.


The book is beautifully photographed and the styles and finished objects pictured are inspirational.  While I wouldn't consider this a beginner's book by any means, I think the dedicated papermaker would find Hall's book a wonderful guide to a world of creativity. 

Crochet Me!

Crochet Me

Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution

by Kim Werker

Interweave Press, Publisher, October 2007



$21.95.  Get out your hooks, Crochet fans!  Kim Werker, editor of Interweave Crochet magazine and the founder of, has gathered together a group of hip designers and created a book of innovative and stylish designs.  The eighteen patterns range from bags to sweaters and leave granny squares and crocheted flowers far behind.


I particularly liked the looks of both the Babydoll Dress by Amy O'Neill Houck and the Leaves Sweater by Annette Petavy.  Both designs use fine yarn to accomplish a beautiful drape.  In fact, there were only two designs that I saw in the entire book that used worsted weight yarns; all the others use DK weight and finer.  One great feature, especially for a hand spinner, is the substitution section for each pattern that gives a guide to the actual size of the yarn used.  There is a section on techniques and a list of suppliers. 


One of my favorite things about this book is that each designer is profiled extensively, and most of them have blogs and web sites!   

Labels: , ,