Wondering which books to take with you on holiday this summer? We’ve spotted a few new releases that are ideal for your travels, whether you’ll be relaxing in the UK or overseas!
Jean Greenhowe’s Fabulous Fun-Knits
Jean Greenhowe’s new pattern book, Fabulous Fun-Knits (£3.95, PB, jeangreenhowe.com) is a collection of irresistible summer characters. Mirabelle the Mermaid frolics with Kevin the Baby Crab, Cowboy Bill and Cowgirl Kate.
There’s even a desert island (for a castaway knitter, of course!), pebbles, shells and seaweed - ideal for knitting on the beach, especially if you don't mind a bit of sand in your yarn! A mini sports car, a duo of tortoises and a pair of ladybirds (with their own lawn) complete the set.
Knitted Finger Puppets by Susie Johns
Finger puppets are the perfect way to use up scraps of yarn and are ideal quick projects to knit on the go, whether you're travelling by car, coach, train or plane. Plus the finished products will help keep any small children in the vicinity happy (crucial in airports!), and you won't need to bring home any tacky souvenirsas gifts you can make them!
Knitted Finger Puppets (GMC Publications, £9.99, PB) is packed with gorgeous, intricately detailed puppets. From the Fairyland Fun set (including a frog, pixie, wicked witch and more) to the puppets of the High Seas (perfect holiday characters - our favourite is Captain Cutlass!) and everything in between, this is a must-have for anyone who loves some personality in their knitting.
Reader offer 25% OFF! To order a copy for £7.49 plus P&P (£2.95 first item, £1.95 extra items) go to thegmcgroup.com or call 01273 488005 and quote ‘R3667’. Offer closes 31 October 2012.
How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior
Not content with a mere two books of knitted tea cosies under her belt, Loani Prior, queen of tea pot coverings, has just released a third: How Tea Cosies Changed the World. It’s a bold claim, but one she’s happy to back up, with touching tales, such as the one about cherished 80-year-old heirloom cosies being passed down through generations.
These are tea cosies as works of art. The 24 designs are as fabulous as ever, with bright, colourful and downright wacky patterns all packed in. There are felted cosies, steeked cosies, mohair cosies, pom-pom bedecked cosies and more. And there are even a few bonus patterns, like the Egg Daisies (egg cosies), and a scarf that’s a great way to practise the double knitting technique used in some of the designs. All presented in Loani’s usual chatty style, this is a book that just can’t help but raise a smile. Perhaps one better suited to the hotel room than the beach, as the book is a work of art in itself!
Circular Knitting Workshop by Margaret Radcliffe
Circular knitting can seem like a challenge only the experienced should attempt, but this detailed masterclass by Margaret Radcliffe (published by Storey Publishing, £16.99, HB) demystifies the process. It overs everything from casting on to casting off and everything in between.
Techniques are practised on mini versions of full-scale projects (handy for dolls’ clothes!) so you can get the hang of it before committing to the real thing and risking lots of yarn. Lessons start with a basic tube and graduate to bags, hats, shawls, socks, gloves and sweaters. At the back there’s a comprehensive reference section.
Everything is described in detail and beautifully photographed, bringing the art of circular knitting within reach of all knitters.
Knitting Basics by Melody Lord
If your summer holiday is blighted by rain, why not take the opportunity to share your knitting skills with your nearest and dearest? Even experienced knitters will find something of value in this book (published by Murdoch Books, £18.99, PB) intended to guide beginners through the steps of mastering techniques and making garments and accessories. It contains a library of more than 120 stitch styles and, chances are, you won’t know them all, even if you’ve been knitting for decades.
In addition to chapters about fibre and yarn types, finishing techniques, lace and cables – which may serve as useful revision guides for advanced knitters – there are handy guides to caring for knitted fabrics, mending and making alterations.
Each chapter has a selection of patterns for practising the featured technique. Throughout, there are hints and tips which will be useful for knitters of every skill level, and beautiful photography to be enjoyed. See, there’s always a sunny side, even on a rainy summer's day!
Little Bears to Knit and Crochet by Val Pierce
If you'd like to get involved with our Refuge ‘Bears & Squares’ campaign, why not treat yourself to this cute book by Val Pierce (Search Press, £9.99, HB, weheartcraft.co.uk)? Once you’ve knitted or crocheted your bear, there are 20 outfits to knit and 20 outfits to crochet. Together they make a cute community – boys, girls and babies, dressed for the beach, the garden, a costume party and the sports field. There are Christmas bears, too. We know that any child staying in a Refuge shelter will be glad to be given a sweet bear to cuddle up to, so your summer holiday knitting could really raise a smile!
Reader offer FREE UK P&P! To order a copy for £9.99 and not pay any postage (UK only) call 01892 510850 and quote ‘Simply Knitting’.