Crafts: Books provoke crafters to get creative

Learn how to make jewelry, embellish clothes, crochet handbags and knit clothing.
By Traci Smith, Associate Editor
February 2009

Create a customized wardrobe.
Courtesy of Krause Publications

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Instead of spending a cold winter day moping around the house with nothing to do, get creative. Make something fun and stylish – a knitted sweater, a crocheted handbag, a skirt or a pair of earrings.

Krause Publications, based in Iola, Wis., has published several craft books, including Wire Jewelry Workshop, which explores the different techniques for working with wire and beads; Altered Style, which focuses on how to sew and embellish wearable fashions; Carry Alongs, which features crochet handbags and purses for every occasion; and Knitting: The Complete Guide, which offers knitting basics and stitch patterns, as well as several simple projects.

Jewelry made simple

You’ve always thought it would be fun to make your own jewelry, but maybe you thought it would be too difficult. Well, it’s not.

Susan Ray’s Wire Jewelry Workshop book will teach you all you need to know about creating your own jewelry, from basic wire cutting and looping techniques to wire manipulation and coiling.

The book includes 20 projects for earrings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, cuffs and rings. Each project includes step-by-step instructions with photos, as well as valuable tips to help you easily produce beautiful jewelry you’ll be proud to wear.

Sewing and such

Have you ever looked in your closet and thought, “I have nothing to wear”?

With Altered Style, by Stephanie Kimura, you can fix that. This book makes it easy to turn your old wardrobe from drab to fab.

The book features basic sewing, folding, bonding and drawing techniques. It also offers ideas for embellishing with buttons, crystals, beads and more.

There are more than 30 projects, ranging from purses, blouses and skirts to tees and jackets, each with step-by-step instructions and color photos.

Creating crochet masterpieces

You can never have too many purses and handbags. However, they can be expensive to purchase. Now you don’t have to purchase them; you can make your own.

Carry Alongs, by Carrie A. Sullivan, shows you how to make 15 beautiful bags using fashion-savvy yarns.

The projects range from contemporary purses, carryalls and casual drawstrings to shoulder and evening bags. The book features instructions, diagrams and photos of each project, as well as lining instructions.

Knitting nifty items

Knitting is not only fun, it’s also a practical venture. Need a hat or a scarf, or maybe a sweater to go with that skirt you love? Make it.

With Jane Davis’ Knitting: The Complete Guide, both beginner and experienced knitters will learn something.

The book features sections on yarns, tools, terms, tips and stitching techniques. Also included in the book are 15 projects for items such as shawls, scarves, hats, sweaters, gloves and socks.

Ordering information:

All of these books are available online at, or by calling 1 (800) 258-0929.

Krause Publications also features books on art, cooking, cross-stitch, embroidery, beading, candle making, home décor, pottery and ceramics, gardening, genealogy, pets, photography, scrapbooking and woodworking, to name a few subjects. For books on more topics, visit the Web site.

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