Chan, Doris. Crochet Lace Innovations. New York, NY: Potter Craft, 2010.
Doris Chan’s eye-catching designs are accomplished using breathtakingly beautiful stitches in broomstick lace, hairpin lace, tunisian crochet, and exploded lace. These techniques were foreign to me before I found this book. Her jackets, skirts, dresses, capes, and scarves are all so beautiful, I want to make every one.
Haden, Christen and Sala, Mariarosa. Yummi ‘Gurumi. East Sussex, UK: Ivy Press, 2010.
With instructions on how to crochet everything from a veggie platter to sandwiches to cake, this book got me seriously interested in crochet food. In fact, I used this book to create the cake for the fattimals’ 2013 New Year’s Eve party.
Hubert, Margaret. The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet. Minneapolis, MN: Creative Publishing International, 2010.
With detailed photographs and instructions for over two hundred stitches, this is the book I go to when I first start to map out my own designs. It’s been a great source of inspiration as well as instruction.
Rimoli, Ana Paula. Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet. Woodinville, WA: Martingale & Company, 2008.
If you love amigurumi, you’re probably familiar with this title. I picked it up one day while waiting in line at Joann’s, and after making my first tiny crocheted turtle, I was hooked. I hope to have paid the author homage by using her tiny ami bear pattern as the basis for Hodge and Podge.
Sims, Darla. Skirts! Berne, IN: American School of Needlework, 2006.
When I became interested in crochet skirt design, this was one of the first books I worked with. This 15-page booklet contains only five designs—two for knitting and three for crochet—but they provide a wonderful introduction and the patterns are very straightforward.
Hubert, Margaret. The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting. Minneapolis, MN: Creative Publishing International, 2010.
As with the crochet title in this series, this is my go-to guide on knitting stitches. I’ve made a few of the garments in this book with great success too. The instructions are very easy to understand.
Schurch, Charlene. Sensational Knitted Socks. Bothell, WA: Martingale & Company, 2005.
This book contains all you need to know to knit a pair of socks. I know of a few yarn stores that even use this book in their sock-knitting classes. It takes a while to get used to the way the patterns are set up, but it’s worth the extra effort. In my experience, knitting a pair of socks takes time. This book takes great strides to guide you through the entire process to ensure that your socks will fit your feet (or the recipient’s feet) perfectly. There’s nothing worse than spending five months knitting socks only to find out that they don’t fit!
Smith, Alison. The Sewing Book. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2009.
This is my go-to book when I’m struggling with a pattern or just want to learn a new technique. It has wonderfully clear photographs and descriptions of each step. Each technique is rated by difficulty and the bottom of every page contains a list of previously learned techniques to help you progress in your skill level.
McDaniel, Dr. Robert S. and Katherine J. Soap Maker’s Workshop: The Art and Craft of Natural Handmade Soap. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2010.
I tried many soap-making books—and struggled—until someone in a soap-making online forum turned me on to to this amazing guide. This couple knows what they’re talking about! They have over twenty years of experience working in the soap and detergent and allied industries, in addition to their work making soap for their own line, Dr. Bob’s Herbal Soap. I am convinced that this is the only soap-making book I will ever need. It includes instructions for no-lye soap making, rebatching, cold-process soap making, hot-process soap making, bison soap, and liquid soap, along with over two dozen recipes. It even comes with an instructional DVD that walks you through the process.