Books I Love

Reads visualA good book is a creative co-conspirator.

As a self-taught crafter, I rely heavily on books to learn new techniques and patterns, get tips on cultivating ideas and inspiration, and better understand the past, present, and future of different craft traditions. Once in a while, I write about the titles I really enjoy on this site. These are books that recount handmade histories, offer gorgeous patterns, reflect on the role of art/craft in the social world, take a peek into makers’ worlds, or are, in my opinion, excellent guides to new creative terrain (or, all of these!). This list is my own personal and ongoing craft bibliography and is regularly updated.

If I’ve written a review of a book or a relevant post, you’ll find links beside each entry below. It’s a small, but growing collection. Happy reading!

Note: Book titles (below, or elsewhere on handmadehabit.com) are Amazon-affiliated links that lead to a product page. Purchases made through Amazon-affiliated links will, at no added cost, send handmadehabit.com a percentage-based commission.

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Embroidery / Needlepoint

Nathalie Mornu. 2017. Embroider Your Life: Simple Techniques & 150 Stylish Motifs to Embellish Your World.


Dolls, Toys, and Felties

Jenny Doh. 2012. We Make Dolls!: Top Dollmakers Share Their Secrets & Patterns.

Jess Brown. 2014. The Making of a Rag Doll: Design & Sew Modern Heirlooms.

Nelly Pailloux. 2009. Felties: How to Make 18 Cute and Fuzzy Friends from Felt.   two projects here


Knitting – Patterns & Theory

Ann Budd. 2007. Getting Started Knitting Socks.  a classic which led to my absolute first pair of socks

Andrea Rangel. 2017. AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs.

Hannah Fettig. 2015. Home & Away: Knits for Everyday Adventures.

Kate Davies. 2016. The Book of HAPS.

Kristina McGowan. 2013. More Modern Top-Down Knitting: 24 Garments Based on Barbara G. Walker’s 12 Top-Down Templates.


Knitting – About

Ann Hood (ed). 2014. Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting.   book review

Barbara Levine. 2016. People Knitting: A Century of Photographs.   book review

Betsy Greer. 2008. Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change Stitch by Stitch.    book review

Clara Parkes (ed). 2017. A Stash of One’s Own: Knitters on Loving, Living with, and Letting go of Yarn.

Mac Barnett. 2012. Extra Yarn (children’s book).

Joanne Turney. 2009. The Culture of Knitting.

Sandy Black. 2012. Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft.


Art, Craft, Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert. 2016. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

Faythe Levine. 2008. Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design.

Julia Cameron. 2016. The Artist’s Way.

Lewis Hyde. 2007 [1983]. The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World.

Mason Currey. 2013. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

Robert Henri. 1923. The Art Spirit.