Stray Sock Sewing, Too: More Super-Cute Sock Softies to Make and Love Daniel. North Light Books, 2008.
Lately I have been on a bender of crafting for myself, and my poor children have been neglected. Sure, I feed them, clothe them, read to them and love them, but my recent crafting has been for me, and I haven’t made any toys or clothes for toys in ages. These books have me back in crafty toyland!
I missed out on seeing the first of the pair (see what I did there? Socks/pair?) of these books, but Stray Sock Sewing Too is gorgeous. Sock doll artist Daniel explains the minutiae of making sock dolls out of single and pairs of socks and basic sewing supplies. The first part of the book is a gallery of sock creatures, and I was busting to make a few of the creatures in the gallery, but they don’t appear in the project section, which was a bit disappointing. The second section is projects and techniques, with excellent lists of materials and tools, and step by step annotated photographs and tips for each project.
These projects would be great to make for a beginner or experienced sewer, or even a child who wouldn’t mind a few cuddly sock toys to snuggle. I think that this book would also be great for people like me who have dozens of lonely single socks that have lost a mate, and could do with refashioning.
Crochet for Bears to Wear: More Than 20 Perfect Projects for Your Favorite Teddies and Friends Amy O’Neill Houck, Potter Craft, 2010.
Amy O’Neill Houck has published a second book about making clothes for bears and toys, Crochet For Bears to Wear. I assume that anyone who knits, sews or crochets for people and has little people in their lives has been asked at one time or another to make something for a loved teddy or doll. When I have been asked to make clothes for a particular toy, it is always a pest to find patterns that fit that particular bear, instead of a generic bear pattern. This book has customisable bear crochet patterns! How cool is that! Amy has included customisations for most of the patterns in the book, so that the bear will not have a too tight pants seat or baggy sleeves, or a dress that is too long. There are outfits to suit outdoor and indoor bears in all seasons, from bikinis and board shorts, fishing vests, jeans, t-shirts, skirts, a party dress and headband, a collection of sweaters, and a nightgown and nightcap, with ear holes in the nightcap, naturally. Accessories include hats, a book bag, and a baseball set. Your bear will be well kitted out with a very comprehensive wardrobe indeed.
Not only does this book provide customisable patterns for the latest in bear wear, it is a bona fide crochet book , with information that is easy to apply to all other crochet projects, including tips on swatching, gauge, blocking, reading patterns, and some basic crochet instruction. Unfortunately there are few diagrams in the techniques section, so maybe Amy is assuming that the crocheter has some basic skills. This book would be perfect for anyone who likes to crochet or would like to learn, anyone who would like to whip up some bear couture for a loved cuddly toy, anyone who would like a small crochet project to work on, anyone who is interested in design, pattern modifications and new techniques but would like a tiny project to start on, and anyone who is looking to use up some of their yarn stash. Your bears will thank you. [Craftzine have a downloadable pattern from the book if you want to get started straight away]
Reviewed by: Kate is a busy mother of four with many craft projects on the go, including, but not limited to, crochet, knitting, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband. You can find Kate on twitter