Thursdays are for Obscure Craft Books

While the 3 of probably 5 (or 6!) coats of paint dries on my new YELLOW! coffee table, I thought I'd introduce a new regular series to our blog. Laura and I are both avid book readers, buyers, browsers and appreciators. We look for books at yard sales, thrift stores and used book stores as well as new book stores and online shops. Over the years we've amassed a cool collection of craft books. While I generally like most of the new craft books that are released and enjoy reading about them on other peoples' blogs, I usually get my fix of new craft books from our local library, which has a vibrant craft-book selection and usually gets the hot new titles eventually. 

While we don't have all the newest titles, we do have some great old craft books! So we'll be sharing one book each week until we run out of cool books. I'm linking to the Amazon page so you can see more information about the books. Many are out of print and pricey, but don't forget you can use your local library to inter-library loan books- a great way to spend time with an obscure craft book! 

First up is Creative Knitting by Mary Walker Phillips. Laura found this one at at thrift store for me. This is a good book for new ideas in lace knitting and also for thinking about knitting as art.  


A pioneering art knitter, Phillips' obituary ran in the New York Times when she died in 2007. She was a fiber artist who used macrame and knitting in groundbreaking ways, and encouraged knitters to push the boundaries of what knitting can be. Creative Knitting was published in 1971.

In the beginning of the book there is a lengthy section on the history of knitting.

Then she demonstrates her techniques, sharing stitches and patterns and giving information on blocking and equipment. She also showcases her pieces-

And uses details of them to demonstrate how to do the stitches she employs-

There are tons of photos of her work. This pattern is one of my favorites.

This one has beads.

Her knitting looks unlike any knitting I'd seen before, it is rare to see something so totally original and new in a craft that's been around for centuries. I'd recommend the book to designers and people who are interested in stitch patterns, especially lace and openwork. And for everyone else- it's a great way to refresh your outlook on knitting and even fiber art in general. 

Next week I'll showcase a funky book on screen printing that has special sample pages. Do you have any obscure craft books?