Books. Yes, I said book. I love them. Reading, collecting, sharing, staring at them on my shelf. I love my Nook and it’s so terribly convenient, but I don’t think I can ever give up having the actual item surrounding me. So I’ve chosen a few to share with you. Patterns, stories and pictures. Happy reading!
By Hadley Fierlinger
I mentioned this book last week. This is one of my favorite books from my small knitting literature collection because whenever I need motivation or inspiration, I find it here. It doesn’t mean I knit something from it right away (although soon I will!), but I find the patterns so simple and elegant. Complicated patterns can be wonderful and certainly have their time and place, but I constantly find myself drawn to those things that are minimal and understated. Vintage seems to be a good place to start. Favorite patterns? I’m glad you asked. They are: Hooded Capelet, Wavy Cashmere Blanket, Modern Baby Bonnet, Angora Bolero, Vintage Pixie Cap, Double-Breasted Car Coat and Petite Beret.
By Amy Butler
Moving out of knitting and into sewing, I must share a favorite here as well. I love bags and cases and anything that deals with organization, not to mention little home decor items. I have three of Amy Butler’s books and I love them all (Little Stitches for Little Ones, Style Stitches & In Stitches). In Stitches encompasses all those thing I love about organization, as well as the opportunity to make them for myself. Amy’s patterns range in difficulty and I haven’t yet tackled complex patterns, but it’s an option. I also must recommend “Sew What Bags.” It’s a wonderful addition to any sewer’s library, especially for beginners. Favorite patterns? They are: Floor Cushions, Giftable Recipe Card Bags, Square Pot Holder, Bedside Organizer, Document Duvet, Fashion Checkbook Clutch and Patchwork Handbag.
By Robin McKinley
This is my comfort book. Sometimes, we just need a good read and to mellow out. I’ve had this book (as well as The Hero and the Crown) since high school, I think. That was at least 10 years ago, but I don’t remember –exactly- when these came into my possession (only that they were from my mom), so perhaps longer. I read it every year. Perhaps twice if I feel like it. A heroine, lots of horses, a bit of magic and I’m hooked. Here is the synopsis from the book:
When Harry Crewe's father dies, she leaves her Homeland to travel east, to Istan, the last outpost of the Homelander empire, where her elder brother is stationed.
Harry is drawn to the bleak landscape of the northeast frontier, so unlike the green hills of her Homeland. The desert she stares across was once a part of the great kingdom of Damar, before the Homelanders came from over the seas. Harry wishes she might cross the sands and climb the dark mountains where no Homelander has ever set foot, where the last of the old Damarians, the Free Hillfolk, still live. She hears stories that the Free Hillfolk possess strange powers — that they work magic — that it is because of this that they remain free of the Homelander sway.
When the king of the Free Hillfolk comes to Istan to ask that the Homelanders and the Hillfolk set their enmity aside to fight a common foe, the Homelanders are reluctant to trust his word, and even more reluctant to believe his tales of the Northerners: that they are demonkind, not human.
Harry's destiny lies in the far mountains that she once wished to climb, and she will ride to the battle with the North in the Hill-king's army, bearing the Blue Sword, Gonturan, the chiefest treasure of the Hill-king's house and the subject of many legends of magic and mystery.
I encourage you all to give it a chance. Yes, it’s a young adult novel, but I love it just the same. And for any young girl in your life, it’s a great story for overcoming challenges, learning new things and falling in love.