Handmade Gifts for the Season: Four Books with Projects to Make and Give

Handmade gifts are a joy to give and receive. Here are four books PieceWork recommends with projects to make for friends and family this holiday season. The first offers last-minute sewing projects, the second celebrates the winter season with timeless knits, the third is filled with whimsical scarves, and the fourth has something for your favorite cat or cat lover.

Last-Minute Fabric Gifts: 30 Hand-Sew, Machine-Sew & No-Sew Projects

By Cynthia Treen
New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2006. Hardbound, 144 pages, $24.95. ISBN 1-58479-485-2.

There is a whole lot of great information packed into this small book. The projects, arranged by how much time each takes (from less than one to more than three hours) run the gamut from playful to practical to fashionable. You’ll find clear and concise instructions for making adorable felted rabbits, a silk-trimmed wool blanket, a tea-dyed shawl, and much more.


Handknit Holidays: Knitting Year-Round for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice

By Melanie Falick
New York: Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2005. Hardbound, 184 pages $27.50. ISBN 1-58479-454-2.

Make gifts, decorations, home decor, and garments following the clear directions in this beautiful book. Table runners, stuffed animals, a great tree skirt, socks, gloves, and fabulous pillows are just a few of the projects included here.

Nicky Epstein’s Signature Scarves: Dazzling Designs to Knit

By Nicky Epstein
New York: Nicky Epstein Books, 2008. Hardbound, 150 pages, $29.95. ISBN 978-1-933027-34-0.

Regardless of your knitting skills, you’ll find something to make in Nicky Epstein’s latest compendium of more than thirty creative scarf patterns. Designs run the gamut from traditional to light and breezy. Among them, Moorish Medallion (rated Very Easy), with its brocade lining and beaded fringe, and Holiday Doves (Intermediate), worked in intarsia and duplicate stitch, are noteworthy.

Kitty Knits: Projects for Cats and Their People

By Donna Druchunas
Woodinville, Washington: Martingale, 2008. Softbound, 80 pages, $19.95. ISBN 978-1-56477-838-3.

If you’re a knitter who loves cats, you’ll be thrilled. If you love cats but don’t knit, this book will make you want to learn. Beds, a placemat, and toys are the projects designed for cats; the knitted and felted catnip mice are sure to please. For their people, sweaters, hats, scarves, slippers, socks, a baby blanket, a carpet bag, a pillow, an afghan, and a doorstop each incorporate cat motifs. Your cat is telling you to please get started now!

Books make wonderful gifts, too! Indulge yourself or your favorite needleworker with titles such as Big Embroidery, Modern Folk Embroidery, and Cross-Stitch to Calm: Stitch and De-Stress with 40 Simple Patterns. Read more reviews of books on embroidery in our blog post, “Three Books Celebrating Embroidery.”

Give something special to your favorite needleworker from PieceWork!

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