January 12, 2009

AU&NZ Complete Book of Handicrafts

I was down in Tasmania for the Christmas holidays, visiting family in Hobart. While I was there, I dropped into the Salvos on Elizabeth St. (I love love love browsing through charity shops) and picked up the Australia and New Zealand Complete Book of Handicrafts for au$5.

I love the kitsch cover & gaudy burnt orange background. I love the "Quality&Value" sticker on the front, awarded by the book's own publisher. This second Impression is from 1977, and I especially love the very 70s photos, with big hairstyles & crochet bikinis,

and kids wearing full-knit ensembles & adults wearing crochet ones.

But at the end of the day, I bought it because it has large simple drawings explaining the basics of a range of crafts I've been wanting to learn / brush up on:

It goes over all the basics of:
  1. Knitting
  2. Crochet
  3. Sewing
  4. Dyecraft
  5. Batik
  6. Spinning&weaving
  7. Rugmaking
  8. Patchwork
  9. Embroidery
  10. Machine embroidery
  11. Tapestry
  12. Macramé
  13. Leathercraft
  14. Gifts & Bazaar items
  15. Soft furnishings
I'm most interested in the chapters on crochet, embroidery & patchwork, but macramé looks interesting, as do the chapters on making sofa covers & curtains. I love that there are lots of b&w and colour illustrations... I find some of the projects to be positively unappealing, and others to be surprisingly beautiful. Perhaps I'll share some more photos as I work my way through the book.

I'll leave you with the opening line of the Introduction to ponder over...
Every woman has latent creative talent living within her.


Jacky said...

Confession... growing up in the '70s I had a pair of crocheted bikini's (not that I made them!!!), but I thought they were quite special.

Fabulous book and love that Roumanian stich, might have to try that one. Thanks for sharing as I love freestyle embroidery.

JenMeister said...

Awesome! I think crochet bikinis can look quite nice, but they strike me as rather impractical and perhaps not very comfy?

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