New books offer twists on traditional methods and patterns that appeal to modern sensibilities or speak to the current moment.

Elegant Handcrafted Wreaths

Stephanie Petrak. Page Street, Sept.

In what PW called “a lovely debut” that “has everything budding flower arrangers need to get started,” Petrak, who owns Lorraine’s Cottage, a faux florals shop in Cleveland, guides readers through choosing, arranging, and trimming artificial blooms into contemporary wreaths. “Faux flowers have come a long way in terms of availability of selection and quality,” she writes, and last far longer than garden-grown blossoms.



Tomoko Kakita. Laurence King, Oct.

Kakita details 30 ways to wrap parcels of various shapes and sizes using furoshiki, a Japanese method dating to the eighth century. Furoshiki’s reusable square cloths are more sustainable than single-use wrapping paper, Kakita writes; in another nod to modern sensibilities, a QR code at the back of the book leads to supplemental instructional videos.

Icelandic Mittens

Guðrún Hannele Henttinen. Trafalgar Square, Nov.

Inspired by a collection of antique Icelandic mittens at the Textile Museum in the northern Icelandic town of Blönduós, Henttinen, who owns a yarn shop in Reykjavik, offers 25 traditional patterns she’s modified to have a brighter or broader color palette, and to suit contemporary yarn weights and needles.

Knitting from Fair Isle

Mati Ventrillon. Kyle, Sept.

Venezuelan architect Ventrillon lived in London until 2007, when she and her family moved to Fair Isle, population approximately 60. There, she joined the local knitting cooperative and learned the centuries-old Fair Isle method. The book’s 20 patterns for experienced knitters render fishermen’s sweaters, hats, and gloves in nontraditional colors, combining multiple traditional Fair Isle motifs in one garment.

Knit 2 Socks in 1

Safiyyah Talley. Storey, Mar. 2022

Socks are a perennial favorite among knitters, but make no mistake: sock fatigue, or losing interest in the project after completing the first sock, is real. Talley’s solution: knit one long sock starting with a cuff and ending with a toe, and after separating the tube into two, add heels, and the other cuff and toe. Once knitters have mastered the basics, pattern variations abound.

Quilting by Hand

Riane Elise. Quadrille, Sept.

Traditional craft meets minimalist aesthetics in Elise’s 23 modern quilt designs: geometric, two-color patterns rendered in serene earth tones, whether a beginner project that can be completed in a weekend, or a more involved undertaking that takes months to finish. Step-by-step photos guide readers through the process, and in one section, depict stretch and massage techniques that relieve stitch-weary hand and forearm muscles.

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