Crafting for Humanity

Crafting for peace and humanity is widespread in the crafting community. Here are some books on the subject that you will find in the Central Library’s Arts Division.

The contemporary craft movement embraces emerging artists, crafters, and designers working in traditional and nontraditional media. Jenny Hart’s Sublime Stitching has revolutionized the embroidery industry. Each year Nikki McClure sells thousands of her cut-paper wall calendars. Emily Kircher recycles vintage materials into purses. Stephanie Syjuco manufactures clothing under the tag line “Because Sweatshops Suck.” These are just some of the fascinating makers united in the new wave of craft capturing the attention of the nation, the Handmade Nation. Faythe Levine traveled 19,000 miles to document what has emerged as a marriage between historical technique, punk culture, and the D.I.Y. ethos. For Handmade Nation (along with the documentary film of the same name, coming in 2009) she and Cortney Heimerl have selected 24 makers and 5 essayists who work within different media and have different methodologies to provide a microcosm of the crafting community.

Join the Handmade Movement! We make to give. We make to share. We make to connect with others. Crafters all over the world are using their hands and hearts to make a statement, change the world, and build community. Craft Activism is an inspiring celebration of this growing movement. Inside, dozens of superstars of this grassroots phenomenon share their experiences, tips, and advice on living, teaching, and promoting a more meaningful DIY lifestyle. Learn to craft for your cause, connect with other crafters, think green, organize a fair, host an online exchange, create yarn graffiti, and more.

In Desire to Inspire, you’ll meet a wide range of writers, artists and entrepreneurs, all with a common mission: to make an impact in the world, share her message and encourage others to inspire those around them. You’ll get personal insight into the creative passions of artists like Carmen Torbus, Pixie Campbell, Christen Olivarez, Tracey Clark and many more crafters.

All across America, people are knitting for peace. In yarn shops and private homes, churches and synagogues, schools and even prisons, they meet on weekday evenings or weekend afternoons to knit afghans for refugees, mittens for the homeless, socks for soldiers, or preemie caps for AIDS babies. The tradition goes back as far as Martha Washington, who spearheaded knitting efforts for the soldiers of the Revolutionary War, and has seen a recent flourishing in what is nowadays called “charity knitting,” “community knitting,” or “knitting for others.” And whether it’s for world peace, community peace, or peace of mind, today’s various causes have the common goal of knitting the world into a better place one stitch at a time.

Knitting for Peace is an exceptional book that celebrates the long heritage of knitting for others. It tells the stories of 28 contemporary knitting-for-peace endeavors, and features patterns for easy-to-knit charity projects such as hats, socks, blankets, and bears, plus a messenger bag emblazoned with the Knitting for Peace logo.

It started with a pillow case dress… and grew into a worldwide movement of crafters using their passion to help those in need. The Craft Hope organization combines a love of crafting with a desire to help others. Tens of thousands of crafters in more than 100 countries now follow the Craft Hope site and make handmade goods for causes around the world.

Mindful Knitting looks at the art of knitting from a Buddhist perspective. Exploring the parallels between knitting and meditation, this book instructs the reader in how knitting can be a tool for contemplation. It explores the benefits of engaging in knitting in a mindful way, presents simple meditation exercises, and provides clear, easy-to-follow project instructions that complement and expand upon each meditation theme.

“Haute homespun out of the Deep South.” That’s howVogue magazine has described the fashion of Natalie Chanin. Alabama Stitch Book brings us a collection of projects and stories from her clothing and lifestyle company, Alabama Chanin, known for the cutting-edge twist it puts on tried-and-true sewing, quilting, and embroidery techniques, applied mostly by hand to recycled cotton jersey.
This long-awaited book from Chanin begins with her story. After living in New York and Vienna for over 20 years, she began to transform cotton T-shirts into high fashion using the needlework skills she learned as a child in Florence, Alabama. When she moved home, Chanin hired local women (many of whom had worked in the state’s now defunct textile factories) to stitch her couture collections with her. Read an interview with Natalie Chanin.

In Alabama Studio Style, Natalie Chanin, founder and creative director of the acclaimed fashion and lifestyle company Alabama Chanin, takes readers on a compelling journey of creativity, technique, and inspiration. Picking up where the celebrated Alabama Stitch Book left off, Alabama Studio Style is a craft and lifestyle book all in one.

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