Recommended for ages 8+
If the kids in your life – or you – want to be crafty but aren’t sure where to start, this is a great book to have handy. Knit, Hook, and Spin is an easy-to-follow primer that includes over 70 projects for beginners. Clear instructions and illustrations teach you how to knit, crochet, spin yarn, tie dye, weave, and even make your own plarn (yarn from plastic bags). Big on making and recycling, there are instructions and invitations to repurpose clothes; unravel an old sweater to get some yarn for a new project, or tie dye a t-shirt to give it a new look. Weave a rug out of brightly colored plastic bags that you brought your groceries home in last week.
Fiber facts and tidbits about fiber art and crafting history are included throughout, giving kids an understanding of the long-standing history of handmade clothes and everyday accessories that they’ve now become part of. The emphasis is on practice and developing a love of the craft, rather than unnecessary, expensive gadgets: Carlson teaches readers to make weaving looms from sticks or paper plates; knitting needles from chopticks, if that’s what you have around. She notes when adult supervision is suggested, and I hope this gets parents and kids crafting together. There’s no downside to together time or crafting time.
This is a great book for kids and adults, who want to learn to craft but aren’t sure where to go. When I first learned to knit and crochet, I went straight to the children’s section of my library, because I wanted simple, step by step instructions. The wealth of different crafts here makes this a valuable addition to collections where there’s an interest in crafting.