March 15, 2022
Leaping Hare Press
In Conscious Crafts: Knitting, co-founders of the Black Girl Knit Club unpick the meditative nature of the knitting process and its empowering skill set for creating, well-being and mindfulness.
Making is mindfulness made practical, and knitting is an iconic craft proven to have a therapeutic impact on well-being. The co-founders of the Black Girl Knit Club, Sicgmone Kludje and Vea Koranteng, have curated 20 modern makes, ranging from plant pot cosies to throws and snoods, to introduce the basics of knitting. Covering fundamental stitches and techniques including casting on, knit, pearl and moss stitch, Sicgmone and Vea show how these can be adapted for different projects as well as repurposing used textiles into your own upcycled yarn, all whilst embracing the restorative benefits of craft.
Packed with inspiring ideas and practical guidance, Conscious Crafts: Knitting gives you the simple skills to get started with this fulfilling craft, and explores how the joy of creating your own unique makes can nurture your well-being. Clean photography, contemporary step-by step illustrations and mindful mantras are neatly knitted together to celebrate the art of knitting for a handmade future.
The projects: tea cup coasters; desk and bathroom mats; cushion cover; mug holder; throw; wall hanging; plant pot cosy; festive reef; head band; mittens and scarves with tassels; snoods; clutch and purse bags; phone case holder.
The techniques: moss; sticking; rib; knit; purl and arm kitting. Upcycled yarn.
The Conscious Crafts series places mindfulness and well-being at the heart of making. Picking out proven meditative crafts and bespoke authors, these practical, contemporary guides are an inviting introduction to reconnecting head, heart, and hands. Also available from the Conscious Crafts series: Pottery, Quilting and Whittling.
Conscious Crafts: Knitting by Vanessa Koranteng and Sicgmone Kludje has an intriguing premise of merging knitting and meditation mindfully. I suspect that those of us who have been knitters for a while probably meditate, perhaps unmindfully, while knitting anyway. Regardless, I like the thesis but just wish that more of the book actually focused on the meditative character of knitting and integrating more mantras.
Instead, Conscious Crafts: Knitting is a beginner’s knitting guide, which is fine, but as a true guide it’s rather scant in the information it imparts, especially in comparison to other beginner’s knitting books on the market. The pictures showing how to do stitches don’t really appear to me to be that helpful and a newbie would probably be better off seeking out some YouTube videos. And there’s a huge information dump at the beginning that might have been spread throughout the book a bit more, introducing a technique in the section in which a project actually uses it. For drop stitches, the authors mention that they come in two forms (knit and purl) but don’t say why the drop stitch is being used at the beginning of the row (to make a nice edge) which I would certainly want to know as a newbie.
The projects are basic and well-tuned to a beginning knitter, offering variety, attractiveness and usefulness in the final object.
Conscious Crafts: Knitting is useful; I just wish that it had provided more in the way of mindfulness and knitting.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.