Light Reading

Not a crafter yourself but still fascinated by all things creative? These might be the books for you. This page contains summaries of reviews I’ve written for books that aren’t instruction guides on a technique, but craft-related in some way. If you’re looking for reviews on ‘how to’ books for crafting, you can find these over on the ‘Technical Texts’ page. Click on the pictures or titles to see the full reviews.

Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting

A collection of short stories/essays by a diverse collection of writers on all things knitting and yarn. Some very moving tales and outstanding writing make for an excellent read that the short story format makes very easy to pick up and put down. A good pick for knitting and non-knitting enthusiasts alike.


This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain’s Knitted History

A wonderful tour not just of Britain but of its local textile traditions. A beautifully written example of narrative non-fiction with plenty of interesting historical tales and fact to learn about, all packaged in a brilliant page-turner. Highly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in history or textiles!



A collection of personal essays from Clara Parkes, fibre expert extraordinaire. An interesting look at the modern history and culture of crafting, including the founding and development of sites like Ravelry and Craftsy and the growing popularity of indie dyeing. Good, light reading for a commute.


Threads of Life

An international perspective on textile history and, in particular, the figures involved in the creation of the world’s textile history. While some of the stories involve a great deal of human suffering, from textiles created by prisoners or slaves, Clare Hunter proves a faithful and sensitive storyteller, shedding a light on areas of textile history that are often forgotten. A magnificent read full of colour and cultural titbits to enjoy.


The Golden Thread

A book that spans textile-related applications ancient through to modern, including some great tales about the challenges of pattern cutting for making space suits at NASA! Very easy reading and a nice introduction for people perhaps not so familiar with fibre and fabric to the significance of the textile industry and some of the environmental and ethical questions around ‘fast fashion’.

The Secret Lives of Colour

I love all things colour and so it was going to be impossible for me not to love a book about just that. This is a fun, engaging read with enough light humour to keep you turning the pages and enjoying tales of the historical challenges of creating just the right shade. There’s a good simplified introduction to what colour is and how we perceive it to lots of information on how particular colours are created with dyes and pigments. Highly enjoyable.