on 1 November 2013
I bought this book after learning about 'craftivism', which is catching on in the U.K. The author was one of several people in different parts of the world who had the idea of combining craft and activism as a gentler way of getting a message across. As well as writing about her own ideas and experience, she has several pieces from other crafters, who each supply a pattern.
on 14 July 2012
If you are looking for a collection of patterns to knit for charity, a great book is 'Knits to Share and Care' by Gerard Allt. 'Knitting for Good', however, has all the text (& more!) that I felt was missing from Allt's book. 'Knitting for Good' is all about the politics and psychology of crafting - about knitting for personal wellbeing, knitting to help others, knitting to help the community, knitting to help the earth.
Don't get me wrong, there are patterns, too: practical, unelaborate patterns, ideal quick, easy knits for charitable purposes. And if that's all a bit Pollyanna for you, just check out the awesomely cute (& slightly retro) Oatlion on page 94 - knit yourself a pride of oatlions and you will be forever in demand! And there is practical advice on joining forces with fellow knitters (etc), too.
Betsy Greer is the founder of [...], which makes her something of an expert in the whole area. It also gives her a very readable style, and access to all the big names in the American crafting movement (Susan Beal, Faythe Levine, Aneeta Patel & more) for guest patterns and contributing essays about their own experiences and anecdotes. If crafting to you is just about making stuff, and all you want in a craft book is techniques and/or projects, this isn't the book for you. But if you have an interest in the wider implications of crafting, and just like to read around an area that plays a large or small part of your life, there is lots of fascinating information and opinion here. You may or may not agree with it all, but it makes for an original craft book, and may just make you look at your own world a little differently.