I got a pile of new yarn books the other day at our discount bookseller, Half Price Books. I got a couple of knitting books (a girl can dream) and a crochet stitch book.
My method of using new craft books? Grab yarn, grab hook, make stuff. In this case, I decided to make washcloth "swatches" of stitch patterns. It's a great way to learn new stitches and their rhythm, and you get some useful end product. I use cotton yarn for it.
I made this one in Basketweave:
Ha - don't you hate it when you don't see the cat hair till you try and use your pics? Oh well. I have a cat and two dogs, and two preschoolers on top of it. One hair is the least of my worries!
I like the Basketweave - the stitch is actually much easier than I ever thought it would be. I didn't like how long the woven sections appeared though. I think I'll switch that up next time. Anyway, I think this would make a really cute baby blanket in the right yarn. And a nice scrubby dish cloth. :)
And this one in "Starburst":
It's hard to see the pattern with variegated yarn. Next time I'll use a plain color instead. It's lot of intertwined circles. Still a scrubby cloth, but less so than Basketweave. Not sure I'd use this stitch again. Though I'm sure it looks better blocked.
I have a couple of other stitches I want to try, but I have a few projects I've committed to make, and new books got put on the back burner for a while.
How do you use your new craft books and supplies? Do you just dive in?