Free Knitting and Craft Books
Finding books online: You should check for free versions of older books before buying older ones to download, as many are now in the public domain (the ones people charge money for have often been reformatted in some way). Searching for specific terms, like "embroidery" instead of "sewing or "knitting" instead of "craft" is often necessary, as there are few keywords in free books descriptions to help you find them!
Kindle Books- You can download a kindle app to read these on your computer, phone, and Ipad. Kindle books might not work on the Nook, Sony, or other ebook readers.
Exercises in Knitting
No pictures for most of the patterns. Includes patterns to make finished items and patterns to design your own (lace patterns, etc). Patterns do not tell you what abbreviations mean (for increases, for example)
Gutenberg link: Exercises in Knitting
Kindle Link: Exercises in Knitting
Handbook of Wool Knitting and Crochet
Includes instructions for sweater, hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, etc in knit and crochet.
Gutenberg Link: Handbook of Wool Knitting and Crochet
Handbook of Wool Knitting and Crochet
The Ladies' Work-Book Containing Instructions In Knitting, Crochet, Point-Lace, etc
Includes both a large number and wide variety of patterns, from children's clothing to housewares.
The Ladies' Work-Table Book Containing Clear and Practical Instructions in Plain and Fancy Needlework, Embroidery, Knitting, Netting and Crochet
Variety of patterns, limited instructions (old patterns did not include as much information as patterns do now)
Gutenberg Link: Ladies' Worktable Book
Kindle Link: Ladies' Worktable Book
Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving
Includes information on tools, set up, and weaving.
Gutenberg Link: Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving
Kindle Link: Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving
Vegetable Dyes Being a Book of Recipes and Other Information Useful to the Dyer
This book needs a review all by itself. Suffice to say, like most old dye book, the information may not be completely accurate (this book contains information on dyeing with dandelion root, which people have not been able to duplicate the color of). Vegetable Dyes is, however, an interesting read, and unlike many of the natural dye book on the market, is chock full of text and information, not just pictures.
Gutenberg Link: Vegetable Dyes Being a Book of Recipes and Other Information Useful to the Dyer
Kindle Link: Vegetable Dyes Being a Book of Recipes and Other Information Useful to the Dyer
Embroidery and Needlework Books:
Beeton's Book of Needlework
Tatting, knitting, and embroidery patterns. Keep in mind that written patterns often use different language and make different assumptions than we do now.
Gutenberg Link: Beeton's Book of Needlework
Kindle Link:Beeton's Book of Needlework
Art in Needlework
No pictures, but describes various embroidery types and stitches.
Gutenberg Link: Art in Needlework
Kindle Link: Art in Needlework
General Craft Books:
Things To Make by Archibald Williams
Geared more towards the home inventor than crafter, it is all about building models and useful things for the home (shed, bench, rain gauge...). However, there are no pictures in the free version.
Gutenberg Link: Things to Make
Kindle Link: Things to Make
A Course In Wood Turning by Otto K. Wohlers and Archie S. Milton
Exactly as it sounds. Gutenberg version of Wood Turning includes detailed pictures.
Kindle Link: Course in Wood Turning
Wood-Block Printing A Description of the Craft of Woodcutting and Colour Printing Based on the Japanese Practice by Frank Morley Fletcher
Both history and how to.
Gutenberg Link: Wood-Block Printing
Kindle Link:Wood-Block Printing
How to Make a Shoe by John Parker Headley
About making shoes, though not really actual instructions, more hints and tips in, dare I say, poem form?
Gutenberg Link: How to Make a Shoe
Kindle Link: How to Make a Shoe
The Scholfield Wool-Carding Machines by Grace Rogers Cooper
Includes a history of wool carding from hand cards to early drum carding machines. Interesting (short) read if you are untested in sheep, spinning, or fiber processing.
Gutenberg Link: Wool Carding Machines
Kindle Link: Wool Carding machines
Jacobean Embroidery Its Forms and Fillings Including Late Tudor
Jacobean embroidery is an English embroidery technique. See the Gutenberg version of Jacobean Embroidery for the pictures. Some people call it Crewel, and it is worked in wools. Examples are often ornate, with floral and animal motifs.
Kindle Link: Jacobean Embroidery Its Forms and Fillings Including Late Tudor
Aboriginal American Weaving
Sadly, the pictures do not come through in the free version.
Gutenberg Link: Aboriginal American Weaving
Kindle Link: Aboriginal American Weaving
Prehistoric Textile Fabrics Of The United States
Extremely short, no pictures, but a quick read for people looking for a view of how people started studying weaving (looms and baskets)
Gutenberg Link: Prehistoric Textile Fabrics Of The United States
Kindle Link:Prehistoric Textile Fabrics Of The United States
A Study Of The Textile Art In Its Relation To The Development Of Form And Ornament
A look at weaving (baskets, embroidery, etc). The pictures the book is referring to are not present.
Gutenberg Link:A Study Of The Textile Art
Kindle Link:A Study Of The Textile Art
Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages
Including history on metals, embroidery, sculpture, mosaic, etc.
Gutenberg Link: Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages
Kindle Link:Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages