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A FEW MORE GREAT BOOKS FOR HOBBIES FOR HAPPINESS…

I have written many a post on how hobbies can help your soul and make you feel better and happier and one way to see if you would like to take up a new hobby is to buy a book and learn all about it.

In November I wrote a post on “5 Books on Hobbies for Happiness to Buy This Christmas”, This list included Puzzle Books, Embroidery, Calligraphy, Knitting and Sewing. Another post I wrote in August was “12 Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem With a New Skill” This list included Blogging, Candle Making, Painting & Drawing, Birdwatching, Baking, Photography, Needlework, Knitting & Crochet, Reading, Scrapbooking, Hand Made Cards and Writing, all of which you could learn from a book or an online course.

Without my hobbies, I know for a fact that I would be quite miserable. Even on my worst days, I can go to another place by simply reading my book, blogging, or doing a bit of art. It takes me away from my pain into another world.

I have found another couple of books I thought I would add to my hobby lists which are about knitting and embroidery. It’s still not too late to get these from Santa then if we do have a lockdown situation in January you have something to enjoy.

The Sock Knitting Bible by Lynne Rowe is available from Amazon for £13.99

If you were inspired by Tom Daley’s poolside knitting triumphs then this is the book for you? It is the ultimate guide for knitters of all abilities from beginners to advanced techniques.

The Sock Knitting Bible will break down all the different techniques and show wannabe sock knitters that there is nothing to be scared of. Covering everything from casting on to colourwork and everything in between, knitters won’t find a better reference book for all their sock knitting needs. Whether you want to knit toe-up, cuff down or even two at a time socks, we’ve got it covered. Sock knitting is the perfect portable project too – once you know the basics you can dip in and out until they are flying off your needles!

There are a lot of sock pattern books out there but this is more than a pattern book – it covers all the different techniques and methods for sock knitting! There are step-by-step instructions for all the various sock knitting techniques so that instead of sounding like a foreign language making socks becomes your second language. There are also step-by-steps instructions for three basic socks so that you can follow them even if you are an absolute beginner and then start to choose your preferred method for sock making.

Author Lynne Rowe explains what kind of yarns are best suited to different styles of socks and shares her techniques for how to get the best finish. We also look at the different kinds of tools available for making socks so you can experiment with double pointed needles, the magic loop method and small circular needles as well as innovative new products such as flexible dpns until you find your own favourite method.

With this book you can put that beautiful skein of hand dyed yarn you couldn’t resist to good use by making the perfect pair of socks because in addition to the extensive techniques there are also 10 projects by some of the most exciting and talented sock designers, illustrating a number of the different knitting methods and styles. Here you will find stripes, fair isle, cables, lacy, sparkly and snuggly socks: a pattern for all your needs. It won’t be long before you are delighting your friends and family with your new found skills.

The embroidery book is called The Big Book of Hand-Embroidery Projects: 52 Patterns You’ll Love to Stitch by That Patchwork Place and is available on Amazon for £20.22

This book is perfect if you are new to embroidery or even if you are a pro as it has so many patterns you can try. Sit back and unwind as you surround yourself with the art (and fun!) of hand embroidery.

You’ll find 52 projects including tiny treasures, tea towels, small quilts and runners, bags and pouches, and even note cards–all designed to give your hands something beautiful to stitch while you kick back and relax.

Gather your favourite threads and flosses, scissors or snips, and a thimble, and prepare to embroider the evening away. Whether it’s been a while or you’ve never embroidered before, you’ll find all you need in this hefty volume packed with pretty projects from your favourite designers like Gail Pan, Robin Kingsley, Kathy Schmitz, Anni Downs, Lynette Anderson, and more.

Also, you’ll have all the information on tools, techniques, and stitches at your fingertips to set you up for success to make any of the featured designs. Put on the kettle, brew a cup of your favourite coffee or tea, and immerse yourself in hand embroidery with this treat for your stitching soul.

Whatever you decide might be a great little hobby for you I hope you can enjoy them as much as I enjoy mine.

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SELF-HELP BOOKS THAT BOOST YOUR BODY AND MIND…

An article in Woman and Home last month caught my eye. It asked ‘Do Self Help Books Work‘?

To be perfectly honest with you I have no idea if they work but many people have turned to them over the last year due to the pandemic and not being able to see a therapist for real. From sleep problems to chronic pain, anxiety and a lot more. Many of us have suffered at least one of these over the last 18 months.

They write that some books can be like ‘having a therapist on speed dial but without the hourly charge.‘ Reading something that can relate to you and guide you, can be life-changing. But, of course there are times when these books should be used with guidance from a professional.

Woman and Home suggest that you pick a self help book that focuses on a specific area of your life that you want to work on and check the reviews on it. Look for books that ask you questions and ask yourself these questions.

Some books they recommend to boost your body and mind during this difficult time for many are –

Self-Care for Tough Times: How to Heal in Times of Anxiety, Loss & Change by Suzy Reading – perfect for dealing with stress, grief, loss, change and transition. Also to help with loss of a loved one, illness or simply feeling exhausted. Self-care for Tough Times is a gentle yet powerful toolkit to help during difficult times, such as the end of a relationship, loss of a loved one, career change and times of heightened emotions or anxiety. These are the times when self-care is most important and yet often forgotten, but just a few small moments can make a huge difference to how we feel, how we release emotions rather than bottle them up and how we ride the ups and downs.

The Science of Sleep : Stop Chasing a Good Night’s Sleep and Let It Find You by Heather Darwall-Smith – perfect if the pandemic has sent you sleep routine out the window. Heather Darwall-Smith’s message in this book is simple: don’t panic! Humans are biologically programmed to sleep, and by interrogating all the factors – sociological, physiological, neurological, and psychological – that might be impeding this innate instinct, each of us can work out the changes we can make in our own lifestyles to allow ourselves to sleep naturally again.This book demystifies the bewildering data around sleep by combining science with natural self-help techniques.

I’m So Effing Tired by Dr Amy Shah – with many people in chronic pain or just exhausting from doing nothing constantly feeling exhausted in no fun. This book will help you beat burnout and help you feel less exhausted.

Are you feeling overwhelmed, overstressed, and overtired? If so, you’re not alone – and you don’t have to settle for feeling this way. Inspired by her personal wellness journey, Dr. Amy Shah has created this program so that you can regain your energy and reclaim your life. The key is tapping into the powerful energy trifecta: the complex, interconnected relationship between your gut, your immune system, and your hormones. Drawing on the latest science and her work helping thousands of clients, Dr. Shah explains how to transform your life by changing:

What You Eat: increase your fiber-rich, prebiotic vegetables, without giving up your wine and chocolate!?
When You Eat: intermittent fasting – the right way – can revamp your energy
Why You’re Stressed: discover simple exercises and herbs that ease anxiety

In just two weeks, you’ll feel your energy surge. In three months, you’ll feel like a whole new person. It’s time to regain the energy you’ve lost, so you can get back to the life you want to live.

The Brain Fitness Book by Rita Carter – A Healthy Mind helps you keep a healthy body so this training manual for the mind will keep you feeling great. A book of logic puzzles and cognitive exercises to improve memory, beat brain fog, boost processing time and sharpen problem solving.

Packed with expert advice, brain tests, and a range of exercises to stimulate your memory and mental agility, The Brain Fitness Book will equip you with everything you need to keep your brain working to its maximum potential. It includes puzzles, sensory exercises and step-by-step introductions to activities from playing the guitar to beginning yoga and tai chi.

Discover how to achieve a brain-healthy lifestyle!

This empowering guide highlights the role of quality sleep, a healthy diet and physical exercise to help you look after both your physical and mental well-being. Our mental fitness is just as crucial as our body’s, with regular training your brain helps you to be less prone to age-related decline, as well as conquering stress, anxiety, and the risk of depression. The Brain Fitness Book is the perfect gift or purchase for anyone interested in maintaining mental health and cognition.

Source: Woman & Home