When the craft fairy went to dole out gifts, she definitely skipped by me. My scrapbooking is atrocious. Cake and cookie decorating is a fairly miserable exercise in tolerance. And please don't ask about my craft drawer - I don't have one.

But alas, the need for domesticity aside, I still want to cultivate this (albeit small) side of myself. (I blame Pinterest!) So, when perusing the new non-fiction shelves, the word "simple" caught my eye. Perhaps if it's dumbed down for me, I can pick it up. With Erika Knight's stupendous how-to guide, it couldn't be easier. Even for a south paw (that's left-handed for those of you who dominate the rest of the world), her instructions were easy, the pictures and diagrams actually helpful, and the projects fairly doable. I admit, my mom had tried to teach me a basic crochet stich years ago and so I had a slight advantage over one who is picking up crocheting brand new, but that is not saying much, since the last time I crocheted a stitch, I was still in high school.

She gives you a nice variety of projects to tackle (from a simple wash cloth to an embellished cardigan) and spells out for you the difficulty level, time involved, exactly what you need and how to get it done without making you feel like a complete idiot. (As is often the flaw in those "for dummies" books). I am currently working my way through a nice throw/afgan, and maybe in five years, I will actually finish. But at least I could say I was "crafty" doing it.

Recommended by Jill Cluff

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