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. These book can all be found to download for kindle or can be read through the Gutenberg website (which often has the pictures for the book, if available).
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), so it is hard to tell if the patterns are correct. Handbook of Wool Knitting and Crochet Includes instructions for sweater, hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, etc in knit 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 childern’s clothing to housewhere.
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) Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving. Includes information on tools, set up, and 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.
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.Art in Needlework No pictures, but describes various embroidery types and stitches. 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. 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.