staff tell me that craft books are selling particularly well at present. That does not surprise me. The previous owner has the theory that, in an economic downturn, people turn to making things. Her theory is that people go out less. They spend less on restaurant meals and external entertainment. Instead they find other ways of entertaining themselves.
As my life has always been in "economic downturn" I have always found things to do which do not cost a great deal. Nevertheless I know I have invested in books and yarn. The books I rarely part with. The yarn gets made into things that are given away, sold to raise funds for a friend who runs a refugee camp, or used by me, the Senior Cat and other family members. Knitting is a useful sort of hobby.
There are craft books that tell you how to do things with the left overs. You can make egg-cosies and mug cosies and finger puppets, toilet roll covers and a cover for practically anything else. Some people make pet blankets or knee rugs.
I am not interested in such things. I doubt they get used. They would not be used by anyone I know.
I also have a friend who does what she calls "scrumbling". She uses up the smallest lengths of yarn by crocheting and knitting them into abstract shapes and putting them together as vests, jackets, coats, handbags and other items. They are works of art.
She has written more than one book about the process. I possess a copy of the book and I have given copies to several other people.
I do not "scrumble" myself but I have left overs. I also have many single balls of yarn left to me by a friend. Some of these will get turned into useful hats and mittens but there are other balls that are unsuited to that. There are cones of fine yarn that need to be used in multiple strands.
And there is the current "play" project. I have seen nothing quite like it in any of the books I have read but I know that they must have been the source of the idea. It involves metres and metres of French knitting/spoolknitting/tomboystitch - call it what you will. It involves squares knitted from yarns that I do not particularly like or are not particularly useful. It involves rather a lot of red, a colour I do not often use. I am still not sure it is going to work. It is definitely not a scrumbled garment but it may end up as a vest - although not one I am likely to wear. It is a means of not wasting the odds and ends, some of the odds and ends.
I am knitting something else at the same time. I have, as always, designed it myself but I know that the books I have read will have influenced that too. No wonder craft books sell well.