The Natural Knitter: How to Choose, Use, and Knit Natural Fibers from Alpaca to Yak

Overview

In The Natural Knitter, Barbara Albright takes readers on a rich journey through the joys of all-natural fibers?materials that can make an incredible difference, both in your knitting and in the health of our planet. From the animals and plants that produce the fibers to the artisans who work with them, The Natural Knitter presents the first-ever all-encompassing look at the world of natural knitting.

Tempted by the versatile and beautiful yarns produced from the fibers of ...

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Overview

In The Natural Knitter, Barbara Albright takes readers on a rich journey through the joys of all-natural fibers–materials that can make an incredible difference, both in your knitting and in the health of our planet. From the animals and plants that produce the fibers to the artisans who work with them, The Natural Knitter presents the first-ever all-encompassing look at the world of natural knitting.

Tempted by the versatile and beautiful yarns produced from the fibers of llamas, sheep, cashmere-producing goats, and angora bunnies–as well as from cotton, hemp, linen, and silk–some of the most renowned designers in the textile industry have contributed patterns to this collection. There are more than twenty wonderful projects in all, and each highlights the softness, drape, and quality of the fiber used–from Norah Gaughan’s “Architectural Rib Pullover” in cashmere and wool yarn and Vicki Square’s “Uma Sweater” in silk yarn, to clever designs like Debbie New’s “Cast-Off Clothing” in hemp yarn and Barbara Albright’s “Lilliana’s Organic Cotton Poncho and Drawstring Pouch” design for organic cotton yarn. Meet the entrepreneurs who are creating beautiful products that are also non-toxic and earth-friendly, using plant-dyed fibers and unique processes. For the adventurous, step-by-step instructions are included for dyeing yarn naturally at home.

Lavishly illustrated and thoughtfully detailed, The Natural Knitter offers a thorough and engaging picture of the natural fiber industry–and a beautiful palette of designs for readers to knit, savor, and enjoy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400053520
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/6/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.85 (w) x 11.75 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Albright was a seasoned writer as well as a passionate knitting and craft designer. Barbara authored several books including Odd Ball Knitting, Knitter’s Stash, and Simple Knits for Sophisticated Living. She was a contributing editor to Interweave Knits and has written about knitting for Vogue Knitting, Knitter’s, Family Circle Easy Knitting, Cast-On, and Knit It. In addition to fiber, Barbara was passionate about food and authored more than twenty cookbooks and wrote for many newspapers and magazines, including the Associated Press, Good Housekeeping, Traditional Home, Classic American Home, Country Living, the Los Angeles Times, Working Mother, 1001 Home Ideas, and Americana. She was the editor in chief of Chocolatier magazine.

The Natural Knitter
was the final accomplishment in her illustrious career. A native of Nebraska, Barbara resided in Wilton, Connecticut, with her husband, Ted, and two children, Samantha and Stone.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Way more than just a pattern book!

    As the author says, this is a dream book.

    It provides a depth of information on many, many topics, all of which have multiple well taken, colorful pictures to illustrate details. She moves through animal groups, talking about the animal or plant, its fiber, including the pluses and minuses for various applications and finishes with a pattern or two.

    I like that, for each section, she has chosen an entity, whether it be a yarn supplier or spinner or farm, to cover in detail.

    The patterns included range from simple scarves to intricate lace sweaters. Recommended yarns range from the budget conscious to the budget blowing. While the twinset out of quiviut is very beautiful, it would be very expensive - and warm - if made out of the suggested fiber.

    The section on natural dying and mordants was an unexpected bonus.

    Similar but different information than that included in The Knitters Book of Yarn as it is less spinning related and No Sheep For You as it plant fibers are only a portion of the material.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2009

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    The most amazing book on fiber and yarns

    This is a very bittersweet review and giveaway of Barbara Albright's "The Natural Knitter". Barbara wrote both knitting and cooking books. Sadly she died last fall of a brain tumor at the age of 51. This was her last book, and regrettable she missed enjoying her wonderful book. The world has lost a wonderful person, knitter and author. When Barbara wrote "The Natural Knitter" it had to be an enormous task to write and illustrate. This book is like an encyclopedia of yarn all natural all beautiful. You will learn what natural fibers to use from Alpaca to Yak. We are all familiar with the new interest in natural fibers like cotton, flax and hemp and all other fibers that come from plants. Barbara introduces us to a fiber called vicuna and it is softer than cashmere and extremely protective. The vicuna is a rare wild animal which sports hair less than half the diameter of the finest sheep's wool. Its wool is not just for show, however. Because it lives at an elevation of between 12,000 and 18,000 feet on the slopes of the Andes Mountains it needs that insulating coat. Up there, near the snow line the days are beautifully sunny but at night the temperatures plummet to many degrees below zero. I learned that you can spin fibers directly from an Angora rabbit onto a spinning wheel, which is absolutely amazing to me and that angora goats produce mohair. Did you know cashmere comes from the Cashmere goat? You will learn about different qualities of particular fibers, it also provides information about the animals and plants that provide the yarn. You will learn which plants produce fibers for each yarn and which animals yield fiber for other natural yarns. If you are in to eco-friendly knitting then this book is a must have for the conservationist knitter. The section on natural dyes used centuries ago is a must read to keep fibers toxin free. Did you know that there are yarns made from bison, guanaco (The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is a camelid animal native to South America) and even yarn made from pineapples, I didn't! You certainly see that this book was created by people who are passionate about fiber. In addition to all the great information about the yarns themselves and where they came from, there are also 23 patterns using the different fibers Barbara has introduced us too, helping you be aware of how you can use these fibers to their best advantage. Carol Cypher, is one of the contributors in this book on felting, an author in her own right, so you may want to take a look at her blog. This is a book you will definitely want for your knitting, felting and fiber library. It is a beautiful hardcover book with stunning photography by Alexandra Grablewski. Barbara was a person that adored fiber and in this book has passed that knowledge on to us and I think everyone will appreciate Barbara's efforts in putting this amazing book together for you and me to treasure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

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