Book Review: The Natural Knitter

The Natural Knitter
This isn't your hipper-than-thou teenager's knitting book. The Natural Knitter: How to Choose, Use, and Knit Natural Fibers from Alpaca to Yak ($32.50 cloth; 2007, Potter Craft) by Barbara Albright returns to the fiber art's all-natural roots, before acrylic/polyamide/polyester blends made their debut—before...praise the Lord and pass the fur.

Albright adroitly covers much ground, from the plants and animals that produce the fibers to the artisans who coax them into luscious skeins of yarn. Alongside the vibrant, lavishly detailed photographs are knitting patterns to more than 20 classic designs, created from yarns spun from the fibers of sheep, llamas, angora bunnies, yak, and silkworms, as well as from organic cotton, hemp, linen, and even pineapple. (Look elsewhere for the eyelash-yarn bustiers.) You even get step-by-step instructions on how to dye yarn at home with naturally derived, eco-friendly dyes.

A brilliant end to a fine career, The Natural Knitter is Albright's final publication; she passed away in 2006. We raise our needles and salute her. :: The Natural Knitter

See also: ::No Sheep For You