Back by popular demand, this beautiful book is your guide to sensuous silk, cozy cashmere, and earthy linen, cotton, and hemp. Learn how to show off the unique qualities of natural yarns with this library of tips, techniques, and patterns. The book features 10 fun-to-knit fibers in 25 luxurious sweaters and fashion accents
- Classic designs include a coat, shawl, jacket, cardigan, stole, pullover, and vest
- Discover the origins of each fiber, along with design suggestions, cleaning and care tips, and gorgeous stitch patterns
- Most yarns are spotlighted in three different projects for a generous helping of styles
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Working on the premise that a luxury fiber needs a project that enhances its special qualities, Eisner Strick designs 25 garments explicitly for their source skeins. Silk’s natural sheen is enhanced by a two-toned star-stitch twinset, an azure-toned shell peeking through a sky-blue lace jacket. A nibble of cashmere, in a beaded cuff, gives a starving knitter just a little taste of the great stuff; if your pocketbook allows, gorge on a gorgeous chevron-lace cardi. Ribbed cables lend stretch to a llama blend. Angora’s halo fluffs up a smocked vest and fingerless gloves. Linen knits up into a sturdy market bag as bright as a battalion of international flags. Qiviut, cotton, hemp…pick your poison.
A lot of knitters, when they think about fibers, particularly natural fibers, devote most of their thinking to wool, but there's a whole world beyond wool that's completely worth exploring. That's the message behind Candace Eisner Strick's Beyond Wool: 25 Knitted Projects Using Natural Fibers. The book covers all the classics like cotton, hemp and linen, as well as luxury fibers like cashmere and qiviut.
All About Fiber
Beyond Wool provides a basic overview of some of the most common (and a few less-so) natural fibers out there, including mohair, alpaca and llama, cashmere, silk, angora, qiviut, cotton, linen and hemp. Each section includes a few pages on the history of the production of that particular fiber, how it is made, its characteristics and considerations for knitting or designing with it. Then there is at least one pattern using that yarn (all have three or four, actually, except qiviut, which only has one).
The 25 patterns in the book are pretty evenly divided among the different kinds of fibers (with the exception of qiviut, as mentioned above) and are mostly for tops and shawls. There are also patterns for mittens and a hat, scarves, wrist warmers, a vest and a bag. The patterns are all for adult women. The smallest project fits a 29 inch bust (and there's only one of those in the book), while several patterns go up to a 50 inch or slightly larger measurement. Most patterns are in the 38 to 48 range and include at least three sizes. The patterns are mostly rather traditional looking, with lovely shawls and sweaters for an evening out. I like the Clouds of Purple Shawl, an easy Garter Stitch number in a mohair/silk blend; Llama Cables, a llama/wool sweater with traveling cables on the front; the Smocked Vest, an angora/wool combo with a cute tie closure; and the Sunflower Shell, worked in mercerized cotton--it's the most casual and youthful pattern in the book.
This book could be interesting for people who want to learn a bit more about different kinds of natural fibers and how to use them. It does provide some nice patterns and information on the range of natural fibers besides wool.
Candace Eisner Strick
Candace Eisner Strick is an accomplished quilter and an internationally known knitwear designer, teacher, and author. She runs Strickwear, her yarn and pattern business, from her home. Candace has written books on knitting, quilting, and crochet.Visit Candace's website
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