Fibers are the core of knitting, and there is a wide range of wonderful natural yarns that are available and becoming more accessible as knitters seek the creature comforts that only Mother Nature can offer.
The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright
I first saw a preview of this book over at Fluffbuff and then learned a bit more about Barbara Albright at Zeneedle. I casually mentioned the book to my parents a few weeks ago (that I was at the book store to get two books, they had this one but didn’t have the knitting book I was hunting for…) and next thing it was in my mailbox via Amazon! The Natural Knitter is required reading for every knitter looking to pursue a life filled with natural yarns and fleece. The quality and substance of this book makes it stand out from the others on my shelves. A wealth of information on fibers (camelids, goats, bunnies, other fiber-bearing beasties, silk, linen …) plus a nice selection of patterns by well known designers (Norah Gaughan, Debbie New…).
My favorites include Memories of Ukrain by Lidia Karabinich, Architectural Rib Pullover by Norah Gaughan and the Pineapple Overtop by Setsuko Torii (using, yes, Habu Textiles 100% pineapple fiber).
I’m far from perfect when it comes to reining in my consumption of yarns, but I would like to think that my stash reflects quality not quantity, with a focus on naturalness. I like knowing the source of the fiber and yarn and the impact the purchase has on the earth. I wonder if I could knit with only natural yarns the rest of the year? After seeing the yarns used in this book and in the Resources pages there are plenty of familiar ones to choose from, Blue Sky Alpacas, Green Mountain Spinnery, Habu Textiles, Lorna’s Laces, Morehouse Farm and Mountain Colors to name a few. I’d like to try and this book is the perfect guide.
And lest you think I’ve forgotten what month it is, I do have two PS socks blooming in my knitting basket that I hope to share with you later this week!