October 27, 2006

Book Review: Arctic Lace by Donna Druchunas

Artic Lace: Knitted projects and stories inspired by Alaska's Native knitters by Donna Druchunas

Artic Lace is a fascinating introduction to Alaska's native knitters, women who not only knit original lace work in qivuit, the fiber from the musk oxen, but also knit hat, scarves, and other knitted items. It provides an introduction to lace knitting and several lace knitting projects.

The first part of the book provides comprehensive information about the Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers' Co-operative, a co-op for Native Alaskan knitters, in Anchorage Alaska. The history of Native Alaskans along with examples of lace work knitted in villages across Alaska provides a unique perspective. The first part also includes a chapter on musk oxen in Alaska, their origins, how they have adapted to the arctic weather, and their behavior.

The next part of the book focuses on the qiviut and other lace yarns and provides an in-depth chapter on lace knitting with step-by-step instructions. It covers reading charts, basic knitting skills, and stitches needed to do lace work. The lessons for learning lace stitches are especially informative. Each provides a practice swatch of different lace stitches along with written directions and a chart.

The reminder of the book provides 15 lace-knitting projects. These include projects for a headband, hats, wrist warmers, scarves, stoles, vest, and fingerless gloves. The final chapter offers directions on designing other lace knitting projects.

I really enjoyed looking through this comprehensive guide to lace knitting from the perspective of Native Alaskan knitters. The history of the Native Americans and their knitting helped bring alive their rich background. The step-by-step instructions on lace knitting are easy to read and offer a better understanding lace knitting. If you’ve been looking for a book on learning lace or already love lace knitting, Artic Lace: Knitted projects and stories inspired by Alaska's Native knitters by Donna Druchunas is a great choice

Tags: Knitting, Knitting Books, Knitting Book Review

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