March 15, 2007

No Sheep For You

No Sheep For You by Amy R. Singer is a guide to knit happy with cotton, silk, linen, hemp, bamboo and other delights.

In her book, No Sheep For You, Amy R. Singer, editor of, explores using nonwool fibers in knitting. These fibers include cotton, silk, linen, hemp, bamboo, silk, corn, soy, and synthetics such as nylon, acrylic, polyester, and spandex.

The first chapter discusses cellulose fibers like hemp and linen, protien fibers like silk, manufactured fibers from natural materials such as rayon,bamboo, and corn, and synthetic fibers. For each group of fibers, Amy discusses their characteristics and how they behave when knitted.

The second chapter discusses how to choose a nonwool fiber substitute for knitting patterns. There are several look up type charts including "Nonwool Fiber Families and Their Quirks", "Comparison of Properties of Knitting Yarns", and "How to Knit Things Designed for Wool Without Any Wool At All".

The patterns in the book range from cardigans to a tank top shell to a hat to a shawl to sweaters to a scarf to a knitted bag. Each of the patterns are knit with a nonwool yarn with step-by-step instructions, charts, and color photographs.

I especially like "The Bag" by designer Wendy Wonnacott on page 93. It is knit with hemp yarn using a slip-stitch pattern that gives the bag alot of texture. I also like "Tomato" by designer Wendy Bernard on page 137. This short sleeve top has a dramatic neckline and is knit with a worsted-weight cotton yarn.

If like Amy, you are allergic to wool or just prefer using wool in your knitting or if you want to try something new in your knitting, No Sheep For You, is a great place to get educated about using nonwool yarn. Amy goes into great detail about the fibers and how to use them in knitting. There are also some great patterns that use these yarns.

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