No Sheep For You

No Sheep For You : Knit Happy with Silk, Cotton, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo and Other Delights

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In a world where sheep-based kinitting is the norm, do you feel left out? Are you knitting for someone who won't wear wool? Lucky you! Yummy yarn materials can be found growing out of the ground, bubbling out of Pyrex beakers, and keeping bugs warm while they grow wings. You just need to get to know these fibers so you can make the most of them.
Amy R. Singer, editor of Knitty online magazine, knows non-wool fibers and their secrets. She's allergic to wool and has spent most of her knitting life trying to knit just like everyone else but without the baa. In No Sheep for You she shares her best non-wool knowledge.
This how-to guide will teach you all about non-wool yarns, focusing on plant fibers including cotton, linen, hemp, soy, bamboo, Tencel, rayon, the new synthetics and more, plus the most delicious non-wool of all: silk. Learn why each fiber behaves the way it does, how to make it do what you want it to do, and when it's time to try something else instead. This wild world of fibers is accompanied by 22 classic and wearable patterns for socks, scarves, hats, shawls, sweaters, vests, and bags - all created with fibers that never had four legs.
An entire chapter is devoted to tips and tricks that some time and money. Learn the inside scoop that will enable you get the look of wool in your knitting while using the fibers you prefer. No more baggy sweaters that grow to your knees. No more gaping cables. No more droopy socks! Take your knitting to the next level with No Sheep for You.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 226.06 x 317.5 x 35.56mm | 703.06g
  • Interweave Press Inc
  • Loveland, CO, United States
  • English
  • 120 Illustrations, color
  • 1596680121
  • 9781596680128
  • 176,057

Review quote

April 2007

Many knitters are allergic to wool. Do these folks have to settle for a boring diet of acrylic yarns? Not if Singer (editor, Knitty online

magazine) has anything to say about it. Singer is herself allergic to wool and has spent many years knitting with nonwool fibers. Modern yarn stores stock a varied selection of these nonwool yarns, including acrylic, cotton, bamboo, linen, Ingeo, hemp, lycra, nylon, polyester, rayon, soy, silk, and Tencel yarns. Some of these new materials require adjustments for the knitter, who must consider the yarn's gauge, texture, and weight when adapting designs for wool to other fibers.

Singer combines practical information and knitting tips for alternative yarns with 22 excellent projects chosen to highlight the properties of nonwool fibers. Garments include a beautifully muted, striped cotton Fair Isle cardigan, a lace silk shawl, and a silk pullover featuring lace sleeves and a mosaic pattern that stabilizes the slippery silk yarns. A wide range of sizes will make this book appealing to a large library demographic. An excellent choice for all public library knitting collections. * Fiber Crafts * Jan 07

Singer's a glass-half-full kind of gal. As devoted as she is to knitting, she hasn't let a cruel allergy to wool get her down; she's simply done her research, opening up a whole world of wool-free fibers for the rest of us. In her breezy style, Singer (of makes the science stuff easy to read, focusing on cotton, hemp, linen, silk, bamboo, corn, Seacell, rayon, lyocell, nylon, acrylic, polyester, Spandex. There are terrific charts (substitutions for particular woolly patterns) and sidebars (are you really allergic to wool?) Oh, and the patterns - accommodating to larger bust sizes, in fine 'Big Girl Knits' fashion - are to die for, especially Kristi Porter's intoxicating mosaic-bodiced, lace-sleeved sweater in silk. Don't feel so sorry for Amy now, huh? * Yarn Market News * No. 116, June 2007

I must admit that had I only seen the cover I would not have been at all interested, and cannot understand why this image was selected. 'No Sheep' has a jokey, fast-talking style, full of colloquial Americanisms with much of its information in text boxes. The different fibres covered - all of them from non-animal origins - are dealt with in the first two chapters. They include cotton, silk and hemp, but also rayon, bamboo, corn and modal. Where else can you easily find out what "microfibre" and "SeaCell" are?..uses patterns from a range of designers and includes brief biographies of each designer. Patterns are so much a matter of personal taste that it's hardly worth commenting in any details - there are patterns and ideas I both like and dislike. The book is excellent, and good value.

Liz Gillett * SlipKnot * Feb 10

Are you allergic to wool, or knitting a gift for someone who can't or won't wear it? This book - with its highly amusing front cover - first introduces you to wool alternatives and then goes into greater detail so you learn what each fibre does and doesn't do, and why that's the case. That way you can choose the right yarn for any project. The author learned to knit at age six, and discovered soon afterwards that she was allergic to wool. Since then she's been finding alternatives for her knitting projects, so she certainly knows her stuff! There are 22 designs in this book using mainly plant fibres such as cotton, linen, hemp, soy and bamboo. * Knit Today *
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About Amy R. Singer

Amy R. Singer learned to knit at age six and found out she was allergic to wool soon after. In 2002 she launched the online knitting magazine She writes a column for Interweave Knits and is the author of Knit Wit and co-author of Big Girl Knits. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
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Table of contents

Articles A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Fiber in Your Pants- There's a new appreciation among yarn manufacturers, designers, and knitters for ancient fibers like linen and hemp. And then there are the new fibers developed by progressive yarn companies (I love these guys) who aren't just taking whatever they can find - but working to create new fibers, yarn textures, and blends. Fiber Families, Substituting, and Your New Career as a Yarn Detective- You can see that within each group the fibers differ in their exact natures, but they're similar enough that thinking of them as families will help steer you to the most suitable section of your LYS (local yarn store) for your next project. Learn to Love Your Geeky Thing- When it comes to nonwool knitting, the reason you knit a little something before you knit the bigger something is to learn more about the yarn than just gauge. Projects Bacardi- Designer Barbara Gregory is a genius with color. She's taken the mesmerizing yarn shop wall of Tahki Cotton Classic and distilled it into the most elegant of muted sonatas using simple stripes and occasional rows of two-color short-float stranded knitting. Eileen - This simple, beautiful shell was inspired by the clean lines of a famous clothing designer named Eileen. I wonder if she knits? Network- Silk hats might feel great, but silk + hair = static. In winter, we have more than enough of that without external help. Tuscany - This shawl uses the yarn that turned me into an obsessive evangelist for all things sheepless Handmaiden Silken. It's the yarn that proved to me that knitting without wool is not hardship. Intoxicating- Designer Kristi Porter is mad for mosaic knitting. And when she combined a coordinating pair of mosaic patterns with lace and pure, shimmery silk, I was Intoxicated. Twist- Designer Jillian Moreno says Rowan Summer Tweed is an unpredictable yarn unless you knit it tighter than ball-band gauge. But she loves it for its nubby texture and this tweedy ribbed baby is the result. Bespoke- Designer Libby Baker loves the texture, flow, and crisp feel of linen. For her tailored, classic coat, she chose an affordable cotton/linen blend that gives heft, drape, and crispness without pomposity. River Rock Scarf- Inspired by water flowing around pebbles in a bubbling creek, the River Rock Scarf does not pretend to be an exact imitation of nature, although the sumptuous silk yarn does indeed flow like water around the beaded rocks. Manly Maze- Men are hard to knit for. (The male knitters and sweater-wearers I know agree.) But what guy wouldn't be intrigued by a sweater made from hemp? Sweet Indulgence- This exquisite-but-simple silk robe is knitted in the most intriguing of silk yarns a bulky weight shimmery silk from Classic Elite. The Bag- Designer Wendy Wonnacott is well known on the Web for her beautiful knitted bag patterns. She pays attention to detail unlike anyone else, and now she's turned her cotton-loving design eye to hemp. He and She Ganseys- Ganseys are the coolest things. Texture without fuss, and so comfy, who could refuse? Designer Jeannine Sims made one for him and one for her. Berthe Collar- I would be quite surprised if you didn't have a few one-skein delights in your stash single skeins of something dramatically delicious that you couldn't put down in the yarn shop, but had no idea what to do with when you go them home. Cables and Os- This luscious, sexy cardigan is knitted in kissable pink from a linen-rich cotton blend yarn. Midwest-Style Thrummed Mitts- These ultra-warm mittens are a take-off on the traditional Maritime design. Drunken Argyle- When designer Holli Yeoh came up with the first Drunken Argyle, a man's crazy argyle vest knitted in fine-gauge wool, I was in love. Thankfully Holli was able glad to oblige the other half of the population, and take on the sheepless challenge at the same time. Morrigan- Ask knitters, "can you knit an aran without wool?" and they will probably deny it. So, how do you get it wool-free? Try this Morrigan. Tomato- As comfy as a bowl of tomato soup, but exponentially sexier. Peerie Fleur- This cardigan is knitted in yummy chocolate brown accented with fleur-de-lis-inspired motifs in strong pink and an indefinable color Rowan calls "ghost." No-Wool Socks- Don't be fooled into thinking that socks have to be knitted out of wool.
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Rating details

386 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 18% (69)
4 40% (153)
3 32% (124)
2 10% (37)
1 1% (3)
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