Friday, June 22, 2007

The Natural Knitter

Penny loaned me her copy of The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright, and now I want a copy of my own.

Mrs. Albright did a magnificent job of describing different fibers and explaining how to use them, and included patterns to knit for each fiber.

A large part of the charm of the book is the photography by Alexandra Grablewski. I knew I was going to enjoy this book when I saw the picture of onion skins and thought it was beautiful.

All the information about different animal and plant fibers made me anxious to start working with the sheep fleece Penny gave me for Christmas. I told David he had to help me, so he took it out to the front porch and we skirted the fleece. (David was extremely reluctant to get near the fleece once he smelled it and looked closely at it. First he murmured, "Jason and the golden fleece... ." Then he yelped, "Ewww!! That's poop!")

It was huge, and I didn't do a very good job of cutting away the icky parts. I tried to get rid of the parts that were matted, but after washing (and I'm only a fourth of the way through with the washing of the fleece) I'm finding too much matted stuff in with the good stuff. But I'm learning as I go.

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Blogger Jeannine said...

What a job! I have a friend who lives on a farm and she tried washing the fleece in her washing machine. I think she ended up with a huge mess. :-P

1:42 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jeannine, that's exactly what I'm doing! But I'm actually using the washer as a sink - running the warm water and dish soap in it first, then slowly submerging the bits of fleece - no way the whole thing would fit! - gently moving it around a bit, then draining the water and spinning the fleece briefly to get the water out of it. So far, so good. But so far each bit of fleece has taken three sudsy washes before the fleece is clean. Then I do a rinse. Lots of labor, that's for sure.

2:19 PM  
Blogger ColoradoDreaming said...

I saw your post on the Pirate movie. I didn't stay till the very end. What happened? I saw them get together before he had to leave. Was there more? Do tell!!!

10:01 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes, after alllllllll the credits have rolled (and there are so many it's laughable - my name is probably up there somewhere, because I'm certain everyone else in the world is!) Elizabeth and a 9-yr-old boy walk up to the cliff top and the little boy is singing softly, "Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me..." The camera cuts to Will walking ashore (I think) with a smile on his face. Very sweet, quite touching.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Oh this is very fun! I have a sister-in-law (age 11) who loves to knit and is always showing me her new creations. Is this a book she would enjoy?

12:03 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

If she's more than a beginning knitter, I think she'd love this book. She'd learn so much about the different fibers, and the patterns are lovely. However, if she's a beginner at knitting, but is enthusiastic, then she might enjoy some of the "one-skein wonder" books that are available now. Great patterns that are affordable and quick to knit!

12:14 AM  
Blogger Wool Winder said...

I've heard a lot of good things about that book. I need to get a copy and check it out for myself. That fleece looks huge to me. Good luck with the cleaning.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Looks like fun Laura! A lot of work...what are you making out of it? Natural color or dyed? See you soon. Love, Meg

9:21 AM  
Blogger Donna Boucher said...

I have this book in my hot little hands too!
I waited months from the library!
I have a question about one of the patterns...perhaps I will email you.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Please do email me, Donna! I'd love to at least *try* to help you with your question - although I'm not a knitting expert!

10:33 AM  

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