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Knit Local: Celebrating America's Homegrown Yarns Paperback – November 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A graduate of RISD, Tanis Gray lives in Washington, DC. Having worked at Martha Stewart, HBO, Focus Features, in the art department in the film and television industries, and after a 4-year career as the Yarn Editor at Vogue Knitting and co-editor of Knit.1, she has been working in the creative field for many years. Tanis has over 150 published knitting designs, and her work has been featured in many major publications and books. Her website is tanisknits.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Sixth&Spring Books (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936096188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936096183
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book through Sixth & Spring to review on my blog.

I was very excited about reviewing Knit Local: Celebrating America's Homegrown Yarns, and for the most part, my high expectations were met.

The concept of Tanis's book is great. The target audience is confident knitters in the United States who are environmentally conscious and/or interested in knowing more about how the yarns they love are produced. Tanis encourages you to learn about where your yarn comes from, and introduces the reader to U.S. based companies who produce yarn in an eco-friendly manner. By promoting these companies, Tanis aims to encourage us to be more environmentally conscious consumers, who buy products locally to reduce the carbon impact from transportation. To this end, the book is arranged regionally, and includes a profile of twenty-eight yarn companies. Each company's profile is followed by a pattern using one or more of its yarns.

What I like about this book:
As someone who has always lived in an inner-city, and who occasionally fantasizes about living on farm, producing my own super awesome yarn, I was thrilled to read about people who've actually lived this dream.

The stories of the different companies are really interesting. (Full disclosure: I find entrepreneurs and their stories interesting - if you don't, this could bore you to tears.)

It was helpful to read the business philosophies of the different companies and to know more about their products. I learned a lot about the philosophy behind some of my favorite yearns.

I enjoyed learning about new yarns, and especially about those produced by small, independent yarn companies.
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Knit Local: Celebrating America's Homegrown Yarns provides profiles of 28 U.S. yarn companies, has 30+ patterns for women, men, children and the home, and provides a list of fiber events and festivals around the country. It is an homage to what we have at home, in our own backyards and to the sustainability of knitting as an American craft.

The book is divided up geographically beginning with the Northeast, proceeding to the Midwest and the West. The introduction speaks to the benefits of buying locally, in other words, supporting the knitting companies we have in the United States. "Many of the companies found in this book hold their animals and the environment paramount". In this day and age where 'green' takes on a very important meaning, this type of devotion to environment and animals is a real plus.

The book proceeds with histories and vignettes about the different knitting companies found across the country. The photographs of the working farms, animals, and people are excellent. Most of the descriptions also include a pattern from the company/farm. The patterns range from sweaters to shawlettes, to hats and mittens. They are for adults and children.

I enjoyed reading about each of the entrepreneurial endeavors and the love and labor that went into each of the farms. Each is unique in its own way and I am convinvced - there is a benefit to buying local.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful book featuring regional yarn companies. The photographs are beautiful and it's interesting to read about the owners and philosophies of some of my favorite yarn companies. There are some lovely patterns which I plan to knit. I also love that the books lays flat when you open it, making it easy to read the patterns.
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Knit Local is a beautifully shot and written book, with amazing projects made with fibers from suppliers all over the United States. It's inspiring to read about the communities that are featured in the book. There's a great diversity of projects to suit knitters with a wide range of skill levels. This is a great resource for knitters looking for new fibers to work with.
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Format: Paperback
Although I'm not a knitter, my wife received this book and I felt compelled to write a review after picking it up. Upon initially flipping through the book I was thoroughly impressed with the volume and quality of the photography, the clean layout, and clothing that I would actually wear, versus some of the "grandma's favorites" I've seen in my wife's various knitting books. The instructions and patterns seemed clear and varied, and I liked that each pattern had a "difficulty meter" of sorts at the beginning to denote the complexity of the project. Each project also had extensive notes that seemed detailed and clear.

Even as a non-knitter, I enjoyed the sections on the various small yarn manufactures. The book described the unique aspects of the product, the owner's philosophy on yarn, and provided information on the history and technique behind how the yarn is made. Interestingly I looked up a few of the yarns on the web, and all seemed readily available, despite the handmade nature of most of them. It was nice to see what seemed like a boutique/luxury product that was actually available, accessible, and priced within the grasp of mere mortals. I never knew anything about the lifespan of yarn, but this book explained it in an understandable manner, and how it might impact ones' knitting.

While it will probably take a substantial bribe of loss of a large bet to get me to pick up a pair of knitting needles, the details behind yarn, variety of craftspeople behind the products, and the interesting patterns would have me reaching for this book should I ever decide to do so!
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