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Knitting America: A Glorious Heritage from Warm Socks to High Artby Susan M. Strawn
Synopses & Reviews
Author Melanie Falick traveled thousands of miles to create Knitting in America, an inspiring and revealing portrait of knitters, spinners, dyers, and breeders of fiber-producing animals. The most complete survey yet published on the scope and influence of this vital art form in America, the book profiles many of this country's most fascinating artisans and farmers, and features more than thirty original patterns for adult and child-sized garments designed especially for Knitting in America.
In addition to the designer profiles, the book includes special features on locations such as a musk-oxen farm in Montana, a school in Detroit where children learn to knit before they learn to read, and a New Mexico yarn shop that supplies many of this country's top gallery artists with handspun, naturally dyed fibers.
The thirty-plus patterns in the book range in difficulty from basic to advanced and in style from traditional to contemporary. The patterns are clear, the charts easy to read, and a complete listing of mail-order sources ensures that the patterns can be executed to perfection.
"The illustrations tell the story as vividly as the text....It's a must-have for fiber historians." Yarn Market News
The first fully detailed, full-color, comprehensive history of knitting in America from Colonial times to the present, with vintage pattern booklets, posters, postcards, and photos.
“Susan has placed the history of knitting within the context of American history, so we can clearly see how knitting is intertwined with such subjects as geography, migration, politics, economics, female emancipation, and evolving social mores. She has traced how a melting pot of knitting traditions found their way into American culture via vast waves of immigration, expanded opportunity for travel, and technology.” —Melanie Falick
This is the history that Knitting America celebrates. Beautifully illustrated with vintage pattern booklets, posters, postcards, black-and-white historical photographs, and contemporary color photographs of knitted pieces in private collections and in museums, this book is an exquisite view of America through the handiwork of its knitters.
The patterns and fabrics of American knitting are an intricate, and intimate, part of the nations history, reflecting the styles and the interests, the concerns and the comforts that touched every homebody, every newborn and newlywed, every homesick patriot in the field.
This is the history that Knitting America celebrates. The first fully detailed, full-color, comprehensive history of knitting in America from colonial times to the present, the book conveys the social and historical realities that the craft embodied as well as the emotional narrative that unfolded at the hands of the nations knitters. With vintage patterns and designs typical of each era, Knitting America comprises a knitted history of American society. Here are the trends and the shortages, the historical happenings and the social movements, the advertising and economic developments that affected knitting and style.
Also included are 20 historic knitting patterns for todays knitters. Beautifully illustrated with vintage pattern booklets, posters, postcards, black-and-white historical photographs, and contemporary color photographs of knitted pieces in private collections and in museums, this book is a treasure of history and craft, an exquisite view of America through the handiwork of its knitters.
About the Author
Knitter, writer, and illustrator Susan Strawn has a Ph.D. in Textiles and Clothing from Iowa State University. A regular contributor to Piecework, Interweave Knits, Spin-Off, and other textile magazines and journals, she presented a paper entitled "Back to the Knitting Needle: Manufacturers, retailers, and the image of handknitting in America, 1935-1955" to the Costume Society of America. Strawn teaches textile-related classes at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, and researches hand-produced traditional textiles. She lives in Oak Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago.
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