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  Knitting in America
by Melanie D. Falick
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Editor's Note: Since we published this review in 2000, the book has gone out of print. But it has been re-released as a paperback under the title America Knits.

No fiber-lover's library should be complete without a copy of this book. It has the gloss and heft of a coffee-table picture book, but don't let that fool you.

This is an epic chronicle of fiber folks across the United States. These people are living out most knitters' dreams -- namely, supporting themselves through knitting, spinning, dying, designing patterns, or breeding sheep.

The Subjects

Melanie D. Falick dedicated a year and a half of her life to this book. After talking with hundreds of people, she narrowed her gaze on 38 artisans.

She then traveled across America to spend time with each of these people, from designer Pam Allen in Camden, Maine to the pathbreaking author and teacher Mary Walker Phillips in Fresno, California.

Lovely Patterns

As an added bonus, the book includes patterns designed specifically for Falick by the various craftspeople profiled. Most of them err on the intermediate side, but they're perfect embodiments of the diverse directions you can take knitting.

You most likely wouldn't buy the book for its patterns -- but they round out the package beautifully.

As for me, my life won't be complete until I've tried Sarah Swett's Kestrals Alight cropped kimono. It has a gorgeous bird and vine motif in gradually lightening shades of grey and red.

Already a fine writer, Falick is obviously in her element with this book. What truly makes the package are the photos, which were taken by Chris Hartlove, who traveled with Falick. The models are mostly friends and family off the people profiled, which adds a deeply personal element to the text.

Treat yourself to this book!

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Previous reader comments

"Knitting in America by Melanie Falick... this particular book is how my knitting career started in January 1999. I saw the book and wanted it for my birthday. I enjoyed the photos and was inspired by the stories of the knitters. I put down my quilting needle and picked up knitting needles and wool and have not looked back since. It is a book that is so good, i pick it up again and again.. it sits on my coffee table. Melanie and Chris did a great job!" rsutton, 9/7/2001

"This is my favorite book in my collection of knitting books. I was very interested in the stories of the knitters featured in the book. A bonus, is definately that patterns are presented by each artist." Gail, 9/7/2001

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