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Review: Arctic Lace


First, the facts:

Title: Arctic Lace: Knitting Projects and Stories Inspired by Alaska’s Native Knitters

Author: Donna Druchunas

Published by: Nomad Press, 2006

Pages: 192

Type: History, Patterns.


1. Oomingmak Musk Ox Producer’s Co-operative
2. The Yup’ik and Inupiat people
3. Villages and knitters
4. Musk oxen in Alaska
5. A new venture: The beginning of the co-op
6. Qiviut
7. Lace-knitting workshop
8. Projects
9. Designing your own projects

Arctic Lace

The In-Depth Look:

This is one of those educational kinds of books that is absolutely fascinating. It’s almost more a history book than an actual knitting book.

Much of this book–a full third of it–talks about the impact of the musk ox on Alaska’s natives. As beautiful as some of the patterns are, this book is just as much ABOUT the knitting as it is a book on HOW to do the knitting. The amount of research is staggering, especially considering how so many regional knitting trends and customs are being diluted in this global world of ours.

It’s also very thorough. The history is well told and it’s interesting to see what a difference this one fiber made, and the section explaining the knitting techniques, is thorough. I really liked how each pattern was introduced with photos and names to really tie it to the region, instead of just being generic kinds of hat and glove patterns.

Now, this is not a glossy, glamorous, slick book. The photos are black-and-white, and it’s got a very basic kind of feel. It’s not trying to woo you with atmospheric photos and lush backgrounds. Instead, it’s showing you what really counts–the knitting, and the people who make it (and the musk ox who grow the fiber).

This book is available at Amazon.com for $17.79.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

My Gush: In-depth look at the genesis of some really stunning knitting–not to mention some good patterns, too.

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