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Yarns made from plant fibers, modern synthetics, and silk take the spotlight in this collection of 21 classic knitting patterns for socks, scarves, hats, bags, vests, sweaters, and even a luxurious bathrobe. Some knitters are discouraged by the thought of baggy hemp sweaters and droopy cotton socks when they consider vegetable fibers, but this authoritative, fun, and light-hearted guide promises that, while wool has no equal when it comes to elasticity and warmth, the right tricks and techniques produce non-wool fashions that fit well, wear well, and hang beautifully. Knitters are taught to knit swatches to study the behavior of a yarn, to choose an appropriate pattern, and to master techniques for reinforcing stitches and inserting knit-ins of springier yarn to keep cotton, silk, and other fibers from sagging. Key information about durability, weight, pilling, and special handling is provided for acrylic, bamboo, cotton, hemp, Ingeo, linen, lycra, nylon, polyester, rayon, silk, soy, Tencel, and viscose yarns, and a chapter of helpful tips advises on needles to use (and avoid), how to start new balls and weave in ends, how to work intarsia and Fair Isle patterns, smart ways to control the cost of materials, and the right methods for washing, drying, and blocking the finished pieces.