Lucy Needles is tired of making the same simple grey sweater. But when she asks her employer if she can make a new kind of sweater in a better kind of way, he says no. Even though knitting is her favourite thing to do, she decides she can’t continue to knit the sweaters Mr. Purl wants, while the factory continues to pollute her beautiful valley.
Lucy walks out of the factory, climbing up and out of the dirty valley to visit her Grandmother. During her visit, Grannie Needles shows Lucy how to shear sheep for natural fibres, collect wildflowers for natural dyes, and spin colourful yarns by hand.
When Lucy returns home, she uses the natural thread to knit three amazing sweaters – each one a piece of art that speaks of things the valley has lost: crisp green vegetables, sparkling blue water and warm yellow sunshine. Each sweater provokes a different reaction from her co-workers – first fear, then debate. On the third day, wearing her last, best sweater, Lucy comes face to face with Mr. Purl. But instead of confronting her, he asks Lucy to help him be a part of what makes her sweaters so wonderful.
The importance of a healthy environment and the power of art are intertwining themes in this fable that is a little bit Aesop and a little bit Etsy. This 1,000-word picture book, aimed at 4-8 year olds, has potential as an interactive iPad app similar to the wonderful THE HEART IN THE BOTTLE.