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The Knitter's Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber [Kindle Edition]

Clara Parkes
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $11.84
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In this complete guide to wool - the most popular yarn around - passionate wool expert Clara Parkes translates the vast world of sheep and their wool into the language and context of knitting.

What is wool? Clara starts with the fundamentals: what wool is made of, how it gets off the sheep, and how it is transformed from a jumbled mass of dirty fluff into a gorgeous yarn that so tempts us at our local yarn stores.

Who makes it? Parkes conducts an inspiring tour of sheep breeds from around the world - introducing us to the animals who give us their wool - and explains how to best knit with yarns made from their fibers.

Which yarn do I use? If only there were a way to read a skein to know how it would behave and what it wanted to become. Now there is! Parkes demystifies the generic (non-breed-specific) wool yarn you'll find at your local yarn shop, showing you how to best determine what every yarn longs to be.

What do I knit? Parkes went to some of the most creative and inquisitive design minds of the kniting world to provide more than 20 patterns that highlight the qualities of specific types of wool.

The Knitter's Book of Wool teaches you everything you need to know about wool - and its journey from pasture to pullover. The next time you pick up a skein, you won't have to wonder what to create with it. You'll just know.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Clara Parkes left her career in San Francisco's booming high-tech industry to pursue her love of knitting. She now lives on the coast of Maine in a farmhouse full of fleece, fiber, and yarn. Best-selling author of The Knitter's Book of Yarn, she is the publisher of the top-ten knitting website and a frequent contributor to Interweave Knits and Twist Collective.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7253 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft (February 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IK8PYG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,737 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 83 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Clara Parkes has written another sensational book for knitters, this one focusing on nine different types of wool. She calls this 207-page book a "love letter to wool", and indeed it is. Her book is based on her lifelong love of wool and her experience with spinning, knitting and observing wool. For many of us knitters, we look forward to Clara's regular KNITTER'S REVIEW which she sends over the internet. In it, she often reviews different yarns and their uses, along with providing knitting tips and resources.

Clara has no favorites among the nine wools that she describes in this book - - she loves them all equally. Each has their own hand, purpose, and texture for knitting. Beaverslide Dry Goods produces a wool that smells like flowers. Made in Canada, Clara says this wool is a joy to wear and work with. The Elsa Wool Company produces yarns from Cormo sheep. Originating in Colorado, the fibers in the yarn are "soft and vibrant". One of the patterns in this book, the Sweet Fern Fingerless Mittes, uses this yarn. Foxfire Fiber and Designs produces beautiful alpaca. The Nara Scarf in the book is made from this wool. Green Mountain Spinnery is one of Ms. Parkes' favorite yarn sources. I second that, having loved Green Mountain Spinnery yarns from my first encounter with them. Their new book, 99 Yarns and Counting: More Designs from the Green Mountain Spinnery was recently published and it is full of wonderful patterns and information about their cooperative. Clara loves Nature's Palette Green Sheep Columbia Worsted Yarn. She describes the yarn as "plump, pure and colorful". It is durable yet also soft to the touch. The Comfy Cardigan pattern in the book is made from this yarn.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, again! October 14, 2009
I received a sound education in the first 20 or so pages alone, and the information I gleaned was so compelling I just kept on reading. There is enough information to make you a whiz at wool but not so much that you feel like it's finals week. Clara's comfortable, easy writing style make this a wonderful read for interested fiber folk. As with The Knitter's Book of Yarn, this book had me underlining bits of information that I believe strongly will make me a better knitter, spinner and teacher.

Just when you think you've gotten every dime you spent out of this book, you discover more - patterns that, as Clara says, "...let you experience everything wool has to offer..." And folks, she's not just saying that! The pattern section begins with a Shakespeare quote: "Joy's soul lies in the doing". I agree, and the range of projects is both expansive and joyful! There are enough patterns in this book to keep any knitter happily busy for a very long time.

In closing, let me say that this book is well worth the investment, as was it's predecessor. Let's hope Clara continues to bring us the best of the best of useful knowledge about the animals and fibers that grace our lives and bring us that joy the Bard talks about above.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ode to Wool October 19, 2009
From sheep to skein, Parkes thoroughly discusses all aspects of wool. She gets down to the "who, where, what" and follows up with lots of practical information. Rich in details and explinations, this is perfect for both experienced knitters and newbies who want to learn more about the always practical and often magical fiber.

But why stop at detailed discussions of many knitter's most cherrished fiber? Let's get to the patterns! Oh the patterns! A beautiful assortment of classic patterns. While when I write "includes: socks, sweaters, a shawl, baby knits, hats, and fingerless mitts, and mittens," you might not get too excited --- but these are beautiful patterns. Classics! Wonderful addition to any knitting library.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Yarns! (clever foodie reference there) November 1, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Clara Parkes explains wool the way Alton Brown explains food - expertly, and with obvious affection for the hows and whys of it, and with a light and easy style that makes the vast amount of information shared highly digestible. This book is far more than a collection of patterns, though the patterns are great and further the "lessons" in wools and their characteristics. You'll get down into the working parts of wool - where it comes from, why felt felts or doesn't, itches or doesn't, the various types of sheep and the wools they produce, and will help you understand the animals and fibers behind the wool you buy. But you don't have to be a total yarn geek to appreciate it; it is written in a light and very readable way. You can absorb all the wisdom and walk around like a wool guru, or use it as a reference. If you've ever been to, or fantasized about, a fiber festival, reading this first would add to your enjoyment immensely. "That's not just a sheep, that's a Wensleydale! And now I know what that means!" It's like watching the Yarn Channel - you'll get smarter without much effort.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book! October 16, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I couldn't wait to get this book! I am a long-time reader of Clara's newsletter, Knitter's Review, and think she has long been giving handknitters a gift with her reviews of yarns. With this book she provides terrific background on every kind of wool as well as beautiful patterns from some of the most talented designers. For the beginner knitter as well as the most experienced, this lovely book will become one of those essential books to have in one's library. I am looking forward to savoring each entry all winter long!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it.
I'd seen this book in my library, so I know what to expect. Love it.
Published 1 month ago by sue
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed review
This book has a great deal of very detailed, well organized information. Unfortunately many of the photographs are truly awful and the designs and patterns are as well. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ginny
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile addition to the knitter's, spinner's, and weaver's...
The description of sheep breeds, explanation of why some wools are softer and more likely to felt than others was useful. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sophy0075
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gives you everything and anything you want to know about yarn you use everyday, and the more "exotic" yarns
Published 10 months ago by littleeeone
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for another great read'
Clara Parkes is a stellar writer whose work is a pleasure to read. This book is no different in that regard! Of course, it is also an excellent reference!
Published 16 months ago by Ladianne Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A precious jewel of a book
Anyone who uses wool yarn for any purpose needs this book. Although all of the directions for items made of wool yarns are for knitters, Parkes's coverage of the characteristics... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ellen
5.0 out of 5 stars Knitter
Lately, the knitting shops have yarn from small sheep farms labeled with the type of sheep the yarn is from, which I enjoy. Read more
Published 22 months ago by spottedlady
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever
This book has taught me so many thing I didn't know about the wool I was using. I'TS A GOOD BOOK
Published 23 months ago by Donna Watkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for Spinners
I really enjoyed this book because it was full of information that I could use. It is a great reference book as I spin new fiber. Read more
Published on February 18, 2013 by Patricia L. Hensley
3.0 out of 5 stars wool and knitting
This is a basic resource book with some pretty neat patterns.
Looking forward to reading it more intensely.
Good intro book to wools and some of their uses.
Published on January 14, 2013 by Nancy VA
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

"Quite possibly the only writer you will ever read who can make a discussion of micron counts absolutely riveting." - Mary Mooney, The Oregonian

Over a decade ago, Clara Parkes abandoned San Francisco's high-tech hubbub to build a quieter creative life on the coast of Maine. Since then, she has become a trusted voice in the knitting community. "Clara Parkes is the MFK Fisher of knitting: unflinching, all-seeing, mysterious--and also kind," writes Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Named by Vogue Knitting as one of knitting's "New Wave" along with Debbie Stoller and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Parkes is also the publisher of, has appeared regularly on the PBS Television series "Knitting Daily TV," and is a frequent contributor to Twist Collective.

In her spare time, Clara loves to putter in the kitchen and is a huge fan of butter.

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