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The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn Hardcover


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Frequently Bought Together

The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn + The Knitter's Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber + The Knitter's Book of Socks: The Yarn Lover's Ultimate Guide to Creating Socks That Fit Well, Feel Great, and Last a Lifetime
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307352161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307352163
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Un. Real. There is no other way to describe...well, that’s a lie because I'll come up with more. But my first impression of The Knitter's Book of Yarn? Un. Real. I open the hardcover to reveal a fiber family tree. Smitten. Smitten on the spot. This book is, without a doubt, everything you ever wanted to know not just about fiber but were afraid to ask….This is absolutely a MUST HAVE book, and I don't say that often.”
—MelissaKnits, blog

About the Author

CLARA PARKES left her career in the booming high-tech industry to pursue her love of knitting. She lives on the coast of Maine in a farm house full of yarn. She is the publisher of KnittersReview.com and a contributing editor to Interweave Knits.

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 KnittersReview.com, 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.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I'd recommend this book to new and intermediate knitters.
Mkm
The Knitter's Book of Yarn is a beautiful book with some terrific patterns and it is the best resource book about yarn that there is.
Melissa Weaver Dunning
The pictures are clear and the patterns are well written.
C S Breedlove

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 108 people found the following review helpful By R. MISKIN on October 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you are familiar with the Knittersreview.com, then you know how great Ms. Clara is (and the depth of her knowledge of yarns) , and have probably preordered your copy already. If you haven't visited KR yet, this is a great introduction to yarn design, and a wonderful reference work, as well as a great set of easy and fun projects. Ms. Parkes just makes it easy to understand the "how and why" of which yarn to use for what.

I was lucky enough to score a copy of "The Knitters Book of Yarn" at the NY Sheep and Wool festival this weekend, and managed to make it cover to cover in about 10 hours. Ms. Parkes is one of this countries top experts on all types of knitting yarns, and this is a wealth of yarn construction knowledge with some really useful tips and tricks about selecting the correct yarn for your project. The projects included are also range from the beginners washcloth to some great vests and the "Maine Morning Mitts" are truly excellent. I can't say enough about how well it is written, and how facinating Ms. Clara makes all the details of twist, balance, and fiber selection.

If you are a knitter, know a knitter, or want to be a knitter, you can't go wrong here. Fun to read, clearly organized, and quite comprehensive, I know I will be using this as a reference tome for years to come, as well as making a couple of sets of Mitts for Christmas gifts!
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ever wondered why your experience of knitting is sometimes one of ambivalence? Clara Parkes suggests that it may be the materials you are using. Curious to understand why yarn had such an impact on her knitting, she quite her high-tech job and applied her experience to providing knitters honest and in-depth reviews of yarn. Her search to understand if there was such a thing as "good" and "bad" yarn led to the birth of KnittersReview.com in September 2000.

The Knitter's Book of Yarn: the ultimate guide to choosing, using, and enjoying yarn collects seven years of knowledge that has led Parkes to be considered by some a "yarn whisperer." Her goal is to help knitters avoid "yarn-related errors" and match the right yarn to the right project, "to hold a skein in our hands, look at it, touch it, listen to it, even smell it, and instinctively know what the yarn wants to become."

In The Knitter's Book of Yarn, Parkes explores common fiber types, methods of preparation, spins, and ply combinations. The yarns discussed are meant to serve as examples of type and lead to a better understanding of the yarns in your stash or those found at the local yarn shop. The main body of the volume is called "Ply Me a River," where Parkes explores the qualities of classic single ply, two-ply, three-ply and four-ply (and more) yarns. Within each section are patterns designed to showcase the best qualities of this type of yarn. Each pattern is by designers whom Parkes admires for "their instinctive love and understanding of yarn."

The end of this main body is used to explore "modern" yarns; cabled yarns and textured yarns. Parkes also includes information on the "care and feeding" of yarn; that is, how to wash and care for your garments once they are knit.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Weaver Dunning on October 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I first saw that Clara Parkes was writing a book about knitting yarn, I didn't think that it would be a book I needed to own. But I was first in line to borrow it when our local library got a copy and I have to say that I was wrong. The Knitter's Book of Yarn is a beautiful book with some terrific patterns and it is the best resource book about yarn that there is.

The book is arranged in three main sections. First, she looks at all the different types of fiber in some depth, and you will find some products that you didn't think could be made into yarn, as well as answers to some burning fiber questions you may have had, like what the heck is rayon, anyway? In the second section, she considers the structure of yarn, how it is made and how that affects the use. Finally, Clara addresses the specific qualities of singles, 2, 3, 4 ply yarns, cabled, textured, boucle, brushed and chenille yarns, and includes several patterns for each type of yarn.

I'm quite impressed and will be pleased to add this book to my knitting library. I have already knitted 2 pair of Maine Morning Mitts. This book will appeal to knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers. Bravo, Clara! Well done!

Clara Parkes also publishes a weekly e-newsletter called Knitter's Review, which is very informative, well written and entertaining.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By travel knitter on December 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book sight-unseen purely on the basis that I have so much respect for Clara's knowledge of yarn, and she is the perfect author for a book of this type.

Section 1 of the book looks at Fibre Foundations, focusing on the specific properties of various types of fibre, including the many types of synthetic and natural fibres, including some less well-known varieties. This provides a wonderful background for any knitter in to where their yarn comes from and what makes a quality fibre. As an Australian, the brief section on possum fur jumped out as factually incorrect for instance, but generally the information is fantastic and very useful for knitters or anyone who works with yarn.

Ever wondered how the fibres are transformed in to yarn? That's where section 2 comes in, looking at how yarn is processed and dyed. Section 3 then moves on to the topic of how yarn fibre is plied together to give different qualities to the final result (and explains for instance why single ply yarns have a tendency to bias or pill).

This book would be a valuable resource based only on the yarn information in the first sections, but the patterns that are also included are a wonderful bonus. Patterns are included from several different designers, with the brief to design a pattern that best highlights the qualities of a particular type of yarn. This is done very successfully, and patterns range from hats, mittens, and scarves to bags, cardigans and vests. The designs are all very wearable, but with a great diversity brought about by the different yarn types and designer approaches.

For anyone who is interested in learning more about yarns and why they behave as they do, or how to choose the right type of yarn for a particular project (particularly if you tend to substitute yarns), this book is unbeatable.
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