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The Knitter's Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber Hardcover – October 13, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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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 knittersreview.com and a frequent contributor to Interweave Knits and Twist Collective.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft; First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030735217X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307352170
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fairbanks Reader - Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2009
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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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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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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