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The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn Hardcover – October 16, 2007
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“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.”
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
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.
My beef is with the description, which led me to expect 256 pages of in-depth information about fiber properties, fiber blending, the effects of bleaching, dye and other processing on the fibers, and the benefits and drawbacks of various yarn constructions. I was very excited about getting such a book.
Which is why I was so disappointed when I got the book to find so much of the space was actually devoted to patterns. The patterns are certainly good, but there are pattern books by the hundreds---that wasn't what I was shopping for here, and space given over to patterns was taken away from the information I had expected and wanted.
The shame of it is that Clara Parkes is a fine writer with wide exposure to yarns and yarn types, and access to the people who create them and the people who use them. As someone who neither creates nor sells fibers or yarns, she is in perhaps an ideal position to synthesize yarn and fiber information in a readable, unbiased way - precisely the book I expected and wanted.
What appears in the book is more of a survey of fibers and yarns for the advanced beginner or intermediate knitter, while I was expecting more of a true fiber-whisperer master class. I would have bought this book anyway had it been more accurately described, but I would have been a much happier owner had my expectations not been raised so high by the description. In Sheep's Clothing: A Handspinner's Guide to Wool by Nola and Jane Fournier is closer to what I expected this to be as far as reviewing specific fibers, although it deals only in wool and does not discuss the issues of chemistry or yarn structure.
I do like this book, but I'm also still waiting for someone (maybe Clara?) to write the book I thought it was going to be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really informative, makes a lot things clearer and definetely helps in making wiser yarn choices!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Most excellent review of yarn. Saw author on tv show & loved the knowledge re:how yarn workedust the usual , from where it came, etc. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Gail Gutierrez
Learnt a lot about yarn and what to choose. Perhaps even why what I like is soo expensive.Published 7 months ago by Allyson Nicholson
Some useful information is included, but the patterns are pedestrian and unappealing. I realize that that assessment may not be everyone's. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Darci
Once again, Clara doesn't let us down. She is so articulate and every detail is in this must have!Published 11 months ago by jimmersgal
Clara Parkes has done every yarner a great favor in writing this book. The first part tells how different yarns are made. Read morePublished 11 months ago by d parks