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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.
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The first half of the book is devoted to explaining how the yarn gets from it's source (the animal, plant, or mineral) to you. There is a really fun overview of all the different yarn sources--everything from alpaca and oppossum to seaweed and coal! This is followed by a brief description of the processes of creating, spinning, and dying the yarns, along with discussion of farms, mills, and even large yarn festivals to visit throughout the year.
The second half of the book is broken out by ply and type of yarn (e.g, single ply, two ply, boucle, chenille) and has several pattern examples for each ply/type. Most knitting books tend to have fairly hideous patterns, with maybe a few "interesting but NOT ME" patterns, and one or two "I love this and must knit it NOW" patterns. However, The Book of Yarn surprised me by having many patterns I would actually knit, including some cute mittens, hats and shawls.
The last section of the book is very practical, and includes useful tips for cleaning your yarn creations, calculating how much yarn you have, and a glossary.
My only small critique? The glossary and index could both be greatly expanded--I don't have much background in sewing or fashion or textiles, so I've been going nuts trying to figure out what "drape" is!
Learn about the foundation of all textile arts: the yarn itself. Did you know that rayon and Tencel start their lives as plant material, which is why you can make yarn out of milk without making string cheese? Do you know why it's sometimes called "virgin wool"? Do you know why knitters should be grateful to mulberry leaves? Do you know the difference between worsted weight yarn and worsted spun?
But my favorite thing about the book is that after it talks about the particular properties of a yarn, it offers a pattern or two that exploits that property -- and what fabulous patterns, too! I recommend this for beginning and advanced knitters alike. A real gem.
This book, more than any other I own, has made me a better, more competent, confident knitter. I highly recommend it as a must-have for every knitter's bookshelf.
Have not read very far, but scanning the book, looks perfect!
Recommended highly by fibre arts professionals.
Being a spinner I especially loved the section on plying. It gives me even more insight on the constructions of my own yarns.