Some of you know this is one of my favorite knitting books. It was published in 2007, and I received a copy for Christmas. I devoured it in a day or two and was particularly intrigued by the front matter. Clara Parkes explains everything knitters like me want to know about yarn: the difference between fibers (plant, animal, and manmade), how yarn is created, how plying affects yarn and the things that are made from that yarn, and more. Clara also offers patterns for different types of yarn, with notes about why the pattern showcases certain features of the fiber.
After reading this book, I found myself untwisting yarn to see how it is constructed, and I began to think seriously about making my own yarn. I finally gave in to the urge in Summer 2008 and bought a Schacht Ladybug about a year ago.
I’ve met Clara twice. She signed my book (and Kristina’s, and Kris’s) at MDSW 2008. I was also thrilled to be able to take her class, “Finding True Sock Yarn Happiness,” at Sock Summit 2009 (blog post about that day). Of course, I receive a personal email from her each week. (Maybe you do, too?) When I reflect on my personal yarn evolution, I find that Clara is a major contributor to my knowledgebase.
And so, you can imagine how excited I am that she has another book out: The Knitter’s Book of Wool. We saw a preview copy at Sock Summit, and it exhibits the same high production qualities of the first book. I can’t wait to sit down and devour it. You can read a little bit about it here. Also note that there are a couple of free patterns from the book, and a list of 9 wools that inspired the book. Fascinating. As part of the pre-publication hype for this book, Random House published a Which Ewe Are You? quiz. I’m Finn!
And wouldn’t you know, I just spun some mohair/Finn fiber in an attempt to make my own sock yarn.
The book was published last week (on Tuesday, 10/13, to be precise), but since I have a birthday next week, I am biding my time. I’m pretty sure that a copy of this book is hiding somewhere in my house, but I can’t have it until Thursday. In the meantime, I’ve been rereading The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and wondering how she can top it. But I know she will!
Review of book #2 forthcoming!