Bookish Thursday:The Knitters Book of Yarn

The original plan was to get a copy of The Knitter’s Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn by Clara Parkes at Rhinebeck and get her to sign it. Unfortunately, or fortunately I found that a copy was being sent to me just before I left.

So I waited, and had Clara sign the back of my Blogger Bingo card so I could paste it into the book instead..

It was worth the wait! This book is stunning and informative!

Knitters Book of Yarn

I have read exactly three books this year. THREE! What can I say? I am a busy homeschooling, professional knitting Mom.. read? What’s that? So it takes a pretty special book for me to make it all the way through. This book fit the bill.

I couldn’t put it down. Clara weaves a tale of yarn that entrances! The subject of the history and making of yarn could be mundane and ordinary, even to knitters. Not so in this case. Clara’s writing style makes this a very readable, interesting volume that draws you in. With gems like  this: “Wool in yarn is like restaurants in San Francisco. You could knit a different blend every day for a year without using the same yarn twice.” Or this: “Hygroscopic means that the fiber is able to absorb up to 30% of it’s weight in moisture while still feeling warm and dry….”  How smart do I feel throwing around my new favourite word hygroscopic, and talking about the fibers I am working with in detailed way.. Thanks Clara!

The publisher says it best in their summary of the book:“The Knitter’s Book of Yarn will teach you everything you need to know about yarn: How it’s made, who makes it, how it gets to you, and what it longs to become. The next time you pick up a skein, you won’t have to wonder what to do with it. You’ll just know–the way any yarn whisperer would.”

And yes.. there are the patterns! The patterns are written not to a specific yarn or brand, but to the type of yarn and fiber. They are a tutorial in and of themselves of what yarn and fiber will work with what garment. I found my mind wandering to my stash and thinking about what yarns I had, and with what design they would work best. I started pairing up in my mind what designs I had purculating up there in  my brain with what I had available to work with.

For my loom knitting friends, the patterns are definitely doable. Anyone with a nice adjustable loom, and some motivation could translate these patterns into the loom knitting medium.

This book is a must have for knitters, designers and those aspiring to design. It is a valuable volume to turn to when deciding what yarn to use for a project or design. Clara has created the ultimate yarn switching guide!

If this book isn’t on your shelf I reccomend you run with permanent marker in hand and add it to your Christmas list!

Does This Book Make my Brain Look Fat?

Books on the brain

My mission for the next bit is to do some reading and learning. I also plan to get some ‘official’ knitting credentials on my resume starting with the CYCA certified knitting instructors program. With that in mind the following books have been procured and added to my library..

  1. I had planned to buy The Knitter’s Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn by Clara Parkes (of Knitter’s Review fame) at Rhinebeck, and get her to sign my copy. That carefully thought out plan was thwarted by the publisher when they offered me a review copy.  Now who am I to turn down a free knitting book? So rather than a signed copy, Clara, also agreeing that no one should turn down a free book, kindly signed the back of my Blogger Bingo card, so I might paste the sentiments into the book when it arrived. I planned, sight unseen to keep this book forever.. and now that I have it… not even the temptation of 10 pounds of qiviut could pry it from my hands.. er.. well.. I don’t think so. A full review later. Lets just say I am devouring this book quite in the same manner my children are devouring their Halloween candy!
  2.  Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop, if my brain looked skinny before reading this book, it has gained about 10 pounds after getting through about 1/2 of it. I have learned so much from this book and I think that even dedicated loom knitters would benefit from this one! So if you are at the library and they have it check it out!
  3. This one hasn’t hit my mailbox yet so it is not in the pile but I thought No Sheep for You: Knit Happy with Cotton, Silk, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo & Other Delights by Amy Singer, was a must have! I made a trade for this one on Ravelry, and look forward to learning a bit more about these non-wool fibers, though this book might be a bit redundant after reading the Yarn book.
  4. Barbara Walker’s Knitting from the Top has been tauted as a must read. I will be looking at this one carefully, and seeing how knitting from the top can best be applied to looms!
  5. A beautiful volume fit for the coffee table is the book Unexpected Knitting Debbie New nudges the creative side of knitting in this book, which includes a knitted lace BOAT!! yes.. you heard me right, a knitted boat! (and yes it floats!)
  6. Modular knitting is demystified in Dazzling Knits: Building Blocks to Creative Knitting by Patricia Werner, I am hoping that I can wipe de-mist from my brain and learn some of these techniques!
  7. Another review copy came along with the Clara’s book,Kaffe Knits Again: 24 Original Designs Updated for Today’s Knittersthis book is gorgeous! Another coffee table book for knitters! I had to immediately look up the location where the photos were taken.. and sigh… it is in England.. Anyway a full review on this one later too!
  8. I also recently added Marla Richard’s Knitting Board Book to my library as well. This is a great little volume for loom and board knitters.  Great instructions on many of those ‘fancy’ stitch patterns like cables, and ripples and lace and all for knitters who balk at needles!!
  9. An old classic Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting Patterns is another great one to wade through slowly.. trying EVERYTHING out as you go. The organization of this book is so well thought out, each technique is explained, then built on I have barely had time to touch the surface of this one and plan to have a whole lot of swatches by the time I am done with it!
  10. And what knitter doesn’t need a little know how with a hook? Crocheting School: A Complete Course should help with that, but I think I might just pick up a crochet class at the local Joann’s as well.
  11. Last but certainly not least, the DVD A Knitting GlossaryI picked this up at Rhinebeck as you know, and it is very much worth every penny and more! Not really an item for new knitters, but if you are in the advanced beginner, or intermediate level, then you will want to add this to your Christmas list! I am surely glad I picked this one up!

I will have to share some of my other goals tomorrow.. let the learning commence!


The Yarn at Rhinebeck..

Yep you all just come here for the yarn.. I know… So here is my haul from Rhinebeck.

Some Tahki Creole out of a few bib boxes of ‘vintage’ yarn. I intended to make myself a Luxe tunic with this..

 Tahki Creole Yarn


  1. I don’t know if it is enough yarn
  2. It is bulky rather than worsted so I may need to do some math!!

We will see it might become another sweater that I can wear against my skin!! Like Tubey!!

Now we come to the obligatory Briar Rose purchase.. I keep buying their yarn, and knitting with it.. ripping it out and then setting it aside.. not that I don’t like it. I just need to find the perfect project I think.. But I love it!!

Briar Rose Yarn

I saved the best for last.. Please.. just don’t tell my husband how much I spent on this little gem. 


I decided it was time for me to get myself some luxury yarn! I am also hoping that it will be all it is supposed to be:

  • very warm
  • very light
  • hypoallergenic

With emphasis on the last point!!

Next up the notions, and Azia’s haul of course!!