The Yarn Whisperer by Clara Parkes

Sue Blacker's picture
11 December, 2013 - 11:59 | Sue Blacker

This is a lovely and thoughtful little (160 pages) book.  I was at first a little unwilling to suspend disbelief and link knitting to life as much as the cover and other commentaries had said would happen.  But in practice, Clara is a very readable writer, and has a light but serious touch.  I very much enjoyed reading from cover to cover in less than a week (which is good going for me, as I currently have a pile of part-read books which is looking askance at me).  Apart from knitting and yarns, there are gardening, family history and cookery involved ...

There is a great discussion of knits and purls ( p. 48 public/private) which also compares right side and wrong side concepts.  I don't agree with her that purls are introvert and indeed enjoy and work faster in purl than knit and also love the variety and the drape of a mixed stitch cloth - the only good reason, apart from not being able to purl, that I can think of to work only in knit is for colour work!  But it takes all sorts ...

The other chapter of particular interest to me was The Dropped Stitch, which is also about friendship but discusses woollen and worsted yarns, and here I am 100% plus (!) in agreement that woollen spun yarns are totally wonderful for the longer term ...

All in all, a great read - works like a series of short stories but also a series of brief biographical and philosophical pieces.  It deserves to be read and reviewed beyond the knitting and yarn world.  And in these electronic days, it's also nice to have a hard-back with a paper cover, with slightly unevenly cut  pages, which smells unmistakeably of book!

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