Of all the new people to arrive in the yarn business since Julia was born 15 years, I would say that Clara Parkes has got to be one of the people who has made the most impact on its change, the change of the zeitgeist of the knitters and how they choose a yarn, and the proliferation of throngs of people going to sheep and wool festivals. Clara is a woman who has made a very good career all around swatching skeins of wool. A good review by Clara can send a yarn off the charts. It's an amazing place she has made for herself.
Clara has written three books in the past few years for Potter Craft and has helped to educate the knitter on wool and sheep breeds, yarn and all its wacky, twisty attributes, and handknit socks. You might already own one or more of these books. They are full of great technical knowledge and can really help you out when you are stuck or just plain in a learning mood.
In December, I received a copy of Clara's new book - The Yarn Whisperer. This book is published by STC/Melanie Falick Books. It is different than Clara's other books and I was curious to see if it could hold my attention. I am a non-fiction reader - I can't remember when I last read a book of fiction. I read a lot about artists and farming and cooking and I wasn't so sure I would like reading about knitting. I read before bed each evening - it is the only quiet time I can concentrate. I wasn't sure I wanted to end my day with knitting considering I think about it a lot during the day and it is part of my job.
So --- with trepidation, I opened The Yarn Whisperer shortly after Christmas. Here is what the endpapers look like. Hot pink which is also picked up in the book jacket type. Lovely. It was a good sign. There are no photos in this book - it is not a lovely picture book - it is a literary book on knitting.
I was so pleasantly surprised - I was giggling out loud as I read through each chapter each evening - nodding, laughing, and saying to myself - "Clara, you are a funny, clever knitter/writer? I wouldn't mind having dinner with you." It has been a couple months since I planned to write about The Yarn Whisperer and things (let's say lots of little wooly baby things) have gotten away in the way. I've been looking at the book sitting on the bedside table, meaning to tell you all about it. Most likely you have already read it, but if you haven't it, I highly recommend it.
Because books are such a big part of my life, I kept looking at that cover with the yarn wrapped around it. I obsess over book design - I can't help it. I write books but I love the feeling of looking into a book - to see what the designer did to it to carry through with the cover design and the words (and sometimes photos) within. I looked at the cover color combination of brown and pink and green - loving the play on the complementary colors. I love a book with a jacket. I fear they will be a thing of the past very soon - too much money to print that extra paper. Oh, I will miss them. For all you book and design nerds out there, here is what it looks like under the jacket.
I couldn't help myself - thinking about how it needed a little multi-color treatment. I dressed Clara's book up in several strands of my Color By Kristin.
Clara is a great speaker too - You can listen to an interview with her on NPR here. It's a nice interview to knit by.
Here's what I have for all of you today - one of you lucky readers will win a copy of The Yarn Whisperer donated by STC/Melanie Falick Books. Here's how you enter......
Answer the following question in the comments.
Tell me how you like to read books - in physical book form, on some kind of device or via audio. I can't wait to hear what you all say. Me, I'm still old-fashioned and prefer the paper format.
Contest ends Sunday evening February 16th at midnight. US addresses only please. And please leave an easy way to get a hold of you - email, Rav id, blogger id.... Good luck everyone.
The Storm.... Yes,
it is storming here. I'm sitting in the studio, watching it whirl
around. This morning I helped feed hay and water mamas. It is supposed
to go for 12 more hours. It sure will make sheep farming much more
difficult. Here's a photo from my Instagram feed of the ewes and lambs after feeding.