Guest Author - Marjorie Colletta
I recently purchased a copy of Clara Parkes' Knitter's book of yarn it was originally published in 2007. The book is an amazing repository of information about the properties of the many different kinds of yarn that are available.
Ms. Parkes discusses the good and the bad of yarn. Which yarns tend to pill, which yarns will stretch, which will fade, which will hold up to long term use, and much more. She starts with discussing the kinds of fibers available, protein, cellulose, cellulosic, and synthetic. The book then moves into the making the fibers into yarns, how they are spun, and finally the impact on the finished product. The reason for this review so long after the book was published is that, if you are embarking on a project that means a lot to you, or if you are starting holiday projects with yarns you already own, this book will help you match yarn to projects. If I had found it sooner, I would have a few projects that would have finished much better.
All the factors that go into making yarn determine what a final product will look like and how it will act. A sweater that is going to get a lot of wear, and will need more frequent washing needs to hold its color and not pill to keep it from looking like, "that old thing". Items made for babies should ideally be soft so as not to irritate a babies skin. Since the book does not call out brands, but instead names types of yarn, and details the properties of each type, it therefore gives insight into the final product. You will be able to make informed decisions on how a particular yarn will work on a particular project.
Knitting requires planning to get the results you desire, if you do not mind serendipity dictating your knitting you do do not need this book. If, however, you would like to have all the information possible before you start a project that will involve your money and time, this book is one you should seriously consider.