Monday, March 30, 2009

The Knitter's Book of Yarn

I love this book. I know I mentioned it in some earlier blog when I was checking out a library copy, but last week my own arrived in the mail and I couldn't be happier with my decision to buy it.

There are yarns I've tried and feel I will never ever go back to, but this book explains why I should, and how to make it work this time. For example, mohair. I'm sure I worked with it during my Earlier Knitting Life in the 1980s, and I may never forget the five cowls I made with it during KnitFrenzy 08, Christmas Edition. And I do not miss it. However, when it's kid mohair and it's spun right, apparently mohair is pure joy.

Oddly enough, I have proof of the fact. I just got around to revisiting some yarns I used for a few hats so I could check the yardage (another topic for another post) and was surprised to discover that two of them - Colinette Iona and Noro Silk Garden Sock - both feature kid mohair. The Iona's mohair is spun mostly with wool plus a little silk and just as Clara Parkes promises, there is a little halo over the foundation of the wool, caused by the mohair. And the mohair and silk do reflect light in a stunning way, again as promised.

The luster is less evident with the Noro, which adds nylon to the mix for durability. In fact, it feels hard when you touch it. Hey, I bought it for the colours; I was willing to make a trade-off. But when you knit the Noro with an appropriately small needle, wowza. It's soft and touchable and feels solid and reliable, and thanks to Clara Parkes, I know why. I don't know if I'll buy it again, but I do know how to use the rest of it in the pleasantest possible way.

In other news, and as a reward for reading this much of today's post, stop by tomorrow for a surprise bonus treat thingy, 'kay?


Kathleen Taylor said...

I didn't love Noro Sock, but I'm willing to give it another try.

Yarn can be like books- you can set one aside, dissatisfied for whatever reason, and then a couple of years later, pick it up again and love it.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much! You've made this knitter (and writer) feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Mary Keenan said...

Oh my goodness, Clara Parkes!!

You know, I'm not saying anything new in my review since all the Amazon reviews for The Knitter's Book of Yarn show 5 stars, but I needed to say it because I've been looking through a huge number of knitting books in the past three months and this one is on my very short list of absolutely must-have-for reference titles.

And that was before I looked into the pattern section, which I would enjoy for the beautiful photographs even if I wasn't wanting to make a lot of what's in it. Then you get to the reference section and *it's* invaluable too.

Fabulous, fabulous book - with accessible, good writing to boot!