Renowned knitter and author Clara Parkes ponders the roles knitting plays in her life via 22 captivating, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny essays. Recounting tales of childhood and adulthood, family, friends, adventure, privacy, disappointment, love, and celebration, she hits upon the universal truths that drive knitters to create and explores the ways in which knitting can be looked at as a metaphor for so many other things. Put simply, “No matter how perfect any one sweater may be, it’s only human to crave another. And another, and another.”
Parkes interlaces vignettes from her own life and philosophical musings on knitting in this small volume of essays, finding a knitting metaphor for nearly every facet of life. From dropped stitches to the inelasticity of plant fibers, from cables to bobbles, from getting gauge to pruning the stash, Parkes finds a way to relate knitting to her own life, and by extension, to ours. The title is apt; Parkes’s writing voice is quieter than fellow knitter (and hilariously funny author) Stephanie Pearl McPhee, a murmur barely heard over the gentle clicking of the needles. I came away from the book with a peaceful calm much like the one I feel after knitting for several hours.
Recommended for: knitters (and possibly crocheters), since the metaphors will really be lost on anyone unfamiliar the the art of turning yarn into fabric
Rating: 3 stars
Category: Nonfiction; memoir; essays
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori, & Chang
Release date: Sept. 3, 2013
Book source: Public library
About the author:
Clara Parkes left her career in the booming high-tech industry to pursue her love of knitting. She lives on the coast of Maine in a farmhouse full of yarn. She is the publisher of the popular Internet newsletter KnittersReview.com and a contributor to Interweave Knits. Her other books include The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, The Knitter’s Book of Wool, and The Knitter’s Book of Socks.
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