The Yarn Whisperer, by Clara Parkes (review)

December 19, 2013 Uncategorized 2


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

Links:      Goodreads       Amazon       Barnes & Noble       Kobo

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 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.

Connect with the author:   

KnittersReview      Clara’s Blog      Facebook      Goodreads
Instagram       Pinterest       Ravelry      Twitter (@ClaraParkes)    

2 Responses to “The Yarn Whisperer, by Clara Parkes (review)”

  1. Pamela D

    I love knitting memoir books. I am glad to hear it was enjoyable. I am hoping to get my hands on it sometime soon.