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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: Knitlandia by Clara Parkes

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   Knitlandia is a beautiful journey that Clara Parkes let's you in on. It brings to mind Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's books, which I adore, and the tone and chapter subjects are very similar (I wonder if they had the same editor).

   Each chapter is like an essay that speaks about specific locations/events around the world that are of interest to a knitter (or not). In the chapter on Paris, France, Clara promises to not buy any yarn or even to go into any yarn stores. She succeeds in the first, not the second. The journey is familiar to me, as I have traveled to Myrtle Beach and have learned the joys of marking a road trip with yarn from the destination. I have also begun to venture (as funds allow) to yarn festivals, such as Rhinebeck.

  Clara is often a teacher, and most of her chapters are from that perspective, which is heartwarming, not overly critical. I have always hesitated to take classes at festivals, because even though many think my knitting is expert, I have trouble with criticism. This book helped me with that a little, because as a sometime teacher, it shows how similar we are no matter what hat we are wearing.

  Knitters really do have a wonderful club that has been cemented with Ravelry.com, craftsy.com, Interweave and VogueKnitting. There is nothing more relaxing than to go to Rhinebeck and be surrounded with people of all religions, heritage, and ages that are all yarn-crafters. The consideration that is generally there, the kindness, the camaraderie is wonderful. Even knitting/crocheting on a bus, a fellow crafter can, and will, acknowledge you with a nod and smile at least, just as if they were standing beside you at a yarn vendor at Rhinebeck and you reach for the same yarn.

  The Iceland chapter was hilarious. As someplace I have daydreamed of going to, the chapter started out as an affirmation, to a "I am NEVER going there!", to a daydream again haha. But all in good fun with general information and kindness, so I'm still good with my daydreams of Iceland.

  When I was doing video podcasting on youtube.com, I was aware of the birth of the Edinburgh yarn festival and as an American Scot, I hope to return there one day and visit. That chapter is more about the people than the festival, though. Can you imagine having a meal with Stephen West!? Even Clara is awed by who she meets there and that makes her all the more endearing. You never know who you will run into at a festival.

  This book is worth the purchase or wait through the local library. It is endearing, funny, relatable and interesting. It has a little bit of something for everyone. If you enjoyed the books by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (all hail the Yarn Harlot!) you will enjoy this book, so check it out, check yourself in and sit back with your favorite beverage when you need to rest your hands from your yarncrafting. You will not be sorry.

Be Well!