Clara Parkes’ Knitlandia
Clara Parkes is knitting royalty. She is often viewed as a yarn evangelist, traveling the country, educating knitters about wool and how yarn is made. I’ve always wanted to read one of her books and finally got the chance to do so, after receiving Knitlandia for Christmas.
Knitlandia chronicles Clara Parkes’ adventures attending many of the biggest knitting festivals and conventions across the United States – and the world. Parkes talks about Madrona, Vogue Knitting Live, the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival…. She takes you around the globe to Colorado, Paris, and Iceland.
Clara meets with other knitting royals and it’s fascinating to read about her interactions and adventures. Her professional journey is one that makes me especially envious. Travel + knitting + writing sounds like a dream to me. Reading this book gave me such pleasure – as living vicariously through someone you admire often does.
I’ve always dreamed of attending the events about which Parkes speaks. What knitter doesn’t?! I especially liked her observations of knitters as a group. This hobby unites people of all different kinds and backgrounds. And it even unites non-knitters who love to wear handmade knits and endorse/tolerate/enable the hobby of their loved ones.
Parkes includes some lovely anecdotes of meeting knitters in some very unlikely places during her travels. She also talks about the persona of the knitter, as it’s received by society – calming, unobtrusive, heartwarming. In public places, one knitter is easily ignored but when two or more knitters gather, they frequently stand out and may even appear unapproachable while their needles click away. But it’s amazing how often someone approaches a knitter to ask what they’re making or to feel their yarn. Knitting truly brings people together.
This book was a lovely read. The stories are divided by chapters, making them quick to read. Parkes has a clever, self-deprecating writing style that is endearing to the reader – especially those of us who have admired her for so long.
If you love knitting and love seeing all the Instagram posts about festivals and events around the world, this book offers you an intimate look into these exclusive – often expensive – events.