I'm reposting this because Random House sent me this amazing widget link that allows you to look through the first 15 pages of the book right from this review-I thought it was very cool and thought some of you who were interested would find it pretty awesome too.
When I received my copy of this book, I admit I thought it would be a bit of a slow read-NOT! The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes is terrific book-informative, yet written in a very approachable style.
The book is broken down into basically 4 sections: Section I covers Fiber Foundations. Protein Fibers (derived from animals) (Wool, cashmere, angora, mohair, camel, alpaca, llama, Qiviut, yak, opossum (this kinda freaks me out, I admit) and silk.
Cellulose Fibers (derived from plants)-cotton, Flax/Linen and Hemp.
Cellulosic Fibers (plants and trees-renewable resources) including Rayon, Modal, Acetate, Tencel, Soy, Bamboo and Corn.
Synthetic Fibers including nylon, polyester and acrylic.
Section II covers the making of yarn from mills and microspinneries, as well as farm yarns and fiber festival yarns. It also touches on color in yarn including natural colored yarns, immersion methods, kettle or vat dyed yarns and hand-dyed and handpainted yarns. How yarn is spun, as well as pilling in yarn is discussed.
Section III entitled "Ply Me a River" covers singles, two-ply, three ply, four ply and more. This explains the pros and cons of each time, as well as cabled yarns, textured yarns, boucle, brushed and chenille. Felting/fulling (and yes, the difference is discussed here) is also touched on with information about staple length. This is short section, but informative.
Section 4 (not labeled section 4, but I am labeling it that here) is "Putting It All Together". Care of finished items for all fiber types including washing instructions, as well as removing odors (one of the tips is one part water to one part vodka sprayed on the yarn or item-who would have thought?).
WPI's (Wraps per inch) is also discussed and this explains it all.
CYCA (Craft Yarn Council of America) Numbers are explained here, as well as knitting techniques. There are also website listings for bunches of yarn. The glossary explains EVERYTHING in very concise, easy to understand terms.
I have to admit, the patterns looked terrific, but they were all knit (may force me to get the needles out in January).
My opinion on the book is that it interesting, easy reading and very informative. I learned a lot and enjoyed much more than I imagined I would. It's a great book because it does explain and fully answer all those nagging questions you may have wondered about and were perhaps too embarrassed to ask in easy to understand terminology. All the answers are at your fingertips. My only wish, perhaps some crochet patterns.
The list price for the book is $30.00, but Amazon has it new for $19.80 (the link for it is on my sidebar, in the "My Faves" Amazon box). Another keeper for my bookshelf.