Book Review: The Yarn Whisperer by Clara Parkes

The Yarn Whisperer by Clara Parkes

The Yarn Whisperer: My Unexpected Life in Knitting by Clara Parkes is a geek read. Parkes utilizes a variety of knitting metaphors to illustrate personal life lessons in these twenty-two short essays. Although eloquently written, if you aren’t familiar with terms such as steek, Kitchener, and frogging, reading The Yarn Whisperer can leave you feeling a little discombobulated. The themes are universal, but the lens is narrow. It’s a little like trying to describe the joy of basking in sunlight and fresh air to a fish who has known only the cool depths of the sea. You might as well be talking in a foreign language.

Life is a fabric that is made, mended, cut, and embellished. It can be unraveled; it can be reworked. It is a fabric we work on every day, bit by bit. As such, I can appreciate the knitting metaphors – the exciting potential of a new yarn, the slow addition of stitches, and patterns that gradually emerge. However, if I wasn’t obsessed with knitting, I’m not sure I would have made it to the end of The Yarn Whisperer. There were no revelations here – only the indulgence of spending time with someone who speaks my language.

Do you knit? Why do you love it so much?