My friend Alicia Santiago wrote this great book review and gave permission for me to post it here - enjoy..
I was up just about all night and took the opportunity to read "The Knitter's Book of Yarn" The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using and Enjoying Yarn by Clara Parkes, published by Potter Craft.
It's written to not only be very informative but also done interestingly rather than a bland text book. Clara covers all fiber foundations found today including SeaSilk and Soy but also covers the luxurious qiviut and cashmeres. She also discusses the government's current laws regarding fiber content. You'll know everything about Protein, Cellulose, Cellulosic and Synthetics and how they're processed, the uses and their care. She thoroughly evaluates the types of yarns, twist per inch, handspinning vs. mill spinning, yarn manufacturers (not all of them, of course), the dyeing process and whole myriad of other fiber facts.
She goes into the types of yarn as well: singles, plied, cabled, novelties and the felt factor. Care of the yarn before and after it is a garment. How to take a beloved pattern that uses discontinued yarn and use the yarn you have at hand (or make a run to the store).
There are also patterns from socks to lace to sweaters to fast knits. She's got charts in the back with WPI (wraps per inch) and what that means as far as your yarn weight. A glossary, recommended reading, briefs on the various designers that contributed to the patterns (Norah Gaughan, Cat Bordhi, to name a couple), resources on the yarns and fibers mentioned, and abbreviations and techniques.
This is an encyclopedia on yarns and fibers and I highly recommend it. If you're looking for a holiday gift for a fiber friend or for yourself, you won't go wrong with this one!
As always, I'm unfortunately not affiliated with Clara, though back in 2000 I did send her a spindle and various fibers to try out. Clara is also the person behind Knitter's Review, which is an online 'zine that you can sign up for free.
I hope you enjoyed my review! Next up will be Vogue Knitting's "The Ultimate Sock Book" but you'll have to wait until my next insomnia attack :-)