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Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,176 ratings  ·  382 reviews
Knitting aficionado and notable artisan Clara Parkes delves into her storied travels with this inspiring and witty memoir on a creative life enriched by her adventures around the world.
Building on the success of The Yarn Whisperer, Parkes’s rich personal essays invite readers and devoted crafters on excursions to be savored, from a guide who quickly comes to feel like
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Harry N. Abrams (first published February 16th 2016)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  2,176 ratings  ·  382 reviews

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Sarah Shoo
I really expected to like this. I'm a Knitter (with a captial K), and I've devoured and referenced Parkes' previous books over and over. But this one just wasn't engaging. It read more like a "who's who" of knitting rather than a travelogue/memoir of her knitting travels, and the voice just wasn't engaging. I'd stick to Parkes for her reference works, but turn to Stephanie Pearl McPhee for creative nonfiction.

ARC copy
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.

Ten Second Synopsis:
A fairly self-indulgent lark around various knitting hotspots aimed at those who are deeply embedded in the US and International “Knitting Scene”.

The book is replete with vignettes of Parkes’ time in various places around the world, for reasons related to knitting conferences, teaching and general knitting-based travel. If you’re not a hardcore knitter, if you cringe at name-dropping, if you don’t want
Louise Waugh
Mar 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, more of a list of very cool events Clara Parkes has attended because she is so superior to the rest of the world, with plenty of snark. I suspect her other books might contain useful information abut wool/yarn, but the same information is available elsewhere if one doesn't feel like giving her any money. ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me super nostalgic for knitting events I have been to. It also made me really sad for ones that I will never get to experience because they no longer exist. I'm looking at you Sock Summit yarn flash mob. :( ...more
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in knitting, fiber arts, travel, new perspectives
Clara Parkes, whose first subject as a professional writer was travel, takes us on a tour of knitting and fiber festivals. Some of her adventures as a yarn evangelist are set in venues that thousands of knitters have shared -- Rhinebeck, Taos, Scotland, Portland, Maryland. Some tell background stories of festivals and events we dream of attending - Squam, TNNA, Vogue Knitting Live, Madrona. We are there at Sock Summit for the first knitting flash mob, we are in Denver to film "Knitting Daily" (a ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a knitter and familiar with the names of designers and authors mentioned in this book. Some of the places Clara Parkes travels to are places I have been and seen or heard of.

It's so much fun to read this travel log of a knitter, designer going to conventions and retreats I remember hearing about and wishing I could go to.

This book is definitely written for knitters. If you are a knitter you will love it.
If you are not a knitter, you probably just won't understand.
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this. At first when the book was published I thought it wouldn't be my thing since all the happenings are so far from me. But I was so wrong and I do suggest this book to all knitters. ...more
Bev Hollars
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good light read for a yarn and fiber type. Brought back memories of early Black Sheep days when Sarah, Katie, Zack and Jessie walked everywhere with angora bunnies in their arms.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book.

Five Stars! I totally enjoyed this witty, interesting memoir from Clara Parkes.
It tells of her travels to knitting events around the country plus Iceland and
Edinburgh. This is definitely a books for a niche market - knitters. There are
lots and lots of those so the book should get lots of support. Unlike some
reviewers, I did not find this book to be all about Clara or thought that she was name
dropping. I learned things I did not k
Jan 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book reads like a compilation of blog posts, aimed at an audience of hardcore knitters who might follow such a blog. Although the name dropping (people from knitting shows and publications) might be impressive to these individuals, it is meaningless to the general reader. The writing isn't evocative or compelling enough to interest readers outside of this niche market. As a long time knitter, I recognized the names but found the book a disappointingly tedious read. ...more
Megan Quirk
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was everything I love about life. Traveling, knitting, community, & food. My heart is happy.
I'm a big fan of Clara Parkes. I've taken classes from her and have read all of her books. This is one of her best. ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafting
Fun for knitters following current trends. Bit too much name dropping: would have liked more on her own thoughts and feelings rather than who else was there.
Monica Tomasello
This was an amusing set of essays about the author's travels around the U.S. and the world to various fiber events and festivals. ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be a book about a knitter that travels and visits yarn shops. That we learn about the shop owners, that we read about travels on the road. What I took away from this was that the author is a snob, and this book was NOT what I expected. I kept trying to give the book a chance, but it kept getting worse. Life is too short to waste on books you don't want to finish. I love travel books, I love yarn, and crocheting. I dabble in knitting. So I really thought I'd like this book. T ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I love knitting, but sometimes I’m not ready to pick up a new project—or an old one. Then I love leafing through books that are knitting-related. Clara Parkes is the author of two of my favorite information/pattern knitting books: The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and The Knitter’s Book of Wool. Even if you’re a long-time knitter, reading one of these will probably double your overall fibre knowledge.

Knitlandia doesn’t have any patterns, but that’s not the point. Parkes is a knitting writer; she’s also
Leslie Ann
I love Clara Parkes' website Knitter's Review, but this travelogue is disappointing. Parkes has some comical insights, like this one:

A funny thing happens when more than one knitter gathers in a public place. A solo knitter, presuming she is a woman, quickly fades into the backdrop like a potted palm or a quietly nursing mother. We are a cultural metaphor for invisibility - something Agatha Christie knew quite well when she gave Miss Marple her needles and yarn. What better cloak of invisibil

Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I reviewed this book for NetGalley.

I have read Clara Parkes' books and have been a member of the Knitter's Review/forums (in lurker mode) for twelve to thirteen years, so I am very familiar with her work, particularly in the area of yarn. This book is something of a change for her, so I was intrigued by the travelogue nature of the book.

It is a great armchair book for the serious knitter who cannot make it to all the different knitting destinations in the world of knitting. Ms. Parkes has been t
Mandy Dejonghe
This book wasn't quite everything I expected it to be. I guess I expected to be taken on a journey with a fellow knitter and see how yarn implements itself in various travels. While this was somewhat what happened in the book, it felt a little like the author was above the reader. I didn't know who Clara Parkes was before this, but turns out she is a successful writer about knitting. Often because of this she had a different experience at events then say someone like me would have. This could be ...more
Camille DeAngelis
Cozied up with this one (knitting and travel! two of my favorite things in life!!!), but I was very disappointed. There is not much heart or insight in these pages, which becomes most obvious towards the end when Parkes quotes Paul Theroux, a travel writer who *isn't* preoccupied with name dropping and superficial descriptions. Through Theroux's words she touches on the transformative power of travel, but gives us no substantive indication of how her journeys have allowed her to evolve, personal ...more
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2016
This book found me at the right time, but I wish I'd read it a week earlier so I would have known to keep an eye out for Clara at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Don't be fooled by this slim tome; it is densely packed with charming essays that will inspire intense wanderlust and make you eager to find obscure breed-specific wool. Some reviews have pointed out that this feels like a who's who of the knitting world, but that was my favorite part -- I have a wealth of new Instagram feeds, knitt ...more
Martha Szescila
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book that knitters need to read to understand the knit festivals out there. It makes me want to pack my bags and meet these people and compare notes. Such a wonderful read about such a wonderful family of people. . . knitters, I love them!
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, knitting
This made me want to travel to beat the band. I also now want to go to Iceland, Squam and Edinborough.

I found reading this quite calming.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had to stop reading this book. It's all about the knitting parties I'll never get to and that's depressing. ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A love letter to the places and people in the knitting world. Evocative at times, tedious at others, but overall quite enjoyable.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This book is definitely niche. And there is plenty of knitting-royalty name dropping. I found it entertaining since I am the type of knitter who exists in this world she explored, but if you don't knit and have an interest in the land of serious knitters, then this might be boring for you. However, Clara's voice is effortless and she can be funny, so maybe a curious non-knitter person could get into it for the sheer novelty of the fact that yes, there is a thriving community of people who will d ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a colossal disappointment. I picked this book up with the promise of adventure and conversations with kindred spirits, but what I got left a sour taste in my mouth. Ms. Parkes wrote with no warmth, finding a way to criticize at least one person, location, or festival attribute in each essay. Some criticisms seemed to come from the author's obvious (and offputting) sense of superiority while other things were outright untrue, like the "rule" that the only protein served at MD Sheep and ...more
When I originally got this book from the library I was under the impression that I had got a fictional book, so was a bit surprised to find myself in the middle of some actual knit-travel. After the "shock" I happily read about Parkes´ travels and the fancy and fun knitting related events. The book is filled with love for yarn and the knitter's community and was thus a very cosy read. ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, knitting
Thoroughly enjoyed this because I am a knitter and have had the pleasure of attending Clara’s classes and presentations. It was also fun to remember knitting retreats and my own knitting experiences around the world. The constant name-dropping might be annoying for those who are not immersed in the knitting community. There were also some interesting stories about the history and background of knitting events.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming little books about the magic of knitting and those who love it!
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CLARA PARKES left her career in the booming high-tech industry to pursue her love of knitting. She lives on the coast of Maine in a farmhouse full of yarn. She is the publisher of and a contributor to Interweave Knits." ...more

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“A funny thing happens when more than one knitter gathers in a public place. A solo knitter, presuming she is a woman, quickly fades into the backdrop like a potted palm or a quietly nursing mother. ... A single knitter is shorthand for "nothing to see here, move on."

But when knitters gather, we become incongruously conspicuous. We are a species that other people aren't used to seeing in flocks, like a cluster of Corgis, a dozen Elvis impersonators waiting for the elevator.”
“Nothing is a stronger cultural lightning rod than two needles and a ball of yarn. But” 1 likes
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