In 2000, Clara Parkes launched Knitter’s Review, and the online knitting world we know today sprang to life. While keeping that vibrant community percolating at a highly caffeinated pace for almost two decades, Clara has written books that set the standard for depth of knowledge and feeling for yarn and knitting, including The Knitter’s Book of Yarn (2007), The Knitter’s Book of Wool (2009), and The Knitter’s Book of Socks (2011). Clara’s Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World (2016) surprised no one when it climbed onto the New York Times Best Seller list and shouted “WHAT UP MY KNITTERS!” Her latest book is A Stash of One’s Own: Knitters on Loving, Living with, and Letting Go of Yarn (2017).
Clara likes to keep busy. In 2013, she purchased a bale of Saxon Merino wool from New York farmer Eugene Wyatt. It weighed 676 pounds. Clara carted bits of this bale around to spinning mills and dyers and had it made up into yarns that had never been seen before. Some of these yarns were time travel in a skein. Clara documented the journey, creating the world’s first knittable documentary. That adventure, known as The Great While Bale, turned into an ongoing venture: Clara Yarn, where the yarns are so exquisitely small batch and artisanal that hipsters in Brooklyn dream of getting their mitts on a skein, whether they knit or not.
In everything she does, Clara champions knitting and knitters, shepherds and spinners, with a wry, thoughtful approach to all of it. We’ve compared her to MFK Fisher, but it has to be said that MFK never bought 676 pounds of wool.