The weather was as the weather was, not unlike the forecast and not like it either—but which forecast is forever the question. Despite the percipitation the day was good—all in all—I spent the morning during the inclement moments at Vogue Knitting Live at the Marriot Marquis in a lecture by Clara Parkes: Journey Inside the Great White Bale (a 676 lb. bale of my 18.2 micron Saxon Merino wool). Clara was good and entertaining as always; in her talk she well-proved her honorary title of The Good Wool Ambassador.
By the time I got back to Union Square; after being mesmerized—if not stunned—by the immense, quietly-screaming wallpaper lights of Times Square that amazingly mute the traffic noise around you; the sun was welcoming as it dimly shone through the clouds, so familiar and human sized it was.
Lecture: Journey Inside the Great White Bale with Clara Parkes; Saturday January 18th, 10:30 to 11:30
At Vogue Knitting Live New York
"For the past year, Clara Parkes has been on a unique adventure with a 676-pound bale of scoured superfine Saxon Merino. Her mission? To discover what it takes to make yarn in this country today—who's still doing it, where, and with what kinds of equipment. The bigger mission has been to shed light on the challenges and opportunities and show just how many hands touch a single skein of yarn before it ever reaches you. In this talk, she shares the story of her Great White Bale. You'll meet the sheep and their shearers, watch wool get scoured and spun, and have a chance to touch the finished results."
At the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck after having signed my copy of her latest work, the Book of Socks.
This book is a must if you want to try your hands at warming your feet or those of someone dear to you. "A sock is a work of wonder. No other knitted garment has as many structural demands or endures as much wear and tear. The humble sock must defy gravity, suffer the confines of our shoes, and endure being trampled on all day long." Clara guides you through the making of socks from 20 patterns.
This is Clara's third book after the informative Book of Yarn (2007) and my favorite, the Book of Wool (2009).
Clara Parkes taught classes and spoke at Vogue Knitting Live in New York this past weekend. Her address was entitled The State of the Yarn Union and covered, among other things, the history of yarn marketing in the pre and post web eras.
For those of you who do not know Clara, she publishes Knitter's Review, a newsletter that comes out once a week and usually has a yarn review detailing her thoughts about knitting that yarn: how it feels, how it looks, how to care for it, where to get it, etc. and background on where the yarn comes from and who is behind it. KR also has knitters' forums, a tools section, a how-to section, patterns and book reviews too. Knitter's Review is a valuable resource for fiber enthusiasts. Subscription is free.
Some of her knitting knowledge is shown in the lovely red shawl she wears; besides, not many people can wear red but Clara can.