My name is Clara Parkes, and I am passionate about yarn. In 2000, I founded the first online knitting magazine, Knitter's Review, with the hopes of learning everything I could about yarn -- what makes a good skein, and who's doing it. I've reviewed hundreds of yarns, taught around the world, been on TV and radio, and written best-selling books on yarn, wool, socks, and life.
It's one thing to review a yarn, quite another to try your hand at making it on any large scale. By 2013, I was itching to try. I accepted a proposal from farmer Eugene Wyatt and purchased a 676-pound bale of his Saxon Merino wool. Joined by some 750 other intrepid adventurers, I embarked upon a 12-month crash course in yarn making. We traveled across the country, from a mule in Maine to madder dyepots in California, from scrap equipment in Wisconsin to a not-so-shiny new scouring train in Texas. We visited facilities big and small, learning what it takes to make yarn well, and who's still doing it in this country.
It became clear that the domestic textiles infrastructure is desperately in need of our support. More than in need, it deserves our support. I believe we should take as much care in what we put on our bodies as we do in what we put in them. When we use wool yarn that's been sourced from good people and happy animals, that's been spun with care and skill, our experience of knitting deepens in a real and profound way.
I'm on a mission to find more stories, meet more people, bring you more great yarn. The small-scale, artisanal nature of this work means most of these yarns will be in very limited supply.