In this complete guide to woolthe most popular yarn aroundpassionate wool expert Clara Parkes translates the vast world of sheep and their wool into the language and context of knittingWhat is wool? Clara starts with the fundamentals: what wool is made of, how it gets off the sheep, and how it is transformed from a jumbled mass of dirty fluff into a gorgeous yarn that so tempts us at our local yarn storesWho makes it? Parkes conducts an inspiring tour of sheep breeds from around the worldintroducing us to the animals who give us their wooland explains how to best knit with yarns made from their fibersWhich yarn do I use? If only there were a way to read a skein to know how it would behave and what it wanted to become Now there is! Parkes demystifies the generic nonbreedspecific wool yarn you'll find at your local yarn shop, showing you how to best determine what every yarn longs to beWhat do I knit? Parkes went to some of the most creative and inquisitive design minds of the kniting world to provide thanpatterns that highlight the qualities of specific types of woolThe Knitter's Book of Wool teaches you everything you need to know about wooland its journey from pasture to pullover The next time you pick up a skein, you won't have to wonder what to create with it You'll just know An excellent book that is really full of information Even in just eighty pages you get a lot! What is great about this book is that you can get a lot of this book being a knitter/crocheter, spinner or if you are all three! So it is a very useful book! There are quite a few patterns but not many for the beginner That is the only reason I took a star off because a beginner will only be able to make use of about half of the book because the patterns take up around a half of the book at the end But there are some very pretty lace patterns! Full disclosure: I am a Wool Person One of the things I love most about living where I do is a local climate that enables me to don a wool sweater almost every evening (without air conditioning) With that out of the wayWell, I thought I was a Wool Person, until this Clara Parkes came along Her deep and abiding passion for her subject surpasses not only mine, but that of most knitters I know, and it comes through in her book The tone of the book, though, is not one of ardor but one of curiosity, almost librarianlike research, and reverential awe, which Parkes also imbues in the reader You simply cannot read the facts Parkes provides and not feel utterly amazed by wool (and a little guilty for how much of it you've taken for granted) I spent most of my time on the first three sections of the book, focused on the structure of wool, the breeds of sheep that produce it, and their attributes Rest assured that an almost equal portion of it is devoted to wool being combined with other fibers as well as patterns that were created for the types of wool described in the book The addition of these patterns is not only a complement but a practical illustration of the wool attributes Parkes describes earlier in the book brilliant! Finally, by introducing knitters to types of wool we may not have considered previously, Parkes also introduces us to lovely little farms we may not have found before This book had its intended effect: because of it, I went to a local fiber festival, had a much greater understanding of and thus appreciation for what I was seeing in wool terms, and am now aware of several very small local farms that produce absolutely incredible wool. Great breakdown of how wool works in yarn, as well as a basic, but extensive, rundown of various sheep breed stats (staple length, softness, feltability, etc.), and a section discussing how wool blends with other fibers and how these blends act (drape, luster, halo, etc.) As someone who has been wanting to payattention to and learn the differences between breeds, this is a great starting point I can also see it being helpful for knitters who are branching out into spinning.As with the other two books in this series, I was very disappointed by the pattern photography Although I didn't really find anything amazing that I wanted to make, I do still enjoy looking at the pretty pictures of them, and when they lack any definitive focal point and make it difficult to see the stitches, I'm disappointed (Like this pic of the Cabin Socks what exactly is this supposed to be showing? It's not exactly a beauty shot, you don't get a definitive look at the stitches, and it highlights the heel diagonal, the most stretched out part of the foot.) Fortunately, the written patterns are well done.I was also disappointed of the lack of sheep pictures in the info section, although I did like that each breed highlighted had a picture of a washed lock. Imagine if all the wine in the world red and white alike were mixed together and sold as generic 'wine.' Think of how many centuries of craftsmanship and flavor would be lost, and how mediocre it would taste compared with how it would taste if the grapes had been kept separate or selectively blended Such an act would be almost unthinkable in the food world But in the knitting world, just as much nuance is lost every day when flat, bouncy, long, short, matte, and lustrous fibers from ancient and modern sheep breeds alike are bundled together and sold as generic 'wool' yarn.