The Yarn Whisperer

My Unexpected Life in Knitting
Narrated by: Clara Parkes
Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In cart

Publisher's Summary

Stockinette, ribbing, cables, even the humble yarn over can instantly evoke places, times, people, conversations, all those poignant moments that we've tucked away in our memory banks. Over time, those stitches form a map of our lives. (From the preface) 

In The Yarn Whisperer: Reflections on a Life in Knitting, renowned knitter and author Clara Parkes ponders the roles knitting plays in her life via 22 captivating, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny essays. Recounting tales of childhood and adulthood, family, friends, adventure, privacy, disappointment, love, and celebration, she hits upon the universal truths that drive knitters to create and explores the ways in which knitting can be looked at as a metaphor for so many other things. Put simply, "No matter how perfect any one sweater may be, it's only human to crave another. And another, and another."  

Praise for The Yarn Whisperer

“I see a lot of yarn books in this gig, and Whisperer is not only the best I’ve seen this year, it’s one of my all-time faves. Seriously, it’s that good.” (The Oregonian

“I don’t want to stop reading. Each chapter is a little jewel.” (KnitCircus.com)

“Parkes has a poet’s appreciation for the interconnectivity of seemingly disparate aspects of life.... I have a sense of affinity with the metaphors she chooses, which are drawn from music, gardening, baking, and of course, knitting. Her language dances and gallops, chuckles and sings.” (Kangath Knits blog)

The Yarn Whisperer weaves together knitting anecdotes and life experiences of the author in a way that I think we can all relate to.” (Kelbourne Woolens blog)

“It’s a fun book for curling up on a cool day with a cup of tea, knitting nearby, of course.” (CraftGossip.com)

“It is seriously the best book about knitting experiences ever. I absolutely LOVED it!” ­(Sweetly Made)

“If you haven’t read The Yarn Whisperer yet, you should. It’s sweet, funny and full of moments you’ll recognize or aspire to. I recommend you get a copy.” (Moth Heaven) 

“In this charming series of linked essays, Parkes metaphorically puts the fast whorl on her wheel and spins something entirely new, showing that she’s not just a good writer but a great one. Funny, sweet, and trenchant and offered in twenty-two digestible bits, this book is not only the quintessential sampler afghan of knit lit, it is also the ‘It’ gift of the season. Buy a stack to stuff inside the handmade stockings of your knitting-circle friends.” (Vogue Knitting

“The creator of Knitter’s Review has created a collection of stories of her life of knitting, yarn, baking and overall appreciation for all things beautiful, and has woven them together like afghan squares with charm, grace and hilarity.” (Petite Purls)

“Her writing is incredibly clever...this book will be dear to your heart.” (Knit the Hell Out)

©2016 Clara Parkes (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Clara Parkes: The Yarn Seer." (Interweave Knits magazine)

"If you are a knitter, or even if you are not, read this book for the sheer joy of her writing, for the way she strings ideas together and brings you into her world.... I would compare her to Mark Twain because of her dry humor. Honestly, she's that good." (New Jersey Courier News' In Stitches blog)

"Read this book to be reminded of how special it is to be a part of this warm and fuzzy community." (About.com)
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    89
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    79
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    75
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful from start to finish

Clara Parke's writing is fluid, imaginative, evocative, and happens to be about knitting. She manages to draw parallels between the yarn craft and a nostalgic view of mundane life that even non-stitchers can appreciate. From time in France as a school girl, to restoring an old farmhouse in Maine, the rhythm of the stories hits just the right notes. This is a book that can be savored for its prose over and over.

The author narrates her own book wonderfully, giving it the intimate feel of a chat between friends. I'm very glad to have this in my audiobook library.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I should have listened (but not to this book).

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I should have listened to the negative reviews here about this book. That's the bad news. However, the good news is her newer book, The Road to Knitlandia is just terrific. I highly recommend that one. Quite amusing, interesting, and fun to read. Skip this one. See the other unhappy reviews for details. I agree with them.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It was ok.

Would not listen again. It was too long for me. It was just okay. Thanks

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I was expecting a great story with great wisdom!

That is not at all what I got from this author. her title in no way relates to being at 1 with yarn. she hoes off on long, painstaking discussions in which she likes all kinds of baked goods to knitting techniques. there are 2 problems here for me: many of started knitting to keep our hands busy and our minds off if snacking; and she seems more consumed with her love of baking more than knitting. So why wasn't the book about the pursuit of baking? Then at least I would gave been forewarned not to pick it up. Her ungainly attempts at humor fall flatter than the proverbial pancake. This atrocity is not worth 5 minutes of time spent on trying to find it's merits. There simply are none!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love knitting & my stash...

I loved hearing about her different challenges, & tips. I had my sister-in-law teach me long tail caston.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

meh

Heavy on the memoir, light on the knitting. I wasn't particularly moved by this life telling.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I could listen to Clara forever

loved this book. Clara makes such appropriate connections between life and knitting. Knitting universal metaphor.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully crafted short stories

This is a great listen! Funny, riveting, and we'll told. I didn't want it to end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it!

Perfect companion while knitting. Clara has a wonderful way comparing everyday life to knitting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Never Underestimate a Knitter

Clara is a beautiful writer and this book is even better by her own narration and inflections.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for helen
  • helen
  • 12-14-16

Excellent.

As a lifelong knitter there is so much of this book I can relate to.
With lovely descriptions of the knitting of rows and ownership of work

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CherryLeafy101
  • CherryLeafy101
  • 05-16-20

A Lot of Metaphor, Not A Lot of Knitting

The author's voice is soothing, and her story telling method is enjoyable. It's nice to hear the relatable stories about her life. However, most of stories themselves aren't really about knitting. She uses knitting as a metaphor to explain her stories, to make them understandable and relatable. But, unfortunately, most of the stories aren't actually about knitting, which is what I was hoping to get from the book. The summary makes it sound like they're all about knitting, but only one or two are truly about knitting, which is disappointing. I wish I had not disregarded the reviews that talked about this. I loved Chapter Six, the one about the gardening centre and yarn stash though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sally Winkle
  • Sally Winkle
  • 01-01-20

Amazing story with great narrator

I finished this book on the morning of the first day of 2020..what a great book to start in one decade and finish in another!
A lovely story threaded with her memories and knitting yarns..Clara has a beautiful voice which perfectly tells her story.
I can’t wait to read another of her books.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Starlight 3
  • Starlight 3
  • 11-11-18

Creative Brilliance

Really enjoyed this knitting journey of life with a lovely sense of humour. It taps into the imagination. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Miss Josie H Dekkers
  • Miss Josie H Dekkers
  • 01-31-18

Helped me rekindle my love of knitting!

Such an enchanting listen. I've read Knitlandia by Clara Parkes too and they're both magical. I just wish the story was longer, or maybe I'll just listen to it again!!!