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On a cold winter’s night, I went to the rare book room at Strand Bookstore, a New York institution, to celebrate a knitting institution.

imageA very cute institution. That’s her, gesticulating, way up in front of a full house.

Yes, it was Clara Parkes, reading from her book, Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World.


It being February, everybody was dressed to the nines, i.e., wearing up to nine handknits.

Beautiful woman in stunning Noro Taiyo crochet jacket.

It was an evening of warm fuzzies.

Literally: fuzzies, which were warm. Here’s Mama Stopover, Mary Jane Mucklestone, who came all the way from Maine to see her neighbor reading from her book, and two baby Stopovers, fresh off the needles.


Jill Draper came down from Poughkeepsie, wearing her amazing, wordy Each Stitch pullover.


Needless to say, there was a huge contingent of Knitter’s Review Retreat and Squam Art Workshops alumnae. I had that “when will I be big enough to go to camp?” feeling that I used to get when I was a Blue Bird in the Camp Fire Girls organization.

After a hilarious reading from the book (in which backstage PBS craft show production secrets were laid bare—it’s all smoke and Aqua Net, people), a quiz for Claramels (which quite frankly was rigged), and a robust Q & A, there was a long but jolly line to wait for Clara to sign books. As usual at such events, the bookstore staff had a pleasantly quizzical expression of “what the hell?” on their faces as they ferried more books from the back.

Knitlandia is a delightful book. As a wise observer noted, “This is a book for everyone who loves not just knitting, but the worldwide knitting community.”

OK, that was me, on the back cover. But goshdarnit, I’m right.



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