elcome to Knitter’s Review, home of the best knitting events calendar on the Internet. My name is Clara Parkes, and I’ve been sharing my adventure here since 2000. I invite you to browse my archive of in-depth reviews of knitting yarns and tools, as well as tutorials on everything from how to knit socks and lace to how to substitute yarns. Make yourself at home!

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I’m currently writing at The Wool Channel and the Daily Respite.

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Right now for @colbycollege’s January term, 12 lucky students are taking a natural history class called Reading and Knitting the Forested Landscape. They’re studying how sheep farming in Maine and New England has impacted the region’s forested landscape from the 19th century to today. Is that not a cool topic for a class?

They’re learning about the sheep islands, some of which are still populated with sheep today. They’re finding out how William Jarvis, the American Consul to Portugal, imported 4,000 Merino sheep to his Vermont farm and sparked “sheep fever” (yes really) that resulted in a massive regional deforestation that had to be re-forested after the fever subsided.

They’re even experimenting with knitting hats and doing some natural dyeing with local botanicals.

AND…it turns out they’re reading Vanishing Fleece.

Whaaaaat?! Since this is as close to a Colby degree as I’ll ever get, I decided to make the students bookmarks from the bale.

These precious snippets are from the first yarn, which was spun here in Maine at @bartlettyarns. They run the last commercially operating spinning mule in the United States. I knew the cards would do this to the fibers, and that the resulting yarn would make the most insanely plush and delicious fabric imaginable. Which it does. Just touching this yarn again was such a pleasure.

I also love knowing that knitting and wool and sheep farming in New England are being given the academic consideration they deserve.

The class is the creation of Dr. Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie, visiting Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies.

A new episode of Voices in Wool dropped yesterday, and I know I’m biased but I really, really love this one.

Eight shepherds and one daughter of a shepherd tell us about their favorite sheep.

There’s Lila, the ewe who trained herself to use a makeshift litterbox. Annie, the little diva who appeared off Broadway. We have an escape artist who always confesses, and a patriarch who does a jig at mealtime.

There’s a lamb who hitched a ride to a nearby field every morning to play with her donkey friend. A runt who elevated a young shepherdess’s showing career to an all-time high.

And more stories that deserve to be heard straight from the shepherd’s mouth.

You’ll find a link to the episode in my profile, as well as most everywhere else that you get your podcasts.

My gratitude to all those who shared their stories, and to members of @woolchannel for making this work possible. ❤️🐑❤️

When it’s -2F outside with a windchill of -21F, there’s only one thing to be done. Those conjoined biscuits on the right count as one, right? ...

We’ve arrived at peak wool season here in Maine. It’s a sunny 4 degrees outside (around -15C if my math is right) and I didn’t want to come back inside after refilling the bird feeders. Bundled in layers of sheep, life is crisp and refreshing and cozy beyond words. ...

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