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Knitter's Review
March 16, 2016
the box

You know how much I love wool. I've reviewed countless skeins of it, I've written a book about it, I've even created a business around it. I want to insulate my house with it, and if I were to be completely honest, I wouldn't mind being buried in it.

This is why I hope you'll understand my excitement about Allbirds, a San Francisco-based startup that aspires to make the simplest, most comfortable shoe using—wait for it—pure New Zealand wool. I've never reviewed a shoe before, but then again, I've never worn anything like this.

Just one month ago, my book Knitlandia made its debut. I got to tour the country and spend time with some our finest knitters. I spoke to a gathering at a Somerville brewery and chocolate studio, at New York's legendary Strand Books, to a happy standing-room-only crowd of friends at Loop Yarn in Philadelphia, in front of a comfortably seated and tea-sipping crowd at Churchmouse Yarns on Bainbridge Island, to a literary Powell's Books crowd in Portland (Oregon), and to a bustling Stitches-filled convention center in Santa Clara.

just a few of the people who came

No matter where I went, what I saw was the same: A warm, open, passionate crowd of like-spirited people who were overjoyed to see our world reflected in print.

And then, just one week ago, the unimaginable happened. I got the news that our little book had landed a coveted spot on the New York Times bestseller list, at number 5 in the Travel category. This is, to my knowledge, the first time a knitting book has ever crossed into that category—and it is entirely your doing.

Besides a profound sense of accomplishment, I've been overcome with pride in what we, as the collective community of knitters, have managed to tell the world. You and I have long known that knitters are not unidimensional, that we are a diverse and curious and passionate community. Seeing our world land so squarely within this larger literary realm gives me hope. May books about our world regularly appear on every category of those bestseller lists one day.

I recently had an opportunity to talk with several wonderful people in (and on the periphery of) our knitting world. If you're looking for a good listen, you can tune into the Joy Cardin show on Wisconsin Public Radio (featuring a surprise call-in from Amy Detjen), the CraftSanity podcast, and Elizabeth Duvivier's Morning on the Dock podcast.

This weekend the Edinburgh Yarn Festival takes place at the Corn Exchange, and all of the UK's brightest and wooliest will be in attendance. Meanwhile, from March 31 to April 3, Loveland, Colorado, will host Interweave Yarn Fest. I'm giving the keynote talk on Saturday night, titled A Tale of Twist, and I understand a few seats are still left. Maybe I'll see you there?

Our calendar is overflowing with knitting-related retreats, conferences, and getaways. Find them all here.

As always, I thank you for your readership and your support. Take care, and I'll write again soon!

Clara Parkes

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On the Cover

Hmmmm, I wonder what's in the box?

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