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Knitlandia by Clara Parkes – step inside the knitting universe

March 7, 2016

Take a journey with quirky, hilarious Clara across the world and into the back-rooms of the knitting universe!  Knitlandia is the newest book by Clara Parkes, part of her catalog that includes The Yarn Whisperer, The Knitter’s Book of WoolThe Knitter’s Book of Yarn, and began with her creation of Knitters Review in 2000, way back at the beginning of the online knitting community.

meeting Clara

Sometimes, to learn, you have to first admit your own ignorance!  Even if this can be embarrassing at times.  On a recent visit to London, I had the pleasure of meeting author and knit promoter Clara Parkes and hanging out with Ysolda Teague (name-drop much?!).  I’d been at the same shows as Clara before, and had seen her books all over, but I wasn’t really aware of her place in the knit community.

So what did I learn as I haltingly attempted not to reveal that I wasn’t already a long-standing fan?  Well first of all Clara is a hilarious conversationalist.  Every sentence included a witty joke or fascinating perspective!  Secondly, she makes the MOST AMAZING salted caramels… I of course made the faux pax of asking for the recipe, and got a ‘… if I told you I’d have to stab you to death with my knitting needles’ type response!  Afterwards, I asked Ysolda, who has known Clara for years and who explained a bit more about her long-standing contribution to the knit community.

Since it’s The Year to Learn Something New, I set a goal to read at least one of Clara’s books, so that the next time we rub elbows at a knit event, I won’t feel like quite as much of a fan fraud!

Knitlandia : a knitter sees the world

I really enjoyed this book!  I loved Clara’s frank and colourful descriptions of knit events and personalities.  From snowcapped vistas in Loveland Colorado to New York, Paris, and Iceland, I was intrigued by this down-to-earth travelogue, and the quirky knit industry folk she describes.

The chapter entitled ‘Cashmere Dreams and British Breeds’ describes Clara’s trip to Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.  As an expat who has made a home here, I can totally relate to how she “rejoiced in how romantically dreary” her morning arrival into the city was.  Scottish dreariness is even more romantic when you’re on holiday!  From hipster cafes to the overwhelming hustle and bustle of the yarn festival, she captures the flavour of Edinburgh perfectly.

Clara visited Edinburgh around this time last year, and describes “mid-March crocuses and snowdrops, the beginnings of daffodils, blooming Lenten roses, a low, still-bare tree sporting bright pink panicles of flowers. I saw lush green grass and I smelled moist earth. So different from the frozen Maine I’d just left.” This describes the wonderful early spring in Edinburgh so clearly.  It’s like this outside right now, amid what British people call the ‘cold north’ we have such amazing early flowers blooming, an antidote to winters where our northern sun sets before 4pm.

Knitlandia_Edinburgh_ysolda

Clara also tells the story of her friend Ysolda’s professionalism and fame growing, from a pattern published in Knitty to a vastly popular international brand, and how she did it differently – by retaining all the rights to her patterns.  Having had the pleasure to spend time with Ysolda myself, I know how inspiring her story is, and the sheer force of her creative and professional drive.

Finally, Clara meditates on the meaning of travel, describing how “Travel lends a glow that makes liars of us all”, and quoting Paul Theroux, who said  “Travel is a state of mind,” that “has nothing to do with existence or the exotic. It is almost entirely an inner experience.”

Because I have also lived in many cities, and visited dozens more, her perspective on travel, life, and knitting holds for me a satisfying ring of truth, an honesty that immediately liked.  I look forward to reading more of Clara’s work in future.

For other knitters and designers’ perspectives on Knitlandia, check out the blog tour:

Feb 22… Knit and Tonic
Feb 24… My Sister’s Knitter
Feb 26… Mary Jane Mucklestone
Feb 29… Knit Circus
March 2… Yarniacs
March 4… Leethal
March 7… Tin Can Knits
March 17… Marly Bird (Yarn Thing Podcast)

win a copy of knitlandia!

Knitlandia by Clara ParkesTo enter to win a copy of the book, leave a comment telling us something that intrigues you about Scotland!

The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian entries only. (I’m so sorry all of you in the rest of the world! Not my choice). The contest closes Sunday  March 13th at midnight (PST) and we will announce the randomly chosen winner on Monday March 14th.

Monday March 14th… UPDATE… A winner has been chosen & contacted!  Thanks so all who participated… I had no idea that the Scottish animal was the Unicorn!?!

what are you reading this year?

The campaign to Learn Something New this year has expanded, for me, well beyond knit techniques.  If you follow our blog, then you know that we don’t typically do book reviews, but the serendipity of meeting (and being fascinated by) Clara, then having the opportunity to review Knitlandia made this new thing happen!

On a COMPLETELY different topic, two other books I’ve read this year that have already made a big impact on me are How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (read it right now), and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (get ready to go down a rabbit hole… and emerge on the other side, happier, with a smaller stash).

TCK socks we hope Clara would approve of


Winding Way Socks by TIn Can KnitsSC-rye-tmb-cTorrent Socks by Tin Can Knits

186 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    March 24, 2016 10:03 am

    Eve Muirhead – Scottish Curler !

  2. KimW permalink
    March 13, 2016 7:12 pm

    Oh my! The scenery and castles, of course!

  3. Berrygal permalink
    March 13, 2016 5:13 pm

    The landscape and the hiking that goes with it. Seems like a great adventure

  4. April C. permalink
    March 13, 2016 12:16 pm

    The weather, the language, and the people.

  5. amchart permalink
    March 13, 2016 9:40 am

    The highlands. The castles.

  6. Caroline permalink
    March 13, 2016 7:35 am

    The dramatic landscapes (Isle of Staffa, Isle of Skye, Glencoe, etc.), the tragic history (Glencoe, the Border), the warmth of the people, that can offer you a beer at 7 in the morning on the shore of Loch Ness, the passion for well-crafted whiskies. I’ve been two times, but it’s one of the countries that I would visit again and again (still on the list : Islay, Orkney, Lewis and the South West!)

  7. cj425 permalink
    March 12, 2016 10:01 pm

    The accent! Love the Scottish accent :)

  8. Denise Lew permalink
    March 12, 2016 3:20 pm

    Would love to visit and see the sites and of course visit the knitting shops!

  9. Lisa C. permalink
    March 12, 2016 8:08 am

    The scenery! Scotland is just to die for, so I would love to hike the moors and Highland glens (and collect some souvenir wool along the way!)

  10. Pamm permalink
    March 12, 2016 6:20 am

    I am of Irish descent and have always wanted to explore Ireland, Scotland and England. The history of that part of the world fascinates me, as do the customs! Just think I may pass on haggis however!

  11. Susan permalink
    March 11, 2016 7:03 pm

    I’ve been fascinated by Scotland since I was in 4th grade. Some day I hope to actually get to visit this amazing country.

  12. Brenda permalink
    March 11, 2016 3:19 pm

    Is Nessie real or a fake? Do nice pixies outnumber mean pixies? How can a place that makes haggis also make the best shortbread ever tasted? Since my family history shows I am related to a past king of Scotland (on the wrong side of the royal bed if you catch my drift) can I live in a castle there?

  13. March 11, 2016 11:51 am

    The scenery! I love how even though its so far north, it has a lush ‘green-ness’!

  14. France permalink
    March 11, 2016 8:25 am

    The whole Scotch-making process intrigues me quite a bit, since my husband is such a fan of it.

  15. March 11, 2016 7:36 am

    I’ve been to Scotland twice and even performed in the Ediburgh Festival (which I’d love to do again!), and I can never get enough of those Scottish moors.

    I can’t wait to read Clara’s book!

  16. Lisa C. permalink
    March 11, 2016 7:12 am

    The scenery! I’m dying to hike the West Highland way with my trusty camera and just soak in all the natural beauty! (and to bring home some nice souvenir wool!)

  17. Barbara Edwards permalink
    March 10, 2016 10:40 pm

    40 years has passed since i visited Scotland but I have very f ond memories, especially in the Glen Nevis area. I would love to beable to go to the Yarn Festival some day

  18. March 10, 2016 9:26 pm

    The plaid ;)

  19. Tracy permalink
    March 10, 2016 7:50 pm

    I’m dying to read this book and haven’t found the time to get my hands on a copy yet. Maybe I can win it instead!

  20. March 10, 2016 7:31 pm

    So many interesting sights and sounds which are both subtle and grand. Would enjoy seeing The Kelpies.

  21. Diane in Northern Calif permalink
    March 10, 2016 6:44 pm

    A recent DNA analysis revealed a significant number of Scottish ancestors on my father’s side (we used to think it was only British). I now realize that I’ve neglected learning about that part of my family tree and plan to dig further back to determine where they are from.

  22. Emily B permalink
    March 10, 2016 12:43 pm

    I am totally intrigued by Scottish History! I have an Irish History degree and there is a bit of a friendly rivalry between Scottish and Irish historians. The histories of both countries are so often intertwined that it is hard to study one and not the other. I am also enamored of the Shetland Islands and Shetland lace. Seeing amazing Shetland lace was part of the reason I started knitting lace in the first place. I am also in love with Highland cows and would have a whole shaggy heard of them if I had the space and DH would let me have them!

  23. March 10, 2016 10:24 am

    The tartans!! All things tartan related intrigues me about Scotland. I love watching documentaries about how tartans are made, the history behind them and the how families are represented in the different colours and plaids, and I really enjoy seeing how designers update tartan fashions (there was a blog post by Kate Davies about her favourite tartan designer, each piece was gorgeous!!).

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway!!

  24. Megan Chrostowski permalink
    March 10, 2016 9:53 am

    Is love to learn more about my Scottish ancestors – the McCulloughs. They came to Canada ages ago and ended up doing the Red River trek west in covered wagons (anyone remember grade school Can History?). And I’m with you on the KonMari thing – it’s been epic around here! Have not yet attempted the stash though. I think one is supposed to save the really hard stuff til last ;-).

  25. Lori S permalink
    March 10, 2016 9:39 am

    My favorite thing about Scotland is their accent. Love it.

  26. Cheryl P permalink
    March 10, 2016 7:09 am

    I would love to see Scotland to visit some of the places I have read about in Rebus books by Ian Rankin. Do I even need to mention visiting yarn shops and maybe a farm or two?

  27. March 10, 2016 6:12 am

    When I was in England in 1981 to visit a friend, we took the train to Edinburgh for a short trip. We rented a car and drove out into the country.

    Two things I remember vividly.
    1) how late it got dark (it was just before midsummer.
    2) Outside the city, Scotland was a wild and glorious place.

    My friend minor edit in photography. During that trip, he coached me and let me use his camera. It sparked a love of travel photography that continues to this day.

  28. Carol permalink
    March 10, 2016 5:11 am

    First of all, I’m surprised I’m the first to comment. I am so excited to read Knitlandia and I love Scotland. I have visited a couple of times in the past…but before I took up knitting. I would love to visit again and pay more attention to the sheep farmers and their wool. I have fond memories of watching the border collies and shepherds herding the sheep over large expanses and watching the sheep move effortlessly as a huge pack. Thanks for a fun blog post, as always!
    Carol

  29. Claudia permalink
    March 9, 2016 10:22 pm

    I must admit my own ignorance in regard to Scotland, other than haggis,and the Loch Ness monster, I know nil. So I did what one does in 2016 and goggled Scotland, now it is one my travel list. The scenery, mountains and knitting history makes it a trip I must make.

  30. Robyn permalink
    March 9, 2016 6:58 pm

    I’ve wanted to go to Scotland ever since I visited Wales some years back. I’ve got friends there and not only would I love to see them, but I’ve always been taken by the scenery, especially on the Isle of Skye.

  31. jody Johnson permalink
    March 9, 2016 3:51 pm

    What intrigues me about Scotland…. handsome men in kilts, being my ball winder for me ;-)

  32. Flor de Maria permalink
    March 9, 2016 2:40 pm

    Its music–I find that fascinating as I think it is one of the most recognizable of its culture.

  33. Emma Treleaven permalink
    March 9, 2016 1:36 pm

    The size and ruralness of Scotland intrigues me! Its massive, and the sheep population is huge, unlike the rest of the UK.

  34. Kayteau permalink
    March 9, 2016 12:06 pm

    I made a solo trip to Scotland for a birthday many years ago. I had a Scot Rail pass and 7 days of getting up and deciding where to go based on where the next train was going. Unfortunately that was not anywhere near enough time to see everything I wanted to see. So what intrigues me are the things that are not near the major rail stations!

  35. March 9, 2016 10:24 am

    My only trip to Edinburgh was in mid-February and it was a frost fairy tale. The zoo was wonderful because all the penguins and polar bears were frolicking outside in weather made for them.

    I was intrigued with the boy scout troop that was unloading after some type of weekend trip when we got to the train station…they were all in those khaki uniform shirts but they all sported kilts and sporrans (mid-Feb I say!). I am imagining it or do Scottish men all have great legs??

  36. Sherry permalink
    March 9, 2016 8:37 am

    All the sheep intrigue me! I would love to visit one day, it looks like sucks beautiful country and I love the accent too!

  37. Katherine permalink
    March 9, 2016 8:24 am

    That would have to be the Scottish moors, romanticized to a point where it’s a dream to see them.

  38. Bridget permalink
    March 9, 2016 7:15 am

    hmmm something that intrigues me about scotland..probably just the amazing countryside. I’ve always wanted to walk the hills.

  39. Sarah permalink
    March 8, 2016 10:54 pm

    Bagpipes! No, but seriously. I had a neighbor growing up who played the bagpipes while walking up and down the street and every time I heard that tell tale start up whine I would run to our backyard to listen. Besides that, just roaming the countryside… Sigh… I need to travel again. Thanks for sharing!

  40. florapie permalink
    March 8, 2016 9:29 pm

    The Arts & Crafts movement is just one intriguing thing about Scotland-I’d love to visit the landscapes, and the cities!

  41. Barbara Reynolds permalink
    March 8, 2016 9:02 pm

    Hello! My friend is from Glascow and travels from NJ to Scotland every few months to visit her mum. She has shown me the beautiful scenery. I also LOVE the yarn she brings back.
    Unfortunately, I am not retired. I have little time to do more than my work, household things and knit. Do my patient’s charts count as reading? (I’m a nurse). I hope I win the book. It would give me an incentive to sit down for a few minute. 💗

  42. Mary Lorenz permalink
    March 8, 2016 8:22 pm

    I’m intrigued by Scotland’s beautiful landscapes! And unicorns!

  43. March 8, 2016 2:15 pm

    I find all of Scotland intriguing! Would love to learn more about the yarn industry there (if there is one?)

  44. March 8, 2016 2:02 pm

    I was lucky enough to honeymoon in Scotland, and I fell completely in love with it—and its gorgeous contrasts. The contrast of urban and natural landscapes in Edinburgh. The contrast of old and new architecture in Glasgow. The contrast of some of the darkest clouds hardest rains I’ve ever seen, followed shortly after by the bluest skies (and then clouds and rains again!). Such a beautiful country… I miss it terribly and hope to visit again someday!

  45. joyce permalink
    March 8, 2016 1:08 pm

    I would love to see some of their needlework and knitting.

  46. Kathie permalink
    March 8, 2016 11:58 am

    Scotland intrigues me because of the landscape, the sheep and the history of knitting from this area.

  47. March 8, 2016 10:19 am

    Scotland has always intrigued me because my family is originally from there (we have been in Canada now for a few generations). I have visited Scotland a couple times, once as a child and again as an adult, and both times left me wanting more! The highlands especially were very whimsical and almost magical. I want to visit again to explore even more – especially now that I am a knitter!

  48. CHRISTINE BUTLER permalink
    March 8, 2016 9:39 am

    I’m intrigued about the early Scots wearing rough wool kilts and nothing else. That is enough to make anyone hardy.

  49. Dominique permalink
    March 8, 2016 9:30 am

    The green pastures and the castles! So cliché , right? Lol.

  50. March 8, 2016 9:05 am

    We ( hubby & I) have a trip to Scotland on our bucket list. He wants to sample a large variety of single malt scotch in their natural habitats, as it were. And castles, of course! Lol. Ive never heard of this author…off to the library to look her up!

  51. mamamajuly permalink
    March 8, 2016 8:59 am

    Is there something not intriguing about Scotland? The light, the nature, the accent (so special and charming for the french-speaking girl I am), it seems so different and romantic somehow.

  52. March 8, 2016 7:26 am

    I have wanted to visit Scotland ever since I saw “Brigadoon” at the age of six. I was not yet a knitter then, so it was the kilts and the dancing the heather on the hill I wanted to see. Now it’s all those things, plus sheep, wool and much more. Looking forward to a mini-tour in “Knitlandia.”

  53. Mindy Hoppe permalink
    March 8, 2016 6:29 am

    As a recently retired music teacher and avid knitter, I would love to read this book! I am hoping that my future will include a trip or two to Scotland to explore the people, land, my ancestral roots and of course the sheep/wool/yarn of this beautiful place. Not to mention all the other wonderful yarn-producing areas in the world!

  54. Denise Mcdonald permalink
    March 8, 2016 6:23 am

    Clara’s “Knitlandia” book looks like an interesting read! I agree, Scotand is an intriguing and unique country. I was able to visit for a few short days with my mom a few years back – the heathered mountains and lochs were beautiful and unique. And Edinburgh’s royal mile and castle were fun to explore! Thanks for doing a giveaway.

  55. Dawn Kilmer permalink
    March 8, 2016 6:09 am

    When I think of Scotland, I immediately think of tartans, and argyles and lace and the sheep that provide the wool to make them. I know there is so much more to Scotland and I hope to travel there someday.

  56. March 8, 2016 6:05 am

    I’ve always been fascinated in the history of Scotland. They have such a wild country and the hearty people within seem so well suited.

  57. March 8, 2016 5:55 am

    The book looks fascinating! I’d been to Scotland once, but just on a quick weekend trip up from Harlow, where I’d been staying. We toured Edinburgh by bus and visited the castle. On my next visit to Scotland I’d love to do some hiking in the country.

  58. Sally permalink
    March 8, 2016 4:44 am

    Oh, everything about Scotland intrigues me these days! I’m currently having a long-distance relationship with her. Scottish baking (can you say Echelfechean?), the Millarochy oak..never mind that I can’t spell any of it!

  59. Janet Ulrich permalink
    March 8, 2016 4:40 am

    Scotland intrigues me by its beauty, history, and stories. I have never been across the pond and only recently visited Canada (wonderful!). Someday, I would love to go. Until then, I read about it.

  60. Jennifer permalink
    March 8, 2016 4:01 am

    We loved Scotland and would love to spend more time there. Just yesterday my daughter was asking to go to “the place that had pineapple juice and then we walked up that big hill to get to the castle with the long lines.” So evidently what intrigues me the most is the number of places that have pineapple juice. I wish we had more time to joke around the Highlands–how so much beauty can be packed into to that area is beyond me.

  61. nendyrn permalink
    March 8, 2016 3:54 am

    EVERYTHING intrigues me about Scotland….maybe one day I will be able to experience it first hand!

  62. Jessica permalink
    March 8, 2016 2:55 am

    Fun review! I took a birdwatching cruise to some of the further flung islands of Scotland, and missed the Highlands entirely. Seas were heavy and we couldn’t land on Fair Isle, and we got to Lewis / Harris on a Sunday when everything was closed! So Scotland still has a lot of intriguing knitting / fiber tourism for me. Also, I have only learned to drink whisky since leaving the area. So there is a lot to explore there too!

  63. March 8, 2016 12:20 am

    Responding to what intrigues me about Scotland… I feel a physical pull to both Scotland and Ireland. A need to go there. It is part of my heritage and I suspect when I get there it will feel like coming home. The history, the wildness, the vastness of the land’s spirit. A little misty eyed now. LOL.

  64. Monique permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:43 pm

    Thank you for this review! My sister recently brought this book to my attention and I’ve been interested to learn more about it and Clara. I am intrigued about the historic mills still operating in Scotland, and a skein from New Lanark was on my list for travel stash purchases!

  65. Tori permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:10 pm

    I’d love to read Knitlandia! And I’d love to travel to Scotland; my mother’s family is from there and it would be so interesting to see where my family comes from.

  66. March 7, 2016 10:37 pm

    My husband and I were married in Scotland in 2004 at the top of Ben Lomond. As two dorky engineers, we spent half of one honeymoon day at the Falkirk Wheel. We never rode it, just watched it go round and round and round. My husband’s souvenir model of it was almost confiscated at customs. They thought it was a weapon! I look at our picture of it and wonder, why aren’t there more of those marvels?

    Thank for the book recommendation! As a Colorado native, I need to get it to find out more about the Loveland festival.

  67. Ramona permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:44 pm

    Many years and several boyfriends ago I got to visit Glasgow with a short trip to Edinburgh. This was log before I was a knitter or I would have had many places to visit. One place I had longed to see was the Highlands. And my dream was to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster!

  68. Sharon permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:51 pm

    What doesn’t intrigue me would be an easier question! I study our family history – most of which is in Scotland. I can’t wait to get to Tyree to do some hands on research!

  69. Ashley Morton permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:36 pm

    My family on my mom’s side is Scotish, we even have our own crest! Would love to see where my ancestors are from, one day.

  70. March 7, 2016 8:27 pm

    The old ruins, castles, and historic buildings intrigue me most in scotland

  71. jeepgeek45 permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:09 pm

    Scotland? Everything about Scotland intrigues me. The land, the people, the way of life and of course I love to hear how people knit and what they make!

  72. Kjerste permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:16 pm

    Would love a copy of this book! I too visited Scotland in the spring. I miss the sausage rolls!

  73. Kquvien permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:08 pm

    Everything about Scotland intrigues me. The landscape, the Single Malt, the history, I could go on and on. However, I grew up with cows and those beautiful, long haired orange cows of Scotland intrigue and fascinate me.

  74. LisaRR permalink
    March 7, 2016 6:04 pm

    I would like to see a huge expanse of heather in person some day. Hard to imagine from books …
    Thanks for the contest!

  75. Anita Jamieson permalink
    March 7, 2016 6:03 pm

    I meant Sterling Castle

  76. Anita Jamieson permalink
    March 7, 2016 6:03 pm

    I love Stetling Castle and Scottish accents. I would love the book

  77. Melanie permalink
    March 7, 2016 5:39 pm

    Looks like I’m the first! I don’t know much about Scotland, though it’s on my travel list. It’s very interesting that flowers bloom so early. I am jealous!

  78. Sara Scott permalink
    March 7, 2016 5:27 pm

    When I was in high school, I lived in England for a year. That was so amazing! I’ve always thought it would be incredible to return and spend a year with my husband and children. I would love to see Scotland, to see the amazing landscapes and to also see the ancient villages. I live in the NW of the US, so my part of the world is an infant compared to the rich history of Scotland.

  79. oldgoatwoman permalink
    March 7, 2016 4:33 pm

    Intriguing to me about Scotland was upon arrival I felt immediately at home. Upon departing I had already decided when I died I wanted my ashes spread in the Highlands. Then, I discovered that was no longer allowed as nitrogen from so many ashes already spread was changing the fauna in the Highlands! Clara’s books are a wealth of information that I do refer to often.

  80. March 7, 2016 4:30 pm

    Scotland holds much fascination for me as my father’s parents were born there. Motherwell, to be a little mor precise.

  81. leanne welch permalink
    March 7, 2016 3:56 pm

    I watched Outlander and was totally captivated by the scenery of Scotland. The old castles and the beautiful landscape look so different than anything you could see in the US.

  82. Esther permalink
    March 7, 2016 3:52 pm

    If I have the chance to visit Scotland someday, I would like to go during the Edinborough Yarn Festival. I love your patterns and have just begun to read your blog. Thank you for all that you’ve contributed to the knitting community and this giveaway opportunity!!!

  83. March 7, 2016 3:37 pm

    For several decades, I have thought about travelling to Scotland to visit the castles

  84. Louise Gingery permalink
    March 7, 2016 3:32 pm

    I am intrigued by the history and landscape of Scotland.

  85. Teena Carter permalink
    March 7, 2016 3:28 pm

    Thank you for introducing me to author Clara Parkes! Her stories sound very intriguing. I have always wanted to visit Scotland just to see all of the old world castles! Now that I am knitting, I also want to see the sheep!!!!

  86. March 7, 2016 3:11 pm

    I am really intrigued by the Scottish food, haggis and all. And the lochs…I would love to visit, and read this book to help plan my trip. Thanks for the giveaway.

  87. Madeleine permalink
    March 7, 2016 2:51 pm

    The landscape intrigues me and the knitting traditions!

  88. March 7, 2016 2:38 pm

    I have read so many books set in Edinburgh. I so want to visit the city and see whether it looks, smells, and feels the way I imagine it!

  89. Les permalink
    March 7, 2016 2:32 pm

    Scotland is endlessly intriguing to me. One thing I would especially like to see: McIntosh architecture and furniture.

  90. Lynn permalink
    March 7, 2016 2:16 pm

    Everything about Scotland intrigues me,the people,the landscape,history,culture,knitting,of course,whiskey.Maybe not the food,though.

  91. Stephanie Zingale permalink
    March 7, 2016 2:03 pm

    Is this where I’m supposed to leave a comment to win Knitlandia? I don’t think I’ve ever been first– for anything. But, if it is: something that intrigues me about Scotland– Haggis.

  92. Colleen F permalink
    March 7, 2016 1:57 pm

    Scotland has always seemed so mysterious and magical to me! From the moors to the bagpipes to the bogs. Definitely adding these travelogues to my reading list ;)

  93. Jane permalink
    March 7, 2016 1:49 pm

    I love Scotland, and have been lucky enough to visit several years ago.The standing stones at Callanish are special, I would love to get back to see them again. It would be so nice to win this book. Thanks for the chance.

  94. Amy permalink
    March 7, 2016 1:37 pm

    I’ve only been to Inverness. My sister and I took the night train up from London (so I slept through most of Scotland). I’d love to come explore the rest. The people we met were very nice and welcoming. Although my definition of a short morning walk and that of the inn keepers are very different. (out short walk went to the top of the mountain above the loch, down to the shoreline and half way back up to the inn again.) Gorgeous scenery. And it was a lot of fun hearing all of the different theories on Loch Ness and the monster.

  95. Eliza permalink
    March 7, 2016 1:33 pm

    I want want to visit Scotland for the hiking and mercurial weather.

  96. March 7, 2016 1:29 pm

    My grandmother’s family is from Paisley, Scotland so I would LOVE to go to Scotland.

  97. Kerry Blossfeld permalink
    March 7, 2016 1:27 pm

    The mysterious inky stillness of the lochs!

  98. Kathleen McAllister permalink
    March 7, 2016 1:19 pm

    My husbands family ancestors, (McAllister), are from Scotland. I would love to know more about their origins and culture

  99. March 7, 2016 1:17 pm

    I think Scotland is an incredibly beautiful country. I am intrigued by its beauty and its folk lore. I wish I could visit!

  100. March 7, 2016 1:16 pm

    Scotland seems like such a beautiful country! I can’t believe how green and gorgeous the country looks in photos! I would love to visit someday.

  101. Kay permalink
    March 7, 2016 1:05 pm

    I am intrigued with Scotland in many ways but the Scots sense of self is amazing. As a people it seems that they are more a community than any other country. The people are the country.

  102. March 7, 2016 1:04 pm

    I had the privilege of visiting Scotland in college. I adore the landscape and the people. At the time I hadn’t begun knitting again, I wish I could go back now and visit and experience it through the eyes of a knitter and spinner.

  103. March 7, 2016 12:55 pm

    I’ve always been intrigued by the castles in Scotland and wide open spaces. And since I’ve become a knitter… the sheep! :) I also just finished up The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – such a good read to inspire massive purging. Although, I haven’t applied it to my yarn stash yet! Thanks for the opportunity to win – I’d love to read Knitlandia!

    Crossing my fingers,
    Natalie
    @oystersandpearls
    Ravelry @oystersandpurls
    oystersandpearls.net

  104. Deborah permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:53 pm

    Great write-up! Oh, I am in love with and intrigued by the Scottish accent. It sounds like music to me, even if I don’t understand half of what is said. 😀

  105. March 7, 2016 12:40 pm

    So much interests me about Scotland, and I really hope to get there one of these years. I am most intrigued by the landscape, how varied and gorgeous it is. I would love to go hiking for months there!

  106. pistachios permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:37 pm

    There are many things that are exotic about Scotland, not least of which is the accent!

  107. JudyAnn permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:31 pm

    The castle and shoreline at Dunnattor is just magnificent! I’d love to go back! And eat a lot of Scottish salmon! While reading this book, of course!

  108. Jacqui Tondreau permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:23 pm

    I love Scotland and find the Highlands to be intriguing and beautiful. Thanks for the opportunity!

  109. Adrienne Piscitelli permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:13 pm

    I’m so intrigued by the history, particularly in the architecture. Being from America, my country is not as old. Even though I do live in New England which is one of the oldest parts of the country, we don’t have building that have been standing for nearly as long.

  110. Amy C permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:06 pm

    Shetland wool – Kate Davies- Jamieson and Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight yarn – – fair isle knitting!! Oh yes!

  111. Dorie permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:57 am

    Woolens and whiskey!

  112. Branwynne permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:42 am

    What doesn’t fascinate me about Scotland?! I would dearly love to go there someday. The history is probably most intriguing to me- which encompasses the animals, the landscapes, cities, food and flora. This book sounds amazing!

  113. March 7, 2016 11:31 am

    A friend recently just lent me the first season of Outlander. The scenery was beautiful, the costumes were gorgeous, and the story kept me on the edge of my seat. I am intrigued about all things Scotland now, except maybe the food.

  114. March 7, 2016 11:24 am

    The beautiful green and glens!!

  115. Anita permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:12 am

    St. Andrews! The birthplace of golf? 3rd oldest university in the English speaking world??? The Holy Trinity church, and ruins of the castle and the cathedral!!! That whole city! And all the yarn shops within driving distance… *dreams*

  116. Helen King permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:04 am

    I don’t know much about Scotland but I love their accents and the pictures I’ve seen are gorgeous!

  117. Helen King permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:01 am

    I really don’t know much about Scotland but I love their accents and the pictures I gave seen are gorgeous!

  118. Julie Davidson permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:01 am

    I love Clara Parkes and I am fascinated by haggis.

  119. Jessica permalink
    March 7, 2016 10:57 am

    I love the history of Scotland!

  120. Melissa Wilson permalink
    March 7, 2016 10:56 am

    The isolated and natural grandeur and beauty of the mountains, lochs and moors.–surrounded by ocean.

  121. Kate G permalink
    March 7, 2016 10:56 am

    The whole country intrigues me as I have yet to visit. My husband is Scottish and embraced his roots on our wedding day by wearing a custom made, direct from Scotland, kilt in the Duncan colors!
    I have been wanting to read this book and would love to win a copy!

  122. Debbie VanDerMolen permalink
    March 7, 2016 10:56 am

    This book has been on my wish list since before it was released. It would be awesome to win a copy. If I don’t, there’s always my birthday.

  123. Marina salume permalink
    March 7, 2016 10:55 am

    We had the best India-style curry in Scotland! ( very hot). But I could not always understand the Scottish accent (usually I can.)

  124. March 7, 2016 10:39 am

    Scotch! I’d love to tour and taste my way through Scotland.

  125. March 7, 2016 10:30 am

    This book sounds terrific! I’m intrigued by the arts & crafts movement in Scotland — something that seems so useful to consider now that doing things by hand is making a comeback.

  126. Patty Deatherage permalink
    March 7, 2016 10:25 am

    I was traveling to Scotland in my mind as I read the excerpt above. Scotland intrigues me as it is a country of my grandfathers heritage and I will probably never get to go there. Being an armchair traveler I love books with stories and photos from around the world about cooking, knitting and gardening – and this book sounds like a dream to read!!

  127. Kristy VN permalink
    March 7, 2016 10:21 am

    I was able to take a little vaca in Scotland a few years ago – I am absolutely intrigued by the little towns filled with character and characterS! Would love to read this book. Thanks!

  128. ladyoflyonnesse permalink
    March 7, 2016 10:05 am

    What intrigues me about Scotland? What’s under the kilt of course! :0)

    Seriously though, I love experiencing places I may never get to through others words. Can’t wait to read this!

  129. March 7, 2016 10:01 am

    I’m really luck that I’ve been to Scotland before, but it was before I started knitting. Now that I do, I love to learn about the long history of yarn and knitting from all over Scotland. I hope to make it back one day!

  130. CynthiaJo permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:53 am

    The history of Scotland intrigues me most. But if you add the sweeping landscapes and the myriad of colors found in nature and you have a wonderful dream come to life. My husband and I are hoping to visit one day. His family hails from N. Ireland and we’ve visited there a few years back. We are hoping we will visit Scotland sooner rather than later!

  131. Nancy Adams permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:50 am

    What intrigues me about Scotland is the combination of quirky modernity and ever-present history set in a gorgeous moody landscape. Plus, it’s always sweater weather.

  132. Lauri Larsen permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:47 am

    Something that really intrigues me about Scotland is the national animal is a unicorn! I would love to wander the highlands in search of one. Maybe I could find Lochdubh and Hamish Macbeth while searching. And think of all the inspiration for designers from this gorgeous place in the world. (Kate Davies comes to mind as I was reading her blog about pockets today while trying to figure out pockets for my sweater.)…..

  133. March 7, 2016 9:46 am

    I think Scotland is such a beautiful country. I would love to visit there one day.

  134. tlobner permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:36 am

    I was fortunate to live in Scotland for 3.5 years while getting a master’s degree with the Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen and then working before I was forced to leave. It was in Aberdeen where I was able to re-ignite my love for knitting. I loved my time there and have such amazing memories. I think what intrigues me still are the stories (history) of the people (from the far reaches of the Islands to the Highlands to the main cities). It is also the beautiful landscape – the dreamy coast views to the snowcovered Caingorms to the beautiful lochs. The views at the top of the Munros are amazing. I miss it so much.

    Would love a copy of Clara’s book. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

    tlobner on Rav

  135. Debra Bailey permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:32 am

    What would I like about Scotland,seeing the sheep herds and listening to people talk with that wonderful accent! Plus,I have never read anything by this author,and now I am intrigued! Thank you for the opportunity to win something.

  136. Kathy permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:26 am

    I am intrigued by Scotland because my Dad’s family is from there. I totally plan to visit someday!

  137. JJ Molvik permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:22 am

    Something that fascinates me about Scotland? Kilts and accents!

  138. Lady P permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:15 am

    I like the Scots dry and dry sense of humor, which would make Scotland a fine place to visit any season. I would love a copy of her book.

  139. March 7, 2016 9:09 am

    I would love to win a copy of Knitlandia! Many things intrigue me about Scotland. There are 2 that stand out; Wool and Kilts! Oops, I mean 3: their national animal is a Unicorn.

  140. March 7, 2016 9:05 am

    Oh My! What doesn’t intrigue me about Scotland! Castles, the Highlands and of course…. Kilts! :P But mostly the castles.

  141. Maria Tusken permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:04 am

    This was a great review! And Scotland is my favorite place the world. I lived there for a year, and have been back a few times since.

    I was nineteen when I landed in Edinburgh for the first time. A small-town girl from MT who had never been overseas. The first time I breathed the damp mossy air, I felt like I had come home. It seemed as if all the history and literature I had grown up on had come alive – almost as if all my dreams were being realized. “This place does exist” I thought to myself. ” It is real. I can touch the stones. I can breathe the air. I am here.”

  142. Ana Hentze permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:01 am

    The wonderful green rolling hills.

  143. Elizabeth L permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:58 am

    Everything! My family is from Scotland and I would love to learn more about my ancestry there.

  144. Naomi permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:57 am

    The Shetland Islands intrigue me and I long to visit.

  145. Sandy permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:57 am

    I am a 4th generation Canadian with my heritage from Scotland. I have always wanted to vacation in Scotland and explore the various heritage sites. I have our family tree back to Scotland and now that I am retired I am planning a trip in the next two years.

  146. Barbara permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:56 am

    Love the castles of Scotland, so beautiful.

  147. Jennifer F permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:56 am

    Everything intrigues me about Scotland! I’ve yet to visit!

  148. Kathleen H permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:55 am

    I would love to read this book. It has been in my GoodReads cue for a long time. I am also intrigued by the Shetland Islands and someday hope to learn how to knit fairisle the prpoer way!

  149. March 7, 2016 8:54 am

    The veils between the worlds are very thin in Scotland. The quality of the light is astonishly beautiful. Lived there six years and have never stopped missing it.

  150. Tiffini Sorcic permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:53 am

    So much to be intrigued about with Scotland – the beautiful, historic castles, gorgeous landscapes, and so much more! Definitely on my bucket list of places to visit. And, who can resist a man in a kilt? :)

  151. Aleda Powell permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:51 am

    There is much of Scotland that inteigues me. My father and his family are from there, and I have never been. I want to go munroe bagging, and roll around in the heather! But I also want to learn more of the traditions that my grandmother didn’t have a chance to pass down.

  152. Pam Slattery permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:50 am

    Scotland intrigues me in so many ways, from those wonderful ruins, the rich history and those sexy Scottish brogues!

  153. Theresa permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:48 am

    The landscape is just one thing that comes to mind, the moors, hills, and lochs…the coastline and the cities (not to mention sheep and wool!!)….

  154. jilliknitting permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:47 am

    Would love the chance to read about knitting travels. Scotland is the home of my ancestors and I would love the chance to visit with a classic pattern, wool and needles in hand

  155. Paula permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:45 am

    The history intrigues me!

  156. Marie permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:44 am

    The Scottish people have always intrigued me. I’ve met some very witty Scots! Would love to live in Edinburgh again…one day…

  157. March 7, 2016 8:44 am

    Before I was interested in knitting and Scotland, it was just Scotland, as the source of some of my heritage. I’ve since gone there, but never had the chance to check out knitting stuff, so I’d like to do that.

  158. Diane Pyle permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:43 am

    I’m intrigued by the landscape. I would love a chance to see it in person.

  159. Tracey permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:43 am

    Every time I see photos of the hills and hiking paths of Scotland, I fall in love.

  160. Paula permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:39 am

    Everything about the culture and history of Scotland! I would love to visit!!

  161. Kelsey permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:38 am

    My great grandparents came from Scotland, so I’d love to go to the areas they were from some day.

  162. March 7, 2016 8:34 am

    My Grandfather was born in Scotland, and moved to Canada with his family as a pre-teen. The house in which he was born is still lived in today, and while the people who reside there may not want a stranger lurking about, I’d love to explore the area where he grew up.

  163. roberta permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:32 am

    The architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

  164. kezia Tenenbaum permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:31 am

    Scotland intrigues me because it’s like a big knitted sweater made into beautiful land by nature.

  165. cakane463 permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:30 am

    I would think the wonderful castles and beautiful landscapes, so very magical.

    • March 15, 2016 12:04 am

      Woot! You’re the lucky winner of a copy of the book! I’ve emailed you, and I’m awaiting your postal address to forward to the publisher… then you’ll get your copy of the book! Congrats!

  166. lisha0721 permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:26 am

    It intrigues me that, the official animal of Scotland is the UNICORN! Aside from
    That, I would LOVE to visit Scotland someday… What an amazing place…

  167. March 7, 2016 8:26 am

    Scotland. So much is iintrigueing, but mostly It is the Clans, and how the family, even extended, would helpout when needed.

  168. Larry Edman permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:23 am

    So much of Scotland is nitrites me -from the stone of scone to kilts to Mackintosh and the Glasgow design aesthetic! Would love to visit some day and buy some Scottish tartan! Looking forward to Clara’s Knitlandia!

  169. Kaitlyn R permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:22 am

    The wildness of Scotland intrigues me! I would love to get away from the cities and just explore the open land.

  170. Kathy Rudolphe permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:22 am

    I’m captivated by the Shetland Islands. Specifically by the mystery novels of Ann Cleeves which are set there. One book in the series mentions Fair Isle knitting, too.

  171. Kelly Shinkaruk permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:20 am

    I had the opportunity to visit Scotland last fall and the thing that intrigued me was the amazing mix of historical locales, art, ideas with very modern design, music, technology. I loved visiting the kelvingrove because it was the weirdest and most wonderful art gallery/museum I’ve ever been to! Finally, the yarn cake was the best! I picked up some lovely local yarn there! Definitely worth a visit!

  172. March 7, 2016 8:20 am

    Although I am an avid knitter, I am also a tapestry weaver. A visit to Dovecot Studios would be a must visit on any trip to Edinburgh.

  173. Deb in MD permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:18 am

    Ah, Scotland! While I’m obviously drawn to the knitting traditions and locations, long before I started knitting I was chatting with a Scotman who was telling me about the ancient standing stones scattered around the north. The history of the countryside is calling to me and I need to get there someday.

  174. Margo permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:18 am

    I would love to visit Scotland sometime! I visited a friend in southern England before, but we didn’t have the time to head north. What intrigues me the most about Scotland is the landscape. I would love to see the gloomy moors and islands. And of course, the ruins and castles along the way. I will make it there one day!

  175. March 7, 2016 8:15 am

    Haggis – no really! Everyone always makes yuck noises about it but I really want to try the real thing. I’d also just really love to visit Scotland. I’ve been to England twice but never made it further north. Someday…

  176. candorland permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:14 am

    Och! That’s guid! I have a Scottish heritage and have yet to visit the homeland.I do own all of Clara’s books with the exception of this new one. Guid luck to everyone! Thank you again for the patterns that were gifted to us during the holidays. I am enjoying them.

  177. Jenny Seara permalink
    March 7, 2016 8:09 am

    I love the rustic beauty, if the city. Knowing the history that has walked the streets and touched the same doors that I touched when I was last there. I want to come.back, to walk the Royal Mile, and to visit the yarn shops. The last time I was there I wasn’t knitting, now I can enjoy the maNY beautiful wools that are available.

  178. sarah watkins permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:55 am

    what intrigues me most about scotland is the way the scenery can change colour within a week.

  179. Janet Latifa permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:52 am

    Kilts? Would love to win Clara’s book and take a virtual trip to Scotland.

  180. March 7, 2016 7:50 am

    Scotland. I just love the accents. So lovely. Thanks for the book review!

  181. JoanneBB permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:42 am

    I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Scotland a couple of times, and one thing that intrigues me is the idea of living on the northern islands, with the effort of getting there (mostly) just by ferry… I love The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, and I’d love a chance to win Knitlandia (which I will pick up sometime soon, when my TBR pile shrinks a bit!).

  182. March 7, 2016 7:39 am

    I’m part Scot myself, and I’ve always wanted to visit…the Highlands especially. It’s such a beautiful country. I’d love to visit Loch Ness as well, naturally ;)

  183. Caitlin permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:33 am

    Scotland has been on my travel bucket list for a while, especially since my husband loves Scotch! scotchy Scotch scotch.

  184. gogearhart1 permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:15 am

    I’m intrigued the the people and the landscape of Scotland. Someday I will visit!!!

  185. Elizabeth Blair-DeLong permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:13 am

    I would love to go to Scotland to visit the land of my ancestors ! I would love to see how many relatives I could connect with and find out if they also love knitting!!!!

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