I picked this up from the library recently since I've heard so many great things about Clara Parkes books (btw the Hartford library has a surprisingly decent collection of knitting books). I've read the first two chapters and have to agree that is book is pack full of useful and interesting information. Clara Parkes clearly knows her stuff. For each fiber she discusses its properties, what sort of projects it's good for, and advice for what to look for in yarn. There is also lots of great information about some smaller yarn companies and farms.
As a beginner spinner I find the fiber information incredibly useful because she discusses things like how much twist a particular fiber needs. Angora, for example, needs lots of twist to keep its short downy fibers together. And apparently many commercial yarns skimp on the twist to save money which is part of why angora yarns shed so much.
This book makes me desperately want to fondle yarn so I have to break every now and then to wind yarn into cakes for a new project and to ply some singles I finished last week. This is a corri cross from Fiber Story in play room. I spun the singles on my Spindlewood mini and am using my Kundert to ply.
So far I'm pretty impress with myself. The singles are much more consistent than my last yarn. I fumbled a bit with the plying at first but I've settled into a grove now and its progressing nicely. The finished yarn will be fingerweight-ish and I have a lot of it. Four ounces apparently makes a lot of fingering weight yarn. But it'll be perfect for a lace scarf or shawl.
Also since this yarn is almost done, I won't feel guilty about buying more fiber Sunday at Rhinebeck. Total win!