Friday, 4 October 2013

A Book Review

Had you told me 5 years ago (before I learned to spin or knit) that one day I'd read a book about fleece and enjoy it I probably would have laughed in your face. Oh how that has changed! I don't own many knitting or spinning books as space is at a premium but I can see that there are some books that will change this.

The Field Guide to Fleece by Deborah Robson is one of those books. From the moment I picked up the book I was so intrigued to learn more about the 100 sheep breeds that are covered in the book. Although I won't have the opportunity to make it to any fiber festivals in the near future I still think this book will be useful as I explore different breeds through spinning.

The book begins by talking about why we love wool. It's really interesting and talks about the different types of fleece that sheep produce, how fleece can change dependent on the environment and what to do if you think you might be allergic to wool. It also talks about what you can learn from the fiber itself and goes into crimp, fiber length, micron count etc. 

Each breed that is talked about in the book is accompanied by pictures of the sheep and a picture of the locks. The pictures are very clear, and the locks photographed show the crimp, colour and length of that particular fleece. The information provided in each chapter is easy to read, concise and useful. Some breeds contain tips on how to spin the fiber too. I particularly like that it gives suggestions on how to use the different breeds in your knitting as well as how it takes dyes. 

A table is included for each breed giving you quickly accessible information about the origin of the breed, fleece weights, staple length, fiber diameters and natural colours. On each page is a space for you to make your own notes if you should take this to a festival or auction.

Overall the book is beautifully set out, a great size and I'm sure it will be incredibly useful to those spinners that are interested in learning more about the different breeds out there or who are thinking about buying a fleece and would like a bit of help choosing the right breed. 

I hope you've found this review useful, please let me know in the comments or by sending me some feedback by clicking on the feedback button on the left hand side of the page. 

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Have you read The Knitter's Book of Wool? I've been wondering about both books because they seem really interesting -- and I agree that that is not something I would have expected to say a few years ago!

    1. Hi yes, I've got the Knitter's Book of Wool although haven't read it in it's entirety. It is a useful book though and definitely one to look into.