When Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius came in the mail, my first thoughts were: when can I make time to actually sit down and enjoy the first go through (asap). The authors wrote, “our goal is to look at animal fibers in a way that really hasn’t been done before. We are looking in more depth at the animals that have provided handspinners, knitters and weavers with the foundation of their craft and artistry for thousands of years.” If you are interested in handspinning, knitting/crochet, and/or weaving, this book will make a fiber lover of you.
The photographs are beautiful. In every breed: raw, cleaned, spun and knitted fleece are shown. How much better does it get for a spinner? As a spinner, I am always looking to see how different breeds spin. After reading about Targhee, I have decided this is my next spinning goal.Targhee from the western United States is a cross between Rambouillet rams (our Merino) to Corriedale/Lincoln/Rambouillet ewes. The staple length is 3-5 inches and 22 -25 microns in diameter (above 30 causes some people to be uncomfortable when next to the skin). The fiber has lots of crimp (wave in the locks) and is a predominately white color, allowing me to dye the fiber. For knitting, crocheting and weaving, Targhee has the potential to produce “everyday luxuries”.
This sourcebook is just that. The go to place for information on 200 animal breeds, contained in hardcover with 448 pages. Beside sheep, you will learn about Alpacas, Llamas, Guanaco, Vicuna, both types of Camels, Bison, Rabbits, Horse…and several other fiber animals. There is more in this book on fiber then you even knew to ask about. It contains a fact sheet with information on fleece weight, staple length, fiber diameter, lock characteristics, natural colors, dyeing characteristics, fiber prep and spinning tips, suitable uses, and ‘best known for’ (recommendations for using each breed).
A book that once you see it, you won’t believe how a fiber lover could live without it. Tell me what fiber you plan to use in your next project.
New Pond Farm located at 101 Marchant, West Redding, CT is an educational farm that raises Romney sheep. Upon shearing at the May Day fair they send their fleeces off to be dyed and spun. If you are in the vicinity, stop by, meet the sheep and purchase a few skeins as part of the slow movement.
Subscribe above and follow on Twitter @molivermade