Friday, July 15, 2011


I admit that during my many, many, many years of knitting, I rarely thought about the material I was knitting with. Yarn was yarn. It was wool, cotton, alpaca, silk, acrylic, or some combination. Some projects were successful; others less so.

In recent years I began thinking more about the fiber I was knitting with. Why did it behave the way it did? Why did I like a certain fiber? Why did I dislike another fiber?

This new book, The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius, is a great asset for knitters who want to know about their materials. Open it anywhere and learned something about the basic material we knit with.

The first thing I learned was, "Wow, there are a lot more different breeds of sheep than I ever knew."  The second thing was, "Sheep are not just sheep. There are a lot of differences among them." Then, you have goats, camelids, bison, musk ox, and rabbits, to name a few.

I am not a spinner, nor do I want to go there. But I am learning that knowledge about how a yarn is produced is making me a better knitter. I probably will not read this book from front cover to back, but I definitely will open it to random pages to meet another type of yarn critter.

This book is a great companion to The Knitter's Book of Wool and The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes.

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