The Field Guide to Fleece: 100 Sheep Breeds & How to Use Their Fibers by Carol Ekarius
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was sent this book for review by the publisher.
I was at work, when my husband called and told me, a new book had arrived from Storey. I told him to open the package and let me know what kind of book it was. So he did and told me the title.
Can I just say: DAY MADE!!!!
I could not wait to get home and actually have a look at the book.
To say it’s brilliant would be an understatement!
Let’s start by the outward look of the book. It is small enough to fit in my purse, which is pretty much where it will live from now on. Ok, I should clarify: I am not a super girlie girl and carry purses, so I can CARRY stuff, not to have “the perfect accessory”. SO my purses are a bit bigger than a cell phone, or a credit card. The books size is about comparable to a small softcover dime store novel. It will work, alongside my spindle, or knitting project.
The soft cover makes me worry ab it about it, at the same time I think it is better for dragging it around with me everywhere and having it in my purse and possibly in my pockets. A softcover is definitely better than a hardcover in your pockets.
I plan on using this guide A LOT, so the binding is giving me a little concern. The pages are glued. True, I like it better than those blasted ring bound books, where the pages are want to rip out eventually when you carry them with you, but it does make me worry about it coming undone eventually from use. But this is a long way off, hopefully and I don’t have to worry about it until then.
Moving on to the content:
The book does not waste much time with page upon page of introductions. It goes right to the point. I LOVE THAT! I have a bit of a problem with the Wool allergy blurb. To say that almost all people that are saying they are allergic, are really not is a bit hard to swallow and without being a doctor I would not want to make a sweeping statement like that. Either way, I do agree that some people call it an allergy, but mean sensitive skin.
Page 12 is already right down to the bones of what the book is really about. THE SHEEP BREADS! See? The pages are full of information you actually were looking for when you bought the book! I LOVE THIS! I wish more books would be like that! I quote: “We love Wool, we love sheep, that’s why we wrote the fleece and fibre source book.” end quote. See? Short and sweet and oh, so to the point.
Every sheep breed has a two page display. The name of the breed and a clear picture of what this breed looks like on the left side, and a clipped lock and more information on the right side. There also is a measuring tape pictured with each lock, so you have and idea of staple length.
The pictures are wonderfully clear.
With this guide in hand, I would trust myself to pick out different breeds from a mixed herd.
I love the bits of history on how the breed came to be, the descriptions of the fibre are actually making sense and are telling you something. (I hate when in cookbooks for example it says: Nutty flavor. It means nothing to me…. It’s like saying: It’ tastes like chicken….) I LOVE the little note on how this fibre takes dye! VERY informative and the bit on best uses is just awesome! It really rounds out the information about the fibre perfectly and gives you a great idea of what it might feel like!
Last but not least: There are 100 sheep breeds listed in this book! Trust me, even a seasoned spinner and fiber artist cannot possibly know everything about all these breeds by heart and I know for certain I haven’t spun with half of them! Yes, I have used exotic fibres lie camel and yak, but seriously, THERE ARE A TON OF SHEEP BREEDS I NEED TO GET TO! It is intriguing to just read and think what you could do with the fibre of this particular breed, or that. I know for sure it has gotten me into looking a bit closer for different breeds and passing this new-found sampling-habit on to our customers at the shop. I will definitely try my hardest to bring them handspun fibre of more than just “the usual suspects” from now on! GET READY FOR SOME FUN STUFF, MY FRIENDS!!!!
In my opinion, this book is a great little tag-along for any fibre enthusiast, new or seasoned. I am glad I have it and I most likely will not be seen without it from here on out.