I was devastated... I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to read an eARC version of this fantastic book, but was devastated when the license expired 50p ages or so from the end (procrastination and a slow reading month). Of course, then I realized that (due to the slightly different formatting of the ebook version) I had only missed out the last few pages talking about Yak fibre, so I think I'm within rights to do a review on this GREAT book.
Anyone following my goodreads account would have received the running commentary while I was reading this book and know that I enjoyed every moment.
The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook is amazingly addictive, and the two authors writing it much have had SO much fun, which really shines through in the text. The hundreds of samples of wool that they have analysed, washed, spun, knitted, woven and crocheted... all for the benefit of the reader, is just amazing. Each type of fleece they've talked about goes into the breading history of the animal, the types of wool, the use of wool, ease of spinning, the texture, possible uses, colourations, hardiness of the animal, native location, and the rarity and current breading areas. It's a very detailed book that is just an absolute eye opener.
If you have even a passing interest in any yarn related hobby, or have a secret dream of a retiring to a little lifestyle block, this book will just astound you. If you're a professional farmer or spinner, this book will be a fantastic reference.
Each section is clearly laid out, and is written and analysed in such a way that not only is it actually enjoyable to read from cover to cover, but is also a great reference book that can be referred to time and time again. Clear illustrations of each animal; the fleece (raw /washed/processed); a swatch of knitted and crocheted yarn; a sample of spun yarn and a swatch of woven yarn. If more than one colour was available they've shown all of these samples in the different colour variations; and if more than one time of fleece was available, they've also sampled the different types (particularly for winter/summer coats where there is a noticeable difference).
There is a LOT of excellent, well laid out information in this book. But the thing that got to me the most was hitting around the 300 page mark and reading this:
"We'd like to include all the fiber sheep in the world within these pages. That's hardly practical, considering the number of breeds in countries and continents we have barely touched on or not had the time (or space) to consider"
Ok, so most of the book up until this point been focused on sheep. But to think that they hadn't covered all the sheep was just astounding, they've done some much work and gone into so much detail, the idea that there is so much more is truely amazing.
Although they do lightly cover other types of fleece (rabbits, goats, ox etc) there is no plant fibres at all, which I admit I was hoping to see a little about this when I read the "fibre" part of the title.
However, overall I think this book is a fantastic reference, and can only hope that these two dedicated ladies do go on to write another book focused on sheep in other parts of the world; a third book focused on plant fibres; and a fourth book focused on alternative animal types. If they're all written with the same skill, layout and analysis they'll be must have bibles for any person with an interest in Fleece or Fibre.show more
by Alison Sammes