Synopses & Reviews
KNOW YOUR FLEECE BEFORE GIVING IT A SPIN
An essential companion for spinners of all levels, this sheep-by-sheep guide provides fleece profiles of 19 breeds and describes the different spinning methods that produce yarns suitable for a wide range of projects - from lacy shawls to sturdy outerwear. You’ll explore the basic characteristics of fleece – crimp structure, lock shape, and relative fineness or coarseness – and learn how they affect the quality of the yarn you spin. Also included are instructions on proper cleaning and processing techniques for different types of fleece and tips for successful spinning.
Choose the right fleece for your project every time, and you’ll have enviable control over each step, from washing to spinning to finished item.
The characteristics of fleece its structure, grease content, and fiber diameter vary widely depending on the breed of sheep the fleece comes from. In this comprehensive guide, Beth Smith profiles 21 types of fleece, from bouncy and pliant to lacy and lightweight. A sheep-by-sheep reference describes the best way to wash and spin each fleece into rich, soft yarn. You ll soon be confidently choosing the right fleece, spinning it to perfection, and enjoying the perfect yarn for your next fiber creation.
As spinners, knitters, and weavers know, the characteristics of fleece -- its structure, grease content, and fiber diameter -- vary widely depending on the breed of sheep the fleece comes from. These factors are crucial when you're deciding how to spin your fleece and use your finished yarn. In this comprehensive reference, Beth Smith presents a thorough overview of 21 sheep breeds, including each breed's characteristics and history, a photo of the animal and its locks, the best methods for washing its fleece, and specific techniques for preparing, spinning, and finishing the fleece. You'll discover how to select the fleece that is best for your project and how to spin exactly the yarn you need.
About the Author
Beth Smith, author of How to Spin and The Spinner’s Book of Fleece, is renowned for her love of the variety and versatility of sheep breeds, and she teaches the whys and how-tos of preparing and spinning wool from different breeds. For seven years she owned The Spinning Loft, a shop celebrated for its selection of hard-to-find quality fleeces. She teaches internationally and writes for PLY, Spin Off, and Knittyspin magazines. She also sits on the editorial board of PLY magazine. She lives in Howell, Michigan.
Deborah Robson is co-author of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook and Knitting in the Old Way. She is a former editor of both Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot and Spin-Off magazine, and she is currently the editor and publisher of Nomad Press, which publishes books on traditional and ethnic knitting and spinning. Robson is also an artist, working in textiles, printmaking, and oils. She lives in Colorado with her daughter.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Deborah Robson
Introduction: Spinning with Purpose and Confidence
THE VALUE OF RAW FLEECE
A Consistent Yarn: Fantasy or Possibility?
An Introduction to Hand Scouring
BUYING A FLEECE: DOS AND DON’TS
Deciding How Much to Buy
GETTING TO YARN
Spinning Yarns for Knitting or Crochet
Spinning Yarns for Weaving
Washing Techniques for Fine Wools
Preparing to Spin Fine Wools
Spinning Flicked Locks
Appreciating Yarn Differences
Washing Longwool Fleece
Combing the Longwools
Making Top after Combing
A Short Lesson in Worsted Spinning
DOWNS AND DOWN-TYPE BREEDS
Skirting a Fleece
Scouring Down-Type Wools
Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset
Black Welsh Mountain
Working with the Multicoats
Hand Prepping Your Fleece
Glossary of Terms
USDA Standard Wool Specifications