Book Review: The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook

Book Review: The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook

The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius
If you’re a fiber enthusiast, The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook is a very deep resource. Authors Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius have compiled a comprehensive guide to over 200 different types of animal fiber, and explained in detail how each one performs in spinning, knitting, crochet and weaving projects. There’s also an encyclopedic amount of information on wool itself – how it’s structured, how the fibers are measured, how it’s shorn and processed.

To give you some idea of the depth here, take a look at this page from the Table of Contents. I had no idea there were so many different breeds of sheep! The book also covers fibers from other animals, including goats, camels and related animals, and bison, rabbit, dogs, cats, yak and more. Whew!
Photography Copyright Tanya Charter and Greg Shore/McKenzie Creek Ranch
I love the combination of deep knowedge and outright geekery in the writing. Here’s a little about the fleece of the Navajo Churro sheep, pictured above:
“Navajo Churro wool takes some time to get your mind around. It’s double coated, but it often gives the impression of being single coated. It can feel soft and fine but has a well-earned reputation for durability. It’s described as having luster, and it does – but unlike English luster longwools, Navajo Churro seems to have an inner gleaming quality.”
Photography Copyright John Polak
For each animal, you’ll find a photo sample of its raw fleece and its cleaned fleece, plus yarn spun from the fleece and samples of the yarn knit and woven. If you’re serious about your fiber arts, that’s a whole lot of valuable information. You’ll understand the natural color, density, and strength of each fiber, which will help you better match your fiber choices to your projects.
The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook isn’t a pattern book, although there are images of amazing finished projects made from some of the fibers. Mostly, it’s just what the title implies: a reference you’ll return to again and again as you grow as a fiber artist.

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