Got A Handle On Fleeces And Fiber

q~Hurray for me! Daughter Darcey gave me The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius for my birthday. I spent quite a few hours on the trip home reading the book both silently and outloud to the Hubs. This is a facinating book packed full of wonderful information. The frontispiece for both front and back of the book are maps of locations where the various breed originate. I totally LOVE maps so this is an added bonus.

fleeceandfiberI’ve already placed a marker on the pages for “A Starter Guide to Breed-Specific Wools”. The section headings are: Soft, Reliably Versatile, Sturdy and To Spur Your Creativity. I’ve already used this quick go-to-guide for information about Perendale, Romney, Teeswater, and Debouillet.

Of course, every single type of sheep breed is not mentioned since that can run into the thousands. Other types of fiber are included such as goats, alpacas, etc.

What they authors did was to actually purchase the wool fibers they write about.

For each breed there is a written history, a description of the fiber with facts and uses.  There are visual aides showing pictures of the breed, the raw staple, a cleaned and carded staple, spun 2-ply, and small knitted and sometimes woven swatches. These pictures are an important part of the sourcebook.

The fiber facts list:

  • Fleece Weight
  • Staple Length
  • Fiber Diameters
  • Lock characteristics
  • Natural Colors

The fiber uses lists:

  • Dyeing – how the fiber takes to dyeing
  • Fiber preparation and spinning tips
  • Knitting, crocheting, and weaving
  • Best know for:

On the trip, I purchased a small amount of Debouillet. Grabbing the sourcebook I looked for the breed on the map of France, I mean what a totally French name! Imagine my surprise when I didn’t find it in France, instead I saw a dot for it in  southwestern USA. What? Turning to page 142 I learned that the breed was developed in the 1920’s by rancher Amos Dee Jones in New Mexico. The breed is a cross between Delaine Morenos and Rambouillets. Ah ha, name is explained! This book is so grand! For any of you spinners it really needs to be in your fiber library. Add it to your holiday list.

Alas, today was the last spinning class until Jan. 9, 2013. How weird is that to type? If any of you live in San Diego County, this really is a wonderful class with the most supportive women. Run now to Grossmont Adult School and sign up!

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