I’ve never reviewed a book before, but I’ll give it a try. One of the things I like about
this one is how current and relevant the information is. As an alpaca owner, it’s
frustrating to find so much information that is outdated on our wonderful animals. As a
fiber artist it’s a must for researching indivdual breeds and what they are meant for.
The book contains over 200 animals and it’s not all sheep. There are sections on cats,dogs,
possum, ox and even cows. Now that I’m working at the fiber mill I’ve been seeing lots of
sheep breeds that otherwise I would have no contact with. I’m learning a lot about what they feel like, but that’s not always enough information. A few weeks ago we were trying to make a felt sheet from a carded batt. It just would not full. The mill owner looked up the breed and found that it was not one to felt. The fiber owner would have been much better prepared in what to ask for in processing if they had known that.
Between the covers, you will find pages that contain charts, maps, fiber and yarn samples
and some good basic information. At the end of the breed chapters there are sections for
fleece weight, staple length, fiber diameters (micron counts are most important to me), lock characteristics, colors and how best to use the fiber. The photos are well done and very clear. It is co-authored by Deboran Robson who is a former editor of Spin-Off magazine and Carol Ekarius who is the author of livestock books that you may already own and also contributes articles to magazines such as Hobby Farms and Mother Earth News. These ladies have done an exceptional job!
There is no doubt that I will be using this book as a guide for many years to come. I look
forward to exploring different fibers and which ones will compliment the fiber we harvest
from our alpacas. And I’ve saved the best for last, this book retails for $35! It’s hard to
believe that it can be sold this inexpensively. Hope you will purchase it and if you already own it, please do leave a comment about what you like best about it.