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In Sheep's Clothing: A Handspinner's Guide to Wool [Paperback]

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Item description for In Sheep's Clothing: A Handspinner's Guide to Wool by Nola Fournier...

This highly readable, authoritative reference provides a comprehensive look at the characteristics of wool of 100 breeds of sheep. Essential reading for handspinners, wool growers, and other fiber craft enthusiasts, this guide gives special attention to fleece characteristics, methods of preparation and spinning, and best end use. Everything from baby-soft merino to silky lincoln to sturdy karakul-the full range of nature's miracle fiber-is represented here with expert advice on selecting top-quality fleeces; cleaning wool efficiently and thoroughly; teasing, flicking, combing, carding, and other preparation methods; and spinning and plying a variety of yarn styles. Actual fleece locks are shown in full-size photographs. Knitting, crochet, weaving, and other techniques illustrate the importance of matching wool type to end use.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.75"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2003
Publisher   Interweave Press
ISBN  1931499381  
ISBN13  9781931499385  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Crafts & Hobbies > General
2Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Crafts & Hobbies > Knitting
3Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Crafts & Hobbies > Textile Arts
4Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Crafts & Hobbies > Weaving
5Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Industrial, Manufacturing & Operational Syste > Manufacturing
6Books > Subjects > Science > General

Reviews - What do customers think about In Sheep's Clothing: A Handspinner's Guide to Wool?

spinning wool  Sep 9, 2008
Great book for old and new spinners. A lot great information about different breeds of sheep and the wool they produce.
Wonderful information about sheep's wool!  Jul 2, 2008
This book is a must for the spinner who wants to spin natural wool straight from the sheep. It not only describes each variety of sheep, but has tables that make it very easy to compare the various breeds for their different characteristics. It is an invaluable reference.
In Sheep's Clothing  Aug 1, 2007
In Sheep's Clothing: A Handspinner's Guide to Wool
Absolutely essential for handspinners that are deciding on which sheep breed to buy.
Way Cool Book for Spinners and Weavers  Mar 22, 2007
Amazing book that details the different types of sheep and the types and quality of wool that they produce. Now when I go to Maryland Sheep and Wool festival, I'll better understand what I'm looking at, and understand better what wools will satisfy my requirements.
Noble effort, great idea, disappointing in the end  Jan 16, 2007
I've had this book for a number of years and I've returned to it for information concerning different types of wool. I believe that this book is supposed to help a spinner choose a fleece when purchasing either whole or partial fleeces for spinning. However, I've been disappointed that the information is too incomplete to be really helpful in that respect and the format isn't conducive to quick cross referencing or making comparisons.

At the beginning of the book there is a short primer on wools, in general. There is also a short explanation of woolen vs. worsted yarn and the different types of fleece, whether fine wools, long wools, or down wools. I'm not sure why this information is being given in a book that appears to be directed at a spinner who has sufficient experience to consider purchasing an entire fleece.

The authors give a very nice summary, or reference guide at the beginning of each chapter that rates the softness, elasticity, staple length luster and felting properties. I liked the chart format here. If the information for each fiber type had been summarized in this format throughout the book, it would have made it more of an "at-a-glance" type of reference and the spinner could have made comparisons between fibers.

The photos show a lock of each type of fleece against a contrasting background, several sample projects from each division of fiber and now and then, a photo of an animal. The information is short and covers only the basics. There are suggestions for possible uses for each type of fiber. I appreciate that, especially considering that the authors are attempting to describe something that only a hands-on experience can confirm. To only see pictures of single locks isn't nearly enough to get a good idea of what a type of fiber is like. It's kind of like trying to describe what an orange tastes like without actually getting to taste one. To actually make this book more user friendly, I've put all of the Louet wool sample cards that I could get my hands on in with the appropriate pages. It makes the book easier to use if I can actually touch a sample of what is being described.

If this book had a photo of each type of animal, both before shearing and in full fleece, along with the fiber photos, I would place a higher value on it. As it is, I use this book as a starting point and go to the internet or library to find out more information on a breed type or a fleece type. To be honest, finding detailed information about all breeds of fiber producing sheep in one single volume is impossible, so I know I'm asking a lot. To find samples of each type of fiber is an heroic task as well, so I understand how difficult it is to produce what I'm asking. However, it seems that the authors went to a lot of work to research and photograph all of these types of fiber, only to leave out about half of what they had to have learned during their research.

Throughout the book, there are suggestions for specialized spinning techniques and possible uses for each type of fiber. The book ends with a short primer on hand carding, hand combing and spinning. Again, I'm confused as to why beginner information is being included in a volume that appears to target the more experienced spinner.

Overall, I think this is a noble effort, but it falls short of being the spectacular volume it could have been. Including animal photos and extending the information to cover more than the bare bones would have been a wonderful addition. It would have also raised the price astronomically. Condensing the information into chart form for a spinner to use for the purposes of comparison and contrast would have been a practical addition. I use this book and I will always have it as part of my library, but it's just not the reference I was hoping for.

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