I'm a writer, knitter, freelance editor, and independent publisher. This blog is an older one that I no longer update; please visit http://independentstitch.com for all updated information!

Deb Robson and Tussah

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for the sheep!

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« Knitting comfort and semi-escape reading | Main | Finished! Bulky afghan for a book project about Dorothy Reade »

February 20, 2009


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I also just finished "Beautiful Sheep". I too, bought it for the pictures. (I'm just beginning to learn about fiber, having bought a spinning wheel a few weeks ago.) I found that the only sense of scale is in the little sketch of the shepard opposite each photo. The shepard is the same, but the sheep change, so you can sort of see the size difference. For me, the book really opened my eyes to the variety of sheep there are, and makes me want to learn more (I would say "whet my appetite for more", but I'd sound like I'm hungry for dinner...) I enjoy your blog very much.

Deborah Robson

Thanks, Sandra! Also for pointing out the tiny shepherd. I did notice that the sheep there are drawn from the photos. The images are TINY, so I hadn't realized they were conveying scale.

Welcome to the wonderful world of sheep and spinning! There will be more sheepish content coming on the blog. I mix it up a bit, depending on what I'm actively working on (although some of it can't be revealed in advance). I'm seeing a lot of sharable wool over the next months.


When I was a teenager, my family raised sheep. One of the great joys of my life was the annual trip to a big sheep show where I got to see a variety of breeds. This was back in the 60's, before the Renaissance of hand-spinning, so the emphasis was on meat or dual breeds.
I love to look at pictures of sheep. I really miss working with them. I'll have to check and see if any of these books are available on inter-library loan...
Thanks for the info!

Linda Cunningham

Yeah, like I need another sheep book as well.

You want an excuse for a road trip north? :-)

One of our local shepherds (well, shepherdess, actually) is having an a la carte shearing at her farm's open house in April.

While I don't need another fleece, being able to go over, pick a sheep (Icelandic, Shetland, Cotswold, or Columbia) and watch while she shears is, um, rather tempting.

Deborah Robson

I love the Parade of Breeds at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. EVERY time.

And . . . excuse for a trip north. Maybe another year. I am surrounded by wool at the moment. FRESHLY shorn wool is completely irresistible. I dare not even consider.


How would you compare this book to British Sheep & Wool, published by the British Wool Marketing Board in 1990? It's another glossy book with lovely photos but not much information on wool; they sound quite similar to me.

Deborah Robson

I'm not sure I'm remembering the same British Wool Marketing Board book; I've had one of theirs from the library but don't own it. I'm wondering if the publication I had was older than 1990. Maybe not. Time flies. Beautiful Sheep is snazzier and less systematic than the British Wool Marketing book that I recall and definitely features different breeds.

lynne s of oz

Beautiful sheep is like pr0n for shepherds. I looked at the pics but was disappointed in the meat/milk focus.
You are teaching at Sock Summit! Oh I hope I get to go to it.

Deborah Robson

Yes, I'll be at the Sock Summit. What an extraordinary event! I can't wait to meet people I know mostly or entirely from the internet.


Oh, if only there was a publisher who saw the strengths and shortcomings of the sheep/wool books and gave us everything in one mighty tome.


Thank you for the review, Deb! I've been ogling this book online but hesitating about buying it sight unseen.

Interestingly enough, I just a moment ago sent an email off to Brown Trout Publishers asking them (very politely) to please put the names of the breeds on their "Sheep" calendar. Then I come here and find you talking about sheep breed books. Ha! :D


Okay, you need to take me in hand, and introduce me to this marvelous shop in Boulder, so I can find toys too! Between the afghan, the book, the tempting reference to things you needed.....I'm about ready to get lost down there until I find it! Help me save gas and time, please??

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