I do love a knitting history/essay book and was very keen to get this one. After much stuffing around by amazon, I bought it from the book depository.
Over the course of a year, Esther Rutter – who grew up on a sheep farm in Suffolk, and learned to spin, weave and knit as a child – travels the length of the British Isles, to tell the story of wool’s long history here. She unearths fascinating histories of communities whose lives were shaped by wool, from the mill workers of the Border countries, to the English market towns built on profits of the wool trade, and the Highland communities cleared for sheep farming; and finds tradition and innovation intermingling in today’s knitwear industries. Along the way, she explores wool’s rich culture by knitting and crafting culturally significant garments from our history – among them gloves, a scarf, a baby blanket, socks and a fisherman’s jumper – reminding us of the value of craft and our intimate relationship with wool. This Golden Fleece is at once a meditation on the craft and history of knitting, and a fascinating exploration of wool’s influence on our landscape, history and culture.
This was a fabulous book – I enjoyed the combination of knitting (she knit a bikini!, history and travel). It is a bit like ‘Julie and Julia’ we follow Esther’s journey we she learns about knitting in various places and attempts to knit the ‘signature’ garment of that place.