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About This Book
“A book about wool and sheep, the making of Scotland, England and farming, textile manufacture, folklore and, crucially, the essential craft of knitting.” —Janice Galloway, author of Jellyfish
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.
“Wondrous.” — BBC Countryfile
“A yarn well told.” — The Irish Times
“A compelling literary journey through the social history of wool in the British Isles.” —Karen Lloyd, author of The Gathering Tide
“[Rutter’s] stops on her journey around Britain also knit together the past and the present, the social, historical and the personal, in an altogether engaging way.” — Books from Scotland