That’s Spinnertainment: In the Footsteps of Sheep

A lot of us fret over what spinning project to take with us when we travel, often choosing more than one. But what if you decided to set out and just spin local—foraging for homegrown fiber along the way? Debbie Zawinski did just that.

Intertwining her passions for spinning, knitting, and walking, Debbie uses her handspun and handknitted socks to record “a journey around Scotland spinning and knitting the fleece of the Scottish sheep breeds in their native haunts.” This travel memoir recounts the symbiotic relationship between a place, its sheep, its people, and a fading way of life as told through craft. The narrative is augmented by Zawinski’s photography and illustrations, including hand-drawn maps.

Each step on Zawinski’s journey culminates in a pattern for a pair of socks spun from the various breeds of sheep raised along the trails down which she has wandered. Divided into chapters by breed, the book includes ten breeds from Shetland to Cheviots, whose fiber is knitted into eleven pairs of socks from Fair Isle to kilt socks.

—Elizabeth Prose

Zawinski, Debbie. In the Footsteps of Sheep: Tales of a Journey Through Scotland, Walking, Spinning, and Knitting Socks. Pittsville, Wisconsin: Schoolhouse Press, 2015.

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