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In the Footsteps of Sheep details the completion of a mission the author, a Welsh-born Scot, set for herself: to travel and camp throughout Scotland, find cast off tufts of wool from 10 Scottish sheep breeds, then spin the wool on her spinning stick while walking (or waiting for ferries), and finally design and knit one pair of socks to represent each breed...all the while writing about her adventures and taking plenty of photographs. Debbie has written beautifully about her journey; the hills, shorelines, and bogs explored; the sheep and people she met along the way; weather both foul and fair, and a particularly exciting chapter about the intriguing St Kilda archipelago and its feral Soay and Boreray sheep. The eleven sock patterns, one at the end of each chapter, are a bonus and, for those of us unable to gather and spin our own fleece, all were test-knitted with commercial wool. The designs are knitted from top to toe with different motifs, among them color-patterns, cables, spirals, stripes, Kilt Hose with top-turnovers, and a pair of baby booties.
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The author is an intrepid Scottish woman who, after earning a medical degree and raising her children, packed her rucksack with bare necessities, and set off to camp and walk throughout Scotland. I confess that I looked at the pictures first, and they enabled me to travel with the author, from my armchair. The photos of the seascapes are lovely, the author's cozy camping locations romantic (even the cold and rainy ones), and the steep cliffs and rock outcroppings plunging into the sea are dramatic and exciting. Of course, there are sheep everywhere, and a helpful map at the beginning of each chapter which allows you to follow the author's path. When I began to read the text, I was further enthralled. Debbie's prose eloquently captures the spirit of her adventure, during which she sought tufts of fleece on fences, on the ground, and caught in the bushes. She spun the wool (as she walked) and designed ten pairs of socks celebrating ten Scottish breeds of sheep, along with one pair that includes all ten varieties of wool. Instructions for each pair of socks are at the end of each chapter, test knitted in commercial wool. Through her story, Debbie ties together knitting and adventure, giving away her socks to people who helped her along her way. Debbie's writing is both a lyrical and a riveting story of her trek, augmented by plenty of photos of the landscape shared by both people and sheep. --Meg Swansen, author of Handknitting with Meg Swansen
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Book Description Schoolhouse Press, 2015. Condition: New. Debbie Zawinski (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0942018389