Fiber-related books

The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook


Carol Ekarius had the idea, approached me, and I agreed. It was supposed to be a little book: a nine-month project. It grew.

If I’d known how much work it would be, I wouldn’t have said yes; there was no way that I had time to do that much. I’m glad I didn’t know. It was an amazing experience, and we created the fiber book I’d wanted to have on my shelf for many decades.

The Fleece & FIber Sourcebook: More than 200 Fibers from Animal to Spun Yarn runs to 448 pages in glorious color, with Gwen Steege as my primary editorial contact at Storey Publishing and design by Mary Velgos.

The Field Guide to Fleece


A couple of years after The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook was published, we all put together the little book we’d meant to make in the first place. At 232 small-format pages, The Field Guide to Fleece: 100 Sheep Breeds and How to Use Their Fibers is the print version you can put in your pocket and take with you to a fiber festival.

While we were excerpting and trimming and focusing to fit as much useful information as we could into its sweet but limited space, I also refined the coverage of some of the Scandinavian breeds. We received samples of these after the deadline for The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook and shoehorned in basic coverage, but I enjoyed having the opportunity to do a bit more research and clarification, even though the space was limited. Again, this book has a stupendous design by Mary Velgos.

Handspun Treasures from Rare Wools

Handspun Treasures from Rare Wools cover

Between 1998 and 2000, at the end of my time as editor of Spin-Off Magazine, we sponsored an educational project relating to rare-breed wools. It involved articles in the magazine, a fine-craft exhibit that was intended to tour North America for one year but ended up being booked out for two years, and this book, which stands alone and also served as an exhibit catalog.

The original 2000 publication is out of print, but can be found through used-book resources (try Bookfinder).

A collection of excerpts is also available in digital form from Long Thread Media.

Knitting in the Old Way: Designs and Techniques from Ethnic Sweaters, by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. I’m listed as a co-author on the second edition of this book (Fort Collins, Colorado: Nomad Press, 2004) because of the organization and expansion work that I did on the material Priscilla had spent many years gathering. She provided the heart, circulatory, and most of the nervous system. I supplied the skeleton and some other bits. She graciously invited me onto the cover, and I accepted.