“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. Montgomery,
Yesterday evening, as I settled in to read a new spinning and knitting book, In the Footsteps of Sheep by Debbie Zawinski, I found a true kindred spirit: a woman who loves walking, spinning, knitting, natural (found wool), and sheep as much as I do! She is also a beautiful writer and I cannot wait to savor this book cover to cover and back again.
There is so much to recommend about this book, which is part travelogue and part pattern collection. First, Debbie has (to my mind) and excellent and relaxed sense when it comes to fiber. Her note on sizing begins by stating “sizing a sock is relatively hassle-free”–and she means it! Yes, yes, there is gauge and weight and casting on . . . but Debbie make it all seem utterly do-able.
Beyond her demeanor and outlook, it’s the walking, and the found wool, and the love of place that draws me into Debbie’s summer-long sock adventure. She relishes the opportunities to follow sheep paths through Scotland as she seeks out rare breeds, out of the way communities, and the people who work with all sorts of local fiber. Her photographs are by turns stunning and ordinary, capturing all the slowness and beauty of walking the countryside. Did I mention that she spins while she walks? or that she camps everywhere along the way? ❤
And then there are the patterns. Wowza. So many different types of socks from fair isle to cables. They are easy to understand and very modifiable. so, even if you have not been chasing down the “henty leggits” (found fiber) of several Scotland breeds, whatever yarn you have on hand will do just fine.
I picked up my copy from Amazon (although, I will sheepishly admit to pouring over a few copies in Scottish yarn shops last winter). I wish I had had the cargo space to bring home the book as a souvenir! Thanks to the interwebs, the world grows smaller by the day. And that means, I have found, at long last, a kindred spirit in Debbie Zawinski.