A comprehensive and inspiring full-color guide to small-scale fiber farming and wool crafting—from selecting and raising sheep and alpacas to shearing, sorting, combing and spinning.
Fiber crafts—such as knitting, weaving, and crocheting—continue to surge in popularity, with sites like Ravelry (a social media community for the wool obsessed) gaining more than six million members. Artists are seeking quality raw materials in greater numbers. The cottage industry of supplying not only raw fleece, but handcrafted yarns, is strong.
Janet Garman has a small fiber flock (including Pygora fiber goats) and shares her expertise, as well as interviews, tips, and advice from fiber farmers and craftspeople across the country.
She offers the basics of properly raising sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and rabbits, with tips on selecting animals, feeding, housing, breeding, and healthcare. From there, instructions are provided for shearing, sorting, skirting, washing, picking, carding, combing, and spinning the wool. Enthusiasts will also find recipes and instructions for natural, plant-based dyes and advice for selling your finished yarn.
The proper care of fiber animals leads to a superior yarn product. Lapses in good care can show up in the fleece. As the demand for quality yarn and fiber grows, more people are becoming concerned with the animals’ treatment and care. Give your animals a good home and a happy life and enjoy superior fleece and yarn products for your own homestead or to sell.