book review

Three book reviews: a story, a how-to guide and a book of art

Sue Blacker's picture
13 October, 2019 - 18:19 | Sue Blacker

I love reading.  We have too many books, probably, although I am not sure this is possible.  They are in pretty much every rooom of our house ...

I have reviewed several books in this blog, all of course related to sheep, wool and yarns.  So here is a selection of recent reads.  Two of these books I requested for review as they seemed interesting and I am pleased to say I was right.  The third I bought.


This Golden Fleece – a journey through Britain’s Knitted History

By Esther Rutter

Book Review: Sheep Keeping

Sue Blacker's picture
11 May, 2018 - 17:38 | Sue Blacker

This book, produced as part of the Professional Smallholder Series, by 5m Publishing has the ISBN of 9 781910 455937.  It appears to the the first of the series, which is different from the Smallholder Series of DVDs and other resources (in which naturally The Natural Fibre Company features!).  I apologise for the poor quality of the picture of the book cover!  See nicer pix of my 2018 lambs, including the quads at birth and one month old, along with a nice mum and son photo, at the end of the piece!

James Rebanks' The Shepherd's Life

Sue Blacker's picture
1 October, 2015 - 12:45 | Sue Blacker

Like many people, particularly those in our little woolly world, I had heard of James Rebanks via his Herdy Shepherd Twitter blog and then he shot to fame in the rather bigger world of Radio 4's weekly book serialisation!

So I thought I ought to read the book ... and here is a rather personal and reflective review. 

Counting Sheep by Philip Walling

Sue Blacker's picture
26 May, 2014 - 19:09 | Sue Blacker

I saw a review of this book in a newspaper (probably The Times) and thought it might be interesting and I was right!  The publishers kindly sent me a review copy and, unlike a standard reviewer, I have read it from cover to cover.  I really like this book and recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about sheep and their relationship with us over time and across the land - it is accessibly and entertainingly written while still putting over a great deal of information in a usefully structured way.

The Yarn Whisperer by Clara Parkes

Sue Blacker's picture
11 December, 2013 - 11:59 | Sue Blacker

This is a lovely and thoughtful little (160 pages) book.  I was at first a little unwilling to suspend disbelief and link knitting to life as much as the cover and other commentaries had said would happen.  But in practice, Clara is a very readable writer, and has a light but serious touch.  I very much enjoyed reading from cover to cover in less than a week (which is good going for me, as I currently have a pile of part-read books which is looking askance at me).  Apart from knitting and yarns, there are gardening, family history and cookery involved ...

and while we are on books ... here is Pure Wool! (and an error to confess)

Sue Blacker's picture
16 September, 2012 - 17:06 | Sue Blacker

16th September: finally the Pure Wool book is published and we have sold some and sent many to the wonderful people who helped to create it.  It has been reviewed in several magazines and on Ravelry and what I have seen so far seems very fair and accurate.

I am sorry to announce that the Gotland slouchy hat has some errors in the pattern (pages 65-66), very helpfully pointed out by Maureen Metcalfe.  I am really sorry about this and it's my fault as I should have counted all the stitches in all the rows instead of only checking it for sense.  I am consulting Rita Taylor, the designer, about how to correct them and we think it will be fairly straightforward - it was the omission of some stitches between each of the falling leaf designs.  When we are certain it's OK - probably in around a week - we will put a copy here and also on the Blacker Yarns website. 

Sheep poems

Sue Blacker's picture
16 September, 2012 - 16:43 | Sue Blacker

16th September: My sister gave me this lovely short book of poems about sheep.  These are real, sometimes harsh, but also sensitive and beautiful - and as might be expected there are several by Ted Hughes.  There are only ten poems, selected by Neil Astley and published by Candlestick Press. ISBN is 978 1 907598 11 1.

I find poetry difficult sometimes, as it is "too strong" or "too pretty".  These are neither, and also not "too long" - so I am very happy to recommend them and so glad Polly gave me them.

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