Tuesday, 5 July 2016
In the Footsteps of Sheep by Debbie Zawinski
I went along today to a talk by Debbie Zawinksi about her book In the Footsteps of Sheep, in which she journals her travels around the wild places of Scotland, seeking out native rare breeds of sheep and making socks from their wool, which she spun herself from fleece, often fleece that she'd found in fields or hedgerows. This sounded like such a fascinating and slightly eccentric idea that I had to go along to the talk.
I'm very glad I did too. Debbie is an engaging and assured speaker and showed a lovely selection of slides of Scottish landscapes, sheep and socks. The socks in the photo above are Debbie's special Scottish sheep socks using (undyed) wool from all the rare breeds she encountered alongside her spinning equipment and bag.
Along the way she met many people and made socks for them. Each pair of socks has a story and a different texture depending on the type of wool it's made from as well as being made to a different design. She made walking socks from the wool of the Cheviot sheep for a hiker she met in the Cheviot Hills and a pair of baby bootees from the supersoft wool of the Bowmont sheep.
The book (which I haven't read as I've only just bought it) is full of photos, stories, history and knitting patterns. It's a wonderful celebration of rare breed sheep, Scottish culture and locally made products.
In the Footsteps of Sheep by Debbie Zawinski published by Schoolhouse Press.