[Rutter] is a likable guide with a good eye for a story...This is antiquarianism with a modern twist'
A compelling literary journey through the social history of wool in the British Isles
Karen Lloyd, author of, The Gathering Tide
This is a book about wool and sheep, the making of Scotland, England and farming, textile manufacture, folk-lore and, crucially, the essential craft of knitting. The plying of wool had been a vital survival skill for over two millennia in Britain before the Romans showed up (bringing their own sheep with them, just in case) making this domestic skill a founding piece of 'civilisation'. From fairy tales to debate regarding national identity, from the year dot to the tragedy of the Scottish Clearances and beyond, the history of plain, purl and intarsia is woven together by Esther Rutter, whose own skill with needles, learned from practical experience, attests that this ancient craft is nothing less than a wonder of civilization. Beautifully written too