More than a tale of rediscovering the joy of working with sheep, Sheepish takes us through several vignettes of life on the farm. Then imagine a reluctant shepherdess at the helm, add in llamas, cats, dogs, chickens, a peacock, frisky calves, knitters, and Elvis, and you've got a good yarn. I almost gave this a 5. The essays are loosely compiled into a narrative of sorts, of finding one's focus and renewing one's energy through growth and creativity. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter didn't frame or add to the story.
The E-mail message field is required. She also examines her relationship with the environment trying to reconcile her desire to be good to the earth with an utter lack of the shear time and energy required to recycle, compost, and reuse every possible thing. Her first fumbling with spinning yarn to handling her first turquoise-dyed roving; from knitting a lot of rectangles to showing off her handknit socks in the airport, Friend learns the love that people have for wool. Friend's light tone does not prevent her from addressing weightier issues such as mid-life angst and heart-breaking aspects of life and death on an animal farm. Catherine Friend finds meaning in the middle of life, love and even knitting projects. She learns how to weave and discovers the wonders of hand-dyed yarn. Catherine uses this latest installment in their farming adventures to explore the idea of middles.
It was an enjoyable read about farming, raising sheep, and falling into the dangerous world of fiber arts. We have been kicking around the idea of trading in our oh-so-comfortable home and ability to run to the store at a moment's notice for the farm life, and this book has given me the push I needed. In the end, of course, the answer comes back to sheep. Working with what you have, and finding out what you want to do with it, is all part of the journey. It is a perfect read for the beach. I am pretty sure I would be well entertained by Catherine Friend if she were to write a book about watching paint dry.
Catherine Friend finds meaning in the middle of life, love and even knitting projects. After finishing this book, I wanted to go visit a farm and scratch some sheep. Here's one of my favorite passages: We stick by our 'no naming the female sheep' rule. But just as Catherine thinks it's time to hang up her shepherd's crook, she discovers that sheep might be too valuable to give up. With laughter and a few tears, Friend weaves together her stories like the threads on a loom, and as any fiber freak can tell you, this is a yarn we like to spin! What ensues is a funny, thoughtful romp through the history of our woolly friends, why small farms are important, and how each one of us—and the planet—would benefit from being very sheepish, indeed.
I wasn't impressed by the structure of the book, though. Catherine Friend finds meaning in the middle of life, love and even knitting projects. In the end, Friend's enthusiasm will make you want to raise sheep, or at least wear wool undies. I couldn't help but be drawn into Friend's life once again. After all, while shepherding is one of the oldest professions, it s not getting any easier. I don't know if being a knitter made it more enjoyable for me than it might be for others, but I can say I recommend it. The evolution of the author's views on farming and the challenges it presents brutally cold weather, health problems, animal deaths and disappearances are presented along with the challenges and joys of being in a committed relationship.
I learned a lot about raising sheep, farming, and how to keep a relationship together. What ensues is a funny, thoughtful romp through the history of our woolly friends, why small farms are important, and how each one of us and the planet would benefit from being very sheepish, indeed. Friend brings out the urge to farm in knitters, spinners, and 'fiber freaks' everywhere, teaching us to find joy and contentment in the small, sheepy parts of our world. Friend is an excellent, funny writer a la Bryson, and her stories of being stuck in the middle not the beginning of an experience, nor the end are honest and endearing, making me laugh out loud. After all, while shepherding is one of the oldest professions, it's not getting any easier. I must admit that the the last page brought both satisfaction and sadness that the journey was over.
They sort of figure it out as they go along and somehow manage to survive while doing so. Catherine Friend takes us along on her quest to master the other 'oldest profession. Women green entrepreneurs make informed choices and negotiate outcomes that balance biodiversity, conservation, and human development needs. She weaves interesting facts into the stories. Series Title: Responsibility: Catherine Friend.
The author is clearly a skilled writer. Sheepish takes us back into the life of Catherine Friend, following the successful memoir Hit By a Farm. The older I get the harder it is to find a book that I want to read to the end. Only without the overwhelming urge to touch the fence. The second half has considerably fewer laughs, but lots of information on the benefits of using wool rather than other fibers. I will recommend this book to every animal lover, eco freak, knitter, and person just looking for a good laugh. What do you do when you love your farm.
And the story itself was a little slow she learns to knit. It is written with humor. After fifteen years of farming, Catherine Friend is tired. Friend is a truly fantastic writer, but I'm deducting a potential fifth star as the book was just too long for me, with my interest starting to flag beyond the halfway point; animal people shouldn't have such a problem. Tidbits on sheep in history and literature add color. If anything could turn me on to the wonders that are sheep, Friend's writing would be it.