Esther Rutter learnt to spin, weave and knit as a child growing up on a Suffolk sheep farm. For her latest book, she spent a year with needles in hand, travelling the country to unravel Britain’s history and culture through what was once the nation’s most valuable natural resource: wool. It was a journey that took her from Border mills to Parliament’s Woolsack and the empty landscapes of the Highland Clearances. This Golden Fleece is both a thoughtful examination of the craft and history of knitting, and a wide-ranging exploration of wool’s influence on our landscape, history and culture.

Chaired by Claire Malcolm, New Writing North

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