Unraveling: What I Learned About Life While Shearing Sheep, Dyeing Wool, and Making the World’s Ugliest Sweater

Harper: HarperCollins. Jan. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780063081727. $27.99. MEMOIR
Like many people in 2020, Orenstein (Boys & Sex) found comfort in crafting. During the wave of plenty of unexpected free time, she decided to fulfill a longtime aspiration: to create a sweater from scratch. Already a knitter, Orenstein wanted to take her hobby deeper and began the process by first shearing a sheep for wool. Fleece in hand, she learned the art of spinning it into yarn and experimented with dyeing before creating her own pattern for a sweater. Orenstein shares the successes and obstacles she experienced along the way. She also explored the history of textiles and garment manufacturing, the science of color, and the contemporary environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry, among other topics. The process helped her cope with her personal life, including the effects of the pandemic shutdown, such as being a mother to a college-bound daughter and facing the recent death of her mother.
VERDICT Orenstein recounts her adventures in learning new skills with the openness and keen observations of a wise friend. This is a delight to read and will be of interest not only to crafters but also to anyone who’s learned something new as an adult.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing