Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A New Spinning Book

How about a book review? I haven’t done one of these in quite awhile. I just got the new beginner spinning book from Interweave (bought at Three Bags Full):

Start Spinning: Everything You Need To Know To Make Great Yarn by Maggie Casey. She is the owner of a fibre shop in Colorado and has taught many people how to spin over the years. This book is written at an even more beginner level than Judith MacKenzie McCuin’s book on the same subject. Maggie really holds your hand and shepherds you through each step on the way to creating your own yarn on spindle and wheel. She keeps everything simple and basic with plenty of photographs showing how to hold your hands, what the tools look like, etc. The focus is on wool rather than the other spinning fibres but, unless you are allergic, it’s the easiest to learn with anyway. There’s a helpful chapter on using your handspun yarn and it includes a mention of weaving as well as knitting. There is a glossary of terms, an index and a bibliography. No space is wasted on fancy yarn spinning or plying, blending, dyeing or patterns so when you are ready to move on you will need another book. If you combined Start Spinning with Teach Yourself VISUALLY: Handspinning (for the somewhat more advanced spinning and beginning dyeing) and The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook (more advanced dyeing and uses of colour in spinning) you would have an excellent set! They would lead you a very long way into the enticing world of creating your very own yarns and using them in your projects.

OK, why did I buy a beginner spinning book when I’ve been spinning for over 30 years and have taught others using pretty much the same information that’s in this book? Several reasons: because I’m trying to encourage the writing and publishing of more books on spinning, because I want to have a full personal collection, and because I like to see what another spinning teacher has to say and her approach to the same things I’ve tried to explain myself. I love how Maggie herself is the model in her book, her competent hands manipulating the fibres — age spots, grey hair and all.

I finally finished my Hepburn Cardi, hereafter to be known as The Chocolate Sweater. It took me most of the day yesterday to finish sewing the seams and darning in ends. I still need buttons and hope to get them this week sometime downtown at Dressew (cheap and large selection) or Button Button (cool but very pricey). Final FO info when the thing is totally complete. Right now it’s drying on a towel on the freezer in the basement. I took so long to finish washing the sweater (minus buttons) that it had clouded over so I didn’t put it outside. I’m really happy with the results. Here’s a teaser photo. I hope to get one with me actually wearing it when I get buttons on.

I’m partway finished the Stargazer Sweater: the back and 1/3 of the front are done. It’s an easy plain knit with the sock yarn doing all the work. I made it 1/2” shorter than the pattern’s size 2 but it still seems too long. Guess that’s better than too short on a growing toddler.

It’s raining today and looks like it’ll be socked in all afternoon. I’m hoping to get a bit of weaving done (finally!) but first a little lunch.


Dotty said...

The chocolate cardi looks great! I can't wait to see what kind of buttons you buy. I usually get 3 or 4 sets of buttons because I can't decide in the store. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Oh! Gorgeous sweater you!

Sharon in Surrey said...

Interesting stitches in that cardi!! Ya gotta take the sweater to buy the buttons - you just never know what will look great on it till you lay them on . . . Sorry to hear about your fur baby, but going in your sleep is best way to go! You're just gonna have to spoil Mom a little more for a while though.