Saturday, November 20, 2010

Get Spun - Symeon North

Get Spun
Symeon North
Interweave Press
Copyright: May 2010
978-1596680647

The amazon.com product description:
Pairing detailed instructions with clear, step-by-step photography, this dynamic guide of spinning techniques and demonstrations explores an array of fiber possibilities—such as wool, glitz, and sari silk—to create unique yarn for fiber art projects. Designed for the advanced beginner to the intermediate spinner, this reference covers a variety of subjects such as spinning fundamentals, techniques for wool and silk, spinning with nontraditional materials, introducing add-ins, and creating plying effects. Additionally, the comprehensive tutorial offers information on easy home dyeing and directions for using a drumcarder to blend colors and fibers.
I don't often see books on spinning at my local bookstore, so when I do, I tend to take a closer look. The last one I found was Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning. Get Spun captured my attention right away with the colourful illustrations and ideas. Although the book is short, coming in at only 120 pages, it's packed full of wonderful ideas and inspiration.

There is a chapter on dying, and one on carding colour mixes as well. I will admit to skimming over in my reading of those two, as I simply am not set up to try that at this time. One day though...

The main part of the book though is made up of different ideas for unusual yarns and the techniques involved in making them: different types of fibres, add-ins, and even the different ways of spinning them. There are some suggestions for basic spinning techniques that I saw in this book, but not in the other one I have, and they really do make a difference.

I've never thought of spinning in beads before, but I'd like to try it now, or spinning with sari silk. I've seen yarns made up of that stuff before and it looked really neat. Or of spinning with locks of wool rather than batts or top.

It turns out that I've been inadvertently spinning some of the techniques, just because that's how the yarn turned out when I was plying it. Finally a good set of instructions for how to go back to spinning thicker singles. I've been trapped in the "they're getting thinner all the time" thing. Which I like, but I have a couple of projects where I was starting it with thicker yarn and I wanted to keep it that way.

Every photo in Get Spun is done in vibrant and inspiring colour. Recommended for spinners of all levels. If you're a beginner like me, it might just inspire you to try new things. I know it got me pulling out the silk/merino mix I'd bought a couple of years ago but hadn't wanted to risk screwing up. So far, so good, and I'm loving it.
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