Sunday, March 21, 2010

Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning - Judith MacKenzie McCuin

Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning
Judith MacKenzine McCuin
Wiley Publishing
Copyright: 2007

The product description:
With its soothing, meditative effect, handspinning is a relaxing hobby, and the beautiful yarns you create are an even better reward. This visual guide shows you the basics, beginning with the tools and fibers, and takes you through spinning, plying, making novelty yarns, using exotic fibers, dyeing, and more. Whether you use an inexpensive hand spindle or splurge on a spinning wheel, stick with wool or try alpaca, cashmere, or cotton, you'll learn how to create fun, original, one-of-a-kind yarns that you can knit or weave into truly unique, handmade, and all-natural creations.
Concise two-page lessons show you all the steps to a skill and are ideal for quick review
  • The skill demonstrated is defined and described
  • Detailed color photos demonstrate each step
  • Step-by-step instructions accompany each photo
  • Helpful tips provide additional guidance
Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning is the first reference book on the subject that I bought myself after I got my spinning wheel a couple of years ago. The explanations are simple and concise, and well illustrated with full color photos.

There are sections on drop spindles of various types as well as on the different types of spinning wheels - how they work and how to care for them. Most of the book though is on different types of fibers and different spinning techniques. I'd read the book before when I first got it, and now reading it again I found that it made a lot of sense (and told me what the techniques I was using are called). Not just for spinning singles out of fiber, but also for plying and fiber care both for common fibers and exotic.

I find it rather neat that the model of wheel used in some of the photos is the same as the one I have: the Ashford Traveller, but that doesn't have any effect on the information in the book.

Overall, Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning is a good book for both the beginner and for someone who is a bit more advanced, although there are times when I wish they'd gone into more detail on various techniques. On the basis of this book, I'd recommend other books in the Teach Yourself Visually series too - at least for their crafting books.

Another plus for this book is that it's available in bookstores. It's the only one I've seen on the shelf to date, and so I didn't have to special order it.

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