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 Spinning Articles, Magazines, Books, and Links
 Recommend some good Reference Books
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Simplicity
Chatty Knitter

USA
104 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2007 :  12:42:26 PM  Show Profile Send Simplicity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just purchased a spinning wheel and have ordered the Spinners Companion and subscription to Spin Off magazine. Can I get recommendations for some good reference books for a new spinner? Thanks.

Thanks for the suggestion I just purchased Teach yourself Visually Handspinning.

diane leirer
Chatty Knitter

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2007 :  2:38:51 PM  Show Profile Send diane leirer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I haven't seen this book, but many people think it's one of the better references. I am hoping my library carries it. It's the new book out by Judith MacKenzie-McCuin (sp?).

http://www.knittersreview.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=73380

Diane
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2007 :  11:12:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's intimidating because it's so thorough, but I do think a must-have is Alden Amos's Big Book of Handspinning. Not a misnomer - it's BIG.
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fiberlicious
Permanent Resident

1637 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2007 :  6:55:55 PM  Show Profile Send fiberlicious a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I love Alden Amos' book, even if I don't agree with everything he says. Tons of technical info - about stuff he's interested in.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2007 :  09:56:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd wait till the Spinner's Companion arrives and read that - and then, if you have specific questions (I don't have that book, no idea what it covers), ask them here in the forum!

Otherwise, I'd second Alden Amos. He's the best at explaining how a spinning wheel works. And the book is a lot of fun to read (the man has a great sense of humour) - if you skip the maths, and the wool washing chemistry (well, unless you like maths and/or chemistry).

For a number of reasons (which I'll list in a detailed review as soon as I'll get around to writing it) I would NOT recommend Judith McKenzie McCuin's new book. It looks nice, but that's its best feature :-(

But some of the best reference material IMHO are the videos by Patsy Zawitovski (spelling might be wrong): 1. Spinning Wool, Basics and Beyond (the best for a beginner), 2. Spinning and Plying Textured Yarns (for a bit of variety, later on) and 3. Spinning Cotton, Silk and Flax (if you are interested in these fibres, of course). Patsy Z's videos are the best (clearest explanations, best voice, a bit of humour, not intimidating, great photography, use of written cards/drawings where appropriate - just great production value).

Then there's Mabel Ross's Handspinning Wool - Advanced Techniques. This video is also very comprehensive, but not quite as "attractive" as Patsy Z's. It covers about the same topics as Spinning Wool, but the basics less comprehensively (but Mable is demonstrating 'park and draft' with a spidle), but add's twist per inch, twist angle, spinning for a specific purpose - advanced techniques, as the title says.

I LOVE books (and I do have a collection of spinning books) - but for showing how to spin, videos are better.

Happy spinning! Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info
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KnitRedSox
Chatty Knitter

170 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  06:17:50 AM  Show Profile Send KnitRedSox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This isn't a must-have for the beginning spinner, but it is certainly inspirational... "Color in Spinning" by Deb Mentz.
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petiteflower
Chatty Knitter

USA
297 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  08:28:32 AM  Show Profile Send petiteflower a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is "Hands on Spinning" by Lee Raven, that is a good starting point for the basics. Then, see what you can get at your library. There are some older books that aren't very easy to come by that libraries have on hand, "The Spinner's Encyclopedia" by Enid Anderson, "The Encyclopedia of Handspinning" by Mabel Ross, these are full of information. Yes, the Alden Amos book has a lot of good info too, the man knows spinning wheels, no doubt about it, but I have tried to imagine myself as a new spinner trying to figure it all out by using this book as a guide, and I can see myself having to wade around in it way to much toO find what I would need to start off learning to spin on a spinning wheel. The chapter layout and the format is just too indirect for that. It has not one single photo in it and the illustrations don't cut it, sorry. Despite the good info, my overall opinion of this book is that it is just too bad that it appears by the cover (and the price) to be the "Bible" of spinning books. It certainly is no such thing.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  09:25:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Petiteflower,

I read Alden Amos before I had a spinning wheel or even looked at one closely. And I understood how the three drive types worked just from his descriptions (probably BECAUSE his descriptions are rather wordy). At the time I didn't appreciate that enough - but I didn't know then how hard it is to find good explanations of spinning wheel technology!

But I agree that this is not the book that gives you the most information for the least reading time, and finding specific info isn't easy either. But as reading it isn't a chore, I don't mind too much. And I rather like the drawings - I built my takli lazy kate after one of them. And I prefer a good drawing over a bad photo! It's not the only spinning book you'll ever need, but certainly well worth having (or getting out of the library).

Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info
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Simplicity
Chatty Knitter

USA
104 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2007 :  12:48:26 PM  Show Profile Send Simplicity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just a note I also purchased the Teach Yourself to Spin Visually.
I have a requested a copy of the Alden Amos book from the library.
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Becky in MO
Seriously Hooked

769 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2007 :  05:28:24 AM  Show Profile  Send Becky in MO a Yahoo! Message Send Becky in MO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is there any good reference books for processing flax? I am in need of one.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2007 :  2:34:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's a book called "The Magic of Linen - Flax Seed to Woven Cloth" by Linda Heinrich. But I only know that because I've seen it in Aldon Amos bibliography, I've never seen the book itself.

Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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Ingrid_in_Sweden
Chatty Knitter

112 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2007 :  03:21:46 AM  Show Profile Send Ingrid_in_Sweden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hand wool combing by Peter Teal has very very good chapters on spinning that alone are worth the book as they are crystal clear - I almost prefer his expanations to Alden Amos but AA book is about everything you'll ever need to know and I love them both.

I think I might go for Paula Simmons after Mr Teal and Mr Alden - is is GREAT fun to check up on Alden Amos book/reference list at the back of his book - he does tell you what he thinks about them too :-)))))

Smiles from Ingrid in Sweden
www.grelber.blogs.se
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hopetoknit
Warming Up

58 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2008 :  11:37:05 AM  Show Profile Send hopetoknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have "In Sheep's Clothing" by Nola & Jane Fournier. It mainly features examples of hundreds of breeds of sheeps' wools, how they appear knitted, descriptions of each breed and history, and then cross-references them by type of wool. There are also sections on: about wool; fine, longwool, crossbred, down, and other-type wools; black & colored wools; selecting, sorting, and storing fleece. It is written in a clear and straightforward manner with pictures. It was recommended by a spinning instructor, Jackie Vaughn (sp).

Charts detail each breed's wool by softness, elasticity and loft, staple length, luster, and felting properties.
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