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cassy

Book: How to spin just about anything

A member of our Weavers, Spinners, Dyers Guild, Janet Renouf-Miller, has written a new spinning book called "How to spin just about anything", published by LILI. Janet is a great teacher and that really comes through in the book. It's written in a very up-beat, supportive way that inspires a lot of confidence in the reader. My favourite quote is "twirl, stop and draft: you don't need to do it all at the same time", the perfect antidote to the beginner's feeling of not having enough hands!

I've been spinning for a couple of years but I found lots to get my teeth into in the book, like throwing the spindle off the thigh, kicking the spindle and different plying techniques. It seems to comprehensively cover spinning with a drop spindle and wheel as well as preparing fibre and finishing yarn. I've not read the wheel sections in depth but have been told by a new spinner that they were the best instructions she had found so far. There are 34 pages on using a spindle and 55 about using a wheel; the remainer of instructions being applicable to both. There is a lot packed in and using a spindle definitely wasn't treated as a second rate method as it is in other books. There's a full list of the topics covered on her website as well as a copy of all of the photos from the book.

It's not glossy, but the black and white pictures are clear and the quality of the writing is good, which is more use to me in a practical guide than having fewer, large colour photos. This book doesn't go in depth into the long history of spinning or spinning from around the globe but there are plenty of other books to do that and it gives a good introduction to a variety of spindles, wheels and comb types, without being an advert for the huge range of spinning equipment which some books assume you will want/need; I found that refreshing. It confines itself instead to dealing with how to spin, what you really need to know in order to suceed and showing how you can do it, right now, using a potato and a pencil for a spindle if necessary!
gil

That sounds an excellent book, cassy.

Both cassy and I have been to Janet Renouf-Miller's spinning workshops - I found her teaching really clear and useful, although haven't put it into practice much since then.
cassy

It is really good. I like that she takes you right through from prepping the fibres to finishing your yarn properly without a whole load of graith. And she tell you how to deal with a fleece. We were shown how to do it at the guild, but you forget everything once you're home so it's great to have something to refer to.

gil wrote:
... although haven't put it into practice much since then.

Have you been concentrating on your knitting instead? Did you get one of those huge floor spindles in the end or am I imagining it?
gil

Been knitting !
I bought a small drop spindle and some fleece at the gathering in 2010, and haven't used it since.
cassy

Makes sense; your knitting is amazing. I liked your purple knobbly hat (that's not what it was called though was it ....). Very Happy
gil

Thanks !
You mean the Welting Fantastic hat ?
cassy

That's it, I knew it had a good proper name. It was so textured yet it helped to hold the hair in. Cool
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