The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns

| 2/12/2013 11:57:28 AM

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If you are a hand-spinner, or want to be, you’ll want to pick up a copy of The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns by Sarah Anderson. And if, like me, you’re self-taught, this book is a treasure.

The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns 

There is a moment early in a spinner’s learning when just creating a continuous strand of yarn from roving, top or batt seems miraculous in itself. Whether that first yarn is created on spindle or wheel, it will likely be inexpert and thick-and-thin, but that it exists at all is cause for celebration.

As you progress in spinning skills, you may teach yourself (or be taught) how to vary the yarn you spin. If, like me, your default singles are fairly fine, it will seem an achievement when you spin a consistent skein of soft, fat singles.

But there’s more — much more — to learn. Finding a spinning teacher is frequently difficult, and that’s where Anderson’s fine book comes in.

Anderson teaches the tricks of washing raw wool. She lays out in clear language, illustrated with dozens of instructive photos, the basics of carding, combing and flicking wool to prepare it for spinning. She explains the difference between S-twist and Z-twist yarns. She shows why you’ll want to choose one twist sometimes and the other on other occasions. And then she takes you into plying, from simple balanced 2-plys to complex 8-ply cabled yarns, with stops at spiral yarns, beaded yarns, slub yarns and many more. Anderson even includes some wear tests to compare how long different kinds of handspun lasted in the heels of hand-knit socks.

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