Monday, March 8, 2010

Review: Respect the Spindle

This past weekend, I finally picked up the book, "Respect the Spindle: Spin Infinite Yarns with One Amazing Tool", by Abby Franquemont, at a local bookstore.

Respect the Spindle

Can I just say this? WHERE was this book when I first started spinning on a spindle?!?! Oh yeah, she was just finishing up writing it and it was *just* about to be published. So, I didn't get the full benefit of it when I started spindling.

It came out about 3 months after I started spindle spinning. However, it's awesome book to read with a lot of information specific to spindle spinning that you don't necessarily get in other general spinning books (which mostly cater to wheel spinning). Despite it's focus on spindles, it's an overall good "spinning" book with information on drafting, woolen, and worsted spinning, plying (with some good photos on chain plying), etc. I've learned quite a bit more just by reading this book.

Abby does a really good job at breaking things down into easy-to-understand concepts about the hows and whys of spinning. Her writing flows nicely from one end of the book to the next. Her style is fluid and easy-to-read. She explains (with good photographs) the different spindle types, why they work, how they work, and what are the idiosyncracies between all of them. She goes over the physics of spinning, mathematics of spin rates, and a little bit about the history of spinning in general.

In addition to the above, there are some brief exercises for you to work on, how to determine your spinning rate, and then she also provides a few patterns for your first few skeins of handspun. She's very encouraging throughout the book, getting you to explore at your own pace, to find your own spinning "mojo", and to really understand that there is going to different ways of doing things.

(And there are also some very gorgeous photos of various spindles and fiber!)

Overall, it's a *wonderful* book. In terms of specific spindle books, I think this one sits at the top of my "recommended" list. It'll be the one I will be recommending to people who want to learn how to use a spindle. I know that I certainly learned a lot.

(As a side note: Books, such as The Bellweather's Productive Spindling (also a very good book) compliments Abby's book very well, going into some specifics (such as how to efficiently wind-on a cop for different reasons, etc).

I'll review the Product Spindling book at a later date.