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The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns Hardcover – January 29, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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"Go Big Knits" from the editors of Marie Claire Idees
Knit designs from the editors of Marie Claire Idées to ensure that women of all body shapes and types will look—and feel—fantastic. Learn more
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  • The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns
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  • The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This inspired resource for spinners details the dizzying array of techniques and tactics that turn fleece into yarn. Veteran spinner Anderson has created a veritable spinner’s cookbook, detailing 80 lovely concoctions and confections, with suggestions for variations and further exploration. The opening chapter covers basic fiber preparation and spinning techniques. Chapters on singles, the spinner’s basic building block, detail techniques for stand-alone singles and singles for plying; subsequent chapters cover spiral yarns, opposing plies, boucles, cable, crepe, coil, and novelty yarns. Delicious varieties such as spiral “flame yarn,” “bubble crepe,” “cloud yarn,” and distinctive “pigtail yarn” are detailed. Beautiful illustrations and clear step-by-step diagrams are offered for each of the 80 yarns that are discussed, and pop-out boxes with tips, tricks, and food for thought (for example, “lace knitting: two-ply versus three-ply”) pepper each chapter. The pages have thoughtful side tab labels to make finding the right section easy. Inventive, accessible, and fun, this book is an invitation to spinners of all skill levels to venture into uncharted territory and try out something new. This beautiful reference is an essential addition to any spinner’s library.

From the Back Cover

Expand Your Spinning Repertoire!

 

Explore the exciting possibilities in wool and wheel with Sarah Anderson as she invites you into her yarn library and demonstrates how to spin everything from classic fat and fine singles to dozens of boucle variations and one-of-a-kind novelty yarns. Featuring step-by-step instructions on making 80 distinctive yarns, this is the primer every spinner needs to begin building a unique collection of luxious yarns.

 

64 unique reference cards appear throughout to illustrate step-by-step the singles and twist combinations that comprise each yarn. A second set of the cards, in a handy take-along format, is packaging in a separate envelope at the back of the book.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; Har/Crds edition (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603427384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603427388
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lynne E. TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a novice spinner, who still has difficulty with joins and twist, but THE SPINNER'S BOOK OF YARN DESIGNS may be the book that finally helps me graduate to an intermediate skill level! I really like the clear, step-by-step, full-color photos for long draw, short draw, spinning off the fold, and folded long draw. Although I understand each of these spinning methods in concept, I need pictures to show me what I'm doing wrong. Also, there is a whole page--with five photos!-- that illustrates "The Secret to Good Joins".

The book has a chapter on "Spinning Basics", followed by nine more chapters devoted to spinning different types of yarn: (1) singles for plying, (2) stand-alone singles, (3) spiral yarns, (4) opposing plies, (5) boucles, (6) cable yarns, (7) crepe yarns, (8) core yarns, and (9) novelty yarns. These chapters not only have step-by-step photos that explain how the yarn is made, they also have photos of problem yarns. The problem yarn pages explain what went wrong with the yarn, how to fix the problem with spinning the yarn, and sometimes include suggestions for salvaging the bad yarn.

Inside the back cover, there is a plastic folder filled with reference cards that you can keep with your wheel when you're making a specific yarn. The cards are printed on heavy card stock, four to a page, and are "punched" so they can be easily separated into individual cards and formed into a deck of cards. The black-and-white cards have page numbers that refer you to the color photos and relevant discussions in the main book.

There is a wealth of how-to information in this book that goes far beyond my present novice spinner level. I expect to use THE SPINNER'S BOOK OF YARN DESIGNS as a reference long after I have finally mastered the basics of spinning. There is an excellent glossary, an extended bibliography of how-to books on spinning, and there are also many lovely photos of handspun yarns (similar to the photo on the book's cover).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I suspect the only way to get more information than what's in this book is if you could go to a camp taught by some of the most skilled spinners in the same league as Judy Mackenzie, Abby Franquemont or Jacey Boggs.

The teaching material begins with a solid foundation of choosing and preparing wool, carding, blending, different ways to prepare fiber for spinning and then moves in to the myriad of methods to produce many different types of yarn. All of this is great stuff fo novice spinners. Each style of yarn has photos showing what each ply looks like followed by how the yarn looks through each stage of plying to the final result, then a knitted swatch and sometimes woven swatches are also shown. I was especially impressed that Anderson knit socks made from the same fiber that was spun and plied differently and then compared the feel and durability of the sock. She even made sure she could distinguish each sock and rotated which was worn on which foot so they'd wear evenly.

I cannot express how helpful I've found this book and I think it's one of those books that if you had to get rid of all your books but a few, this would be one of the ones I'd keep.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I lost patience in waiting for this book to be released in Kindle format, so I bought the hardcover. I loved the book itself-and was about 50% through it when the Kindle version was finally released. I have some appreciation for how challenging it is to translate a book with lot of images in it-and this translation nailed it perfectly. The pictures are often arranged on a separate Kindle page-so that you can really zoom into them without disturbing their relationship to the text. I'm sure you can read lots of reviews of the content-but here I wanted to comment on the excellent Kindle translation. I hope this will inspire other Kindle translations of image-rich content, particularly fiber-related.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My spinning club owns pretty much every spinning book available and I have a fair few myself. This is the BEST book we have ever had. The best part are the cards enclosed on the back cover. You feeling like spinning fine yarn today? - simply pull out the relevant card, feel like spinning something more adventurous? - boucle perhaps? - again simply pull out the relevant card, pop it in your spinning basket and off you go. No heaving book to carry around.
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Anderson makes so many yarn design accessible to new spinners. Clear direction, realistic tips, lots of photos all packaged in a well-bound book that lays open for referencing as you work. Clear, bright photos & illustrations somehow add energy to your daydreams of yarn designs for that fleece or roving that's been in your stash too long. This book works for those who only skim and has rich content for those who read all the words. Great book for a yarn design study group with your spinning friends. If you're a weaver, it's similar to Anne Dixon's Handweaver's Pattern Directory but with even more help.
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This book has a ton of pictures and detail on how to ply to create the different types of yarn you can make if you spin it yourself. I spin and was looking for something like this when I started. I wanted something that explained twist, it's importance, and what I could do after the single-ply stage besides just plying two, three or four singles together. I've seen the art yarn books but they didn't really inspire me since they seemed to concentrate on only one or two types of really wild yarns. This book appears to have them all; from the basic two-ply to the fuzzy art yarns to the sophisticated cables. Each plying technique is explained clearly in both text and photos so that you can create the results shown. I can confidently try my hand at many of them now that I have a reference like this.
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