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Spinning and Dyeing Yarn: The Home Spinners Guide to Creating Traditional and Art Yarns Hardcover – November 1, 2013
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Loving wool and all its needleworking implications, such as crocheting and knitting, doesn’t necessarily add up to a love for its cousin, spinning. “It’s costly,” say the nay-sayers. “Requires too much equipment and knowledge,” insist others. Answering all those negative reactions with an updated easy-to-use manual is British crafter and author Martineau. Her approach is simple. She streamlines the information and shows critical instructions—dyeing, using different spindles, and finishing the yarn—in colorful step-by-step photographs. Basic troubleshooting tips demystify and solve common issues. Plus, her response to equipment expense is to make your own: PVC pipes and a bit of do-it-yourself handiness will net a spindle or two and even a spinning wheel. Two other features give even rank amateurs a chance to aspire to turning pro: four separate galleries, each highlighting the work and biography of one artist; and a separate section on selling handmade yarn, with tips on photography, shipping, handling, and managing online sales. Resources (useful websites, further reading, glossary, contributors) are included. --Barbara Jacobs
“Loving wool and all its needleworking implications, such as crocheting and knitting, doesn’t necessarily add up to a love for its cousin, spinning. ‘It’s costly,’ say the nay-sayers. ‘Requires too much equipment and knowledge,’ insist others. Answering all these negative reactions with an updated, easy-to-use manual is British crafter and author Martineau. Her approach is simple. She streamlines the information and shows critical instructions – dyeing, using different spindles. And finishing the yarn – in colorful step-by-step photographs. Basic troubleshooting tips demystify and solve common issues. Plus, her response to equipment expense is to make your own. A separate section on selling handmade yarn, with tips on photography, shipping, handling, and managing online sales gives even rank amateurs a chance to aspire to turning pro.” ― Booklist
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Next, it covers what skirting is and how to clean your wool after you have skirted. I followed the instructions exactly as it says with the water baths and took the temperature of the water as it said to(although my water from my bathtub just could not reach that 165 degrees it called for, it reached about 130 and I added a large pot of boiling water from the stove top and it was about 145 at the hottest I could get it after the water baths) It still worked GREAT! A quick note on the water baths, I continually kept putting more fresh clean water into my large pot and returning it to the stove each time so that it could heat up almost to a boil again for the next time I needed to add it. This part was extremely helpful to me being new at this because I could not find direct information on the water temperature and amount of time each bath needed to set on the internet. I did find a few Youtube videos on this but they did not even cover basic information and every wool is different, I am finding.
Next goes into carding, and separating the wool out and drum carders... It shows step by step how to build your own simple hackle for making you colored roving continuous. It shows how to dye in many ways, from super easy and stuff you have around the house to acid dying, today I only did the solar dying with left over Easter egg dyes... It says for that particular solar dye method to use citric acid to set the dyes...I personally had fantastic results using vinegar(because that is all I had :) I am also a seamstress and work with organic cotton and bamboo fleece and hemp fleece often and I love natural dyes as well. Like try black beans, boil them in some water for a good long bit until they are done and take them out, eat them for dinner, leave your water from them and put in your fabric in it and cook it for an hour, add vinegar, then take it out and let it sit in the yard and hang out for a good while even overnight. It becomes a wild shade of purple! Tumeric from the grocery store is amazing for dying a lovely vibrant yellow in the same method, so I will be doing that with a majority of my wool top and alpaca but egg dyes and food coloring work great! And the book shows several methods of dying, solar, immersion dying, hand painting and more.
So my favorite part of this book is the projects to build! It teaches you to build not only a drop spindle, but a kick spindle, a spinning wheel, a hackle, and a drying rack for your finished wet and dyed wool. Good designs too for this stuff, like top quality. I made 2 spinning wheels before I got this book, one was a total flop and the other is the dodec model spindle wheel but amped up and redone so it spins super fast, no flyer though and now I HAVE to make this spinning wheel in here, it looks so modern and will be cheap to make.
Also covered in the book is everything that I personally needed to know, how to ply, all these different types of weighted yarns you can make and how to add stuff into your yarn... Like fabric, it teaches how to incorporate fabric into your yarn which happens to be perfect for me because I will serge on my serger for ages and end up with half a grocery bag full of scraps at the end of the day and this way you can use every bit so nothing goes to waste... Of course organic bamboo and cotton serger scraps make great ferret bedding, just saying. One less thing to buy... That about sums it up.
The book was EXACTLY what I wanted in every single way and at the end there's even a little section on how to market your yarn if you want to sell it and how to begin selling it if you want to go that route. Mine personally is not even at a point where you would be able to knit with it, let alone sell it but IT'S FUN!!! It's not pretty but its fun!!! Some day I am confident it will be pretty :) Buy the book if you are just starting out and want a book to cover everything. Especially if you are like me and go to a Fiber fair as soon as you find an old vintage Canadian Production wheel and you are like "okay I am going to buy some roving and get outta here...Ooh what's that, oh it is so soft, oooooh it is a quarter of the price for double the amount" ooh its raw wool, raw alpaca fleece. Then spend several hours skirting this wool and washing this wool and then you need to buy these things called Carders because a hair brush really does not work on my homemade blending board(aka a nice piece of wood with a layer of real leather and about 500 staples stapled into it, facing outward-don't waste your time thinking you have a $10 fix people, it doesn't work) So yep, awesome book, truly she tells everything about everything you could want to know as a beginner. I actually really believe even a very experienced spinner could get many miles out of this book; it has not left my hands for more than an hour for the entire week since I got it... I keep finding stuff I did not read, it is all so descriptive and it is a good sized book, over an inch thick and like all of the pages are full color.
The book is worth buying just for the instructions on building your own PVC spinning wheel. Spinning is expensive and I know I can't buy another wheel simply to spin art yarns (especially when I usually spin the opposite) but I can absolutely buy some PVC and build one. I like making my own things more than buying them anyway!
There are other things to build too, but the rest are relatively easy to figure out on your own, like the niddy noddy and drying rack, but it's still wonderful to have it written down.
If you're just beginning to spin or are thinking about it, buy this book first.