Books Are My Thing

pile of books-1I have a thing about books. I was the kid who had Christmas lists that were 80% books. If I don’t read every day something is very wrong. I married a book person; we have book children; I’ve worked in books for 25 years. I like books, I think they are important to us as humans.

I use books to learn about spinning, sure I talk to other spinners and take every class I can afford, but my first stop is always books.  I have a special spot in my heart and on my shelves for older, out of print books. There is a lot of deep knowledge in that pile up there. The folks that wrote those books didn’t have all of the resources at their fingertips like we do now. No internet, not a lot of commercially processed fiber. They had other nearby spinners, shepherds, and they learned by lots of trial and error. They also read books. It didn’t hurt that there was a spinning boom in the 1970s into the early 1980s and lots of books were published.

Craft publishing used to be different too, not everything had to be quick and easy and appeal to the widest variety of crafters. Most of the out of print spinning books I have are more technical, or at least the ones I refer to frequently are more technical. I like to learn the technical when I’m researching something, then I simplify it for my spinning, writing, and teaching.

Here are 3 of my favorites. These are the ones I have a little panic over if I can’t find them.

kill you books-1Mabel Ross and Allen Fannin, don’t ask me to lend them to you. In fact they have a special hiding place. If you want technical spinning information read Mabel Ross, you will learn to count and measure and control your yarn to a very specific degree. I struggle with Mabel, her teaching and writing are hard for my brain to wrap around, but I won’t give up. There is too much to learn there.  Allen Fannin’s was one of the first books that showed super close up photos of yarn and fiber and he has a succinct way of explaining spinning. He is just one of those authors that speak to me.

Here are 2 books that make me smile

2 fav books-1I didn’t know either of these books existed until I ran across them. I will buy and read anything by Paula Simmons, she has an excellent and straight forward way of explaining things. The other was put out by Straw into Gold, a legendary spinning store in the 1970s. It is, as the title suggests, 101 questions for spinners, but they don’t mention on the cover who the spinners answering the questions. Just Susan Druding, Bette Hochberg, and Alden Amos, plus a few more.

I have more than 100 books on spinning and I’m stopping reading and learning any time soon


2 replies
  1. islandspindler
    islandspindler says:

    My favourite is Anne Field’s Spinning Wool:Beyond the Basics. We had a study group while reading it, helped to discuss all the technical aspects with more experienced spinners. Start with the wool and all else follows is now my mantra for spinning.


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