My Hero – Mabel Ross

I’ve been thinking lately about my spinning heros. The people who have pushed me and educated me and made me a better spinner

Of course some of them are alive and I actually get to talk to a few of them. Some of them are no longer living, but I have their books and videos. mabelross

One in particular has been on my mind a lot. Her name is Mabel Ross. Maybe you have never heard of her. If you haven’t, please look up her work. Her methods may not be for everyone but I love the way she speaks and teaches. The reason I’ve been thinking about her is because when I was at the Palouse Fiber Fest in Idaho in June, one of my other spinning heros, Sarah Swett, gave me a Mabel Ross lap cloth that was signed by Mabel herself! I don’t think that Sarah had any idea how much that little gift would mean to me when she gave it to me.

Mabel’s style can be a little rigid but she has a lot to teach you. She’s very precise. As you can see from the markings on the lap cloth, those lines are there to help you have each draft be a precise length. Mabel loved the math of spinning and she didn’t mind telling you.

There are several books written by Mabel Ross as well as a video which is the first thing I bought of her’s (my first copy was VHS). The video is called Handspinning; Advanced Techniques. This one you can still find at some retailers. The books, as far as I know, are all out of print. But let me give you the titles in case you want to go searching for them.

The Encyclopedia of Handspinning

The Essentials of Handspinning

The Essentials of Yarn Design for Handspinners (this is the most expensive one)

Handspinner’s Workbook: Fancy Yarns (This one is also usually pretty expensive.)

Just keep your eyes open. Sometimes you come accross these books at a bargain. But i feel like they are worth every penny.