Book Review – Respect the Spindle

I have been bitten hard by the handspinning bug, so today I am reviewing the book Respect The Spindle by Amy Franquemont.

This is a great book for a beginner.  If you read it with a spindle and a bit of roving available, you’ll be able to try out her techniques and be spinning in no time.

There are many beautiful pictures of spindles, yarns, roving and knitted items.  It’s eye candy for an aspiring spinner!  There are also lots of photos showing the author demonstrating techniques, which is a nice way of seeing exactly what she is talking about, making this book useful for those who are more visual learners.

There is a great section on the science of  hand spindles, which is very interesting, and she points out that spinners “intuitively understand and work with mechanical engineering, advanced calculus, and rotational and fluid dynamics every time you pick up a spindle”.  Math and science can be fun!  Who knew?

The square format of the book makes it a bit different than most of my other books, which I like simply because it makes it easy for me to find in the huge stacks of books all over the house.

My only complaint is about the fact that she states she was raised in the U.S. and the Andes, I am extremely curious about how that happened.  Nothing to do with  spinning, I’m just nosy I guess.  I would have enjoyed learning a bit about that.

Here is a sample of my first yarn (started before I read this book).

It’s clearly yarn, but pretty rugged and primitive. Not what I was hoping for.

Here is a sample of my second, unfinished yarn.

Much, much better!

I think part of the improvement is just from practice, but I know that I am much better at controlling the thickness of the yarn, joining new sections, and winding the yarn on the spindle (the wound yarn is called the cop) after reading Respect The Spindle.

This is well worth purchasing for the beginning hand spinner.  I’m really glad I bought it.

Now, to go buy some more spindles!