First, the facts:
Title: Start Spinning: The Video
Author: Maggie Casey, with Eunny Jang
Published by: Interweave Press, 2009
Format: Two DVDs
Length: 78 minutes for the first, 66 minutes for the second.
Type: Spinning How To
1. Fibers to start with
2. About your wheel
3. Getting started
4. Making yarn
5. More about wheels
6. Plying and Finishing.
1. Looking at wool
2. Carding Basics
3. Long Draw
4. Commercial top
5. Over the Fold
6. Exploring other fibers
The In-Depth Look:
I should really have had this review up weeks ago, but a series of technical glitches (don’t ask) basically left me with only one way to watch a DVD … on my computer. Which means that I could only watch this when I wasn’t using the computer for anything else, like, say, writing, and, well … you get the idea.
But, that said, this video was worth the effort.
The DVDs–there are two in the package–are basically a spinning lesson from Maggie Casey (author of the companion book) to Eunny Jang, with just a few thousand of their closest friends watching over their shoulders.
Now, I’ve been spinning since 2004, and since there’s nothing I like better than to read everything I can get my hands on when I find a new interest, I already knew most of the basic techniques given here. I point this out not to make myself sound like I know more about spinning than Maggie Casey (which is decidedly not the case), but because it’s been a while since I learned to spin, which makes it hard to judge exactly how well she’s explaining things for a novice.
This is where Eunny Jang comes in. As editor of Interweave Knits, she’s obviously well versed in different kinds of yarn and knowledgeable about a lot of yarn-type things, which makes her the perfect foil for this video lesson. One of the flaws in most of the spinning videos I’ve watched in the past is that it’s just a woman talking to a camera, with nobody to stop her when she’s unclear or explaining too quickly. Having Eunny in the room, taking her first spinning lesson, is a wonderful idea for the clarity of this video.
She asks the obvious questions, like, “How do you know how much twist is enough?” I asked this one a lot myself, but was never lucky enough to have somebody handy to give me a good answer. (The answer, by the way is, “It’s hard to say.”) Having a new spinner there to ask questions of the teacher on behalf of all of us viewers was brilliant.
Not only that, Eunny was spinning her own yarn within minutes, and doing a whole lot better than I did on my first try, and I credit that to Maggie’s explanations, which were clear and concise, not to mention helpful. And yes, there were some tips that I hadn’t heard before (aren’t there always?). The picture quality is nice, the set attractive without being distracting.
The DVDs can be purchased at Interweave’s website.
This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!