First, the facts:
Author: Jacey Boggs
Published by: Interweave Press, 2011
Pages: 143, PLUS a 90-minute included DVD
Type: Book plus DVD
4. Foreign Objects
The In-Depth Look:
Knitters and spinners are often divided into two camps those who do “novelty” yarn and those who prefer “real” yarn–or as Jacey Boggs calls them, Textural and Traditional. I’ve always fallen firmly into the Traditional camp–preferring to let the knitting showcase the stitchwork and patterns rather than trying to deal with funky, sparkly, bumpy stuff that looked good in the skein but worked up into odd and quirky projects.
But, oh, this book. It’s dedicated to the art of making textured yarn, and it is chock-full of meticulously tested techniques to enable you to spin exactly the kind of yarn you’ve dreamed of. She gives good reasons why she doesn’t like to call her yarn “art” or “novelty” yarn, too–the most notable being that those yarns often don’t end up being usable, and hers are.
The author writes in the introduction, “What I really hope that the spinners I teach take away with them is that the more you learn about spinning, the better spinner you’ll be. That the old adage, “Know the rules before you break them,” doesn’t really apply. You can’t break the rules of fiber and spinning and still produce a good yarn: you have to learn the rules well enough that you can work inside their parameters to get the fiber to produce the yarn you want. Traditional spinners will gain insight, dexterity, and control when they venture to spin texturally. Textural spinners will gain insight, dexterity, and control when they endeavor to spin traditionally. Traditional and textural spinning are two sides of the same coin–two plies in the same yarn. One just happens to be bumpier than the other.”
Does that make this sound stuffy or dry? Because this book is first and foremost a thing of beauty. The photographs are amazing eye candy. Not only are there vibrant pictures of the finished yarn, but photos of the process and of single strands to make everything clear. (In fact, the photos are so lovely that Interweave is bringing out a jigsaw puzzle to go along with the book. How cool is that?)
The pictures are so lovely, in fact, that they’re going to make even traditional spinners like me want to MAKE the yarn. Not only are the yarns creative and beautiful, the spinning just looks like FUN. Lots of fun. Remember when you first learned to spin and everything was an adventure? Like that. So many nifty techniques to try, yet you want to get them right so that your yarn looks like the pictures in the book. Exactly like that.
And if you have trouble learning new spinning techniques from a book? You’re in luck, because this book comes with its own 90-minute DVD of video instruction. And as much as I love the written word, and as much as I enjoy reading instructions and translating them into action, spinning is a dynamic craft and sometimes it’s just easier to see it in action. The DVD is a delight, too. Jacey comes across as interesting, knowledgeable, and funny, with an appealing on-screen presence. I’ve even watched the DVD twice, which is rare for me, but I found it that entertaining. SEEING the spinning techniques makes the text in the book that much more meaningful.
Seriously, even if I never knit a single skein of it, I want to try spinning just about every single one of these techniques if my bobbins come out as full of beautiful yarn as Jacey’s. Gorgeous stuff.
Run right over to Amazon.com or your favorite bookstore and take a look.
This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!