Book review: The Intentional Spinner

I recently ordered spinning guru Judith MacKenzie McCuin’s new book The Intentional Spinner: A holistic approach to making yarn (Interweave Press, 2009). Even though, on the face of it, the description sounds like many learn-to-spin books, I think this is more of a book for the intermediate/advanced beginner spinner. The first half is devoted to fibre characteristics, but goes into more detail than Maggie Casey or Lee Raven’s excellent introductory texts and has a more scientific approach.

The sections on spinning techniques deals only very briefly with wheel mechanics and fibre preparation, instead going in-depth on the question of drafting methods. She deals with a great variety of yarns and shows in clear pictures how to make them. I find it a little hard to read this book straight through because of the great profusion of pictures and the numbered references to them throughout the text. But whenever I decide to try one of the techniques, I’m sure I will appreciate the abundance of pictures.

This is a great book, which, coupled with Maggie Casey’s Start Spinning, should keep a relatively new spinner happily occupied for a long time. I would not recommend it as a starting book, as it contains too little info on wheel or spindle mechanics and fibre prepping.

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