Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spinning Books

Amy King fibers spun and unspun by me!

You know, I've been looking at the list of spinning books published by Interweave Press in just this last year and there are a lot! I don't remember any one year when so many books about spinning were published. I've bought and read most of these new books.

I had to buy Judith McCuin MacKenzie's Intentional Spinner because I can't decide whether I like her or not. Do I think I don't like her just because she learned all this stuff at the same time I did and she's famous while I'm not? Do I think I don't like her because she seems to be a know-it-all? Plenty of people think that I am a know-it-all. (Though in reality I am simply one who likes to know and then tell other people so that they will know too. Yes, there's a difference. I'm happy to be corrected because I want to know the truth. Know-it-all's really think that they DO know it all and you can't tell them anything.) And I say "think I don't like her" because I don't know if I do or not but I think I don't. Maybe. I did like her book and that makes me suspect that I would like her if I had ever met her. Whatever, her book, though full of good information, had nothing new to offer that led me to a greater understanding of spinning. It didn't provide me with any ah-ha moments.

So on to Amy King and her Spin Control. I was sure that this would be the book. I very nearly held my breath til it finally came out and I got my copy. Now I'm glad I didn't. I was pretty certain that I liked Amy. I'd been a subscriber to her fiber of the month club until I had two big baskets full and had to acknowledge that I'd never catch up, let alone keep up, so I had to un-subscribe. :( But then I had her book. No ah-has here either. :( I didn't get better control of my spinning after reading it.

What am I looking for? After 30 years of spinning (the anniversary was uncelebrated this year, in fact, I just now realized it has been thirty years when I started typing this paragraph!), I still feel out of control as a spinner. I don't aim for tightly controlled, exactly-the-same-as-millspun regular regulated yarn. I can buy that! But I want to think I've got some conscious choice about my yarn despite having learned over the years that if Mable couldn't instill this in me, nobody would. And even if someone had, what I really cherish about handpsun yarn is its difference, it's innate funkiness.

So why do I look for a book that embodies the Holy Grail of spinning? I've already rejected the yarn it produces. I don't want to be the sort of person who laboriously washes, picks, cards, and spins wool to make a perfectly uniform yarn with which to knit the perfect, classic sweater for some toddler to puke on.

Maybe I just want the knowledge, even though it's only use to me is to not do it that way. And all of this to say that I cannot decide if I want Abby Franquemont's Respect the Spindle or not. General spinning books that have slightly disappointed are bad enough. Finally, someone has written a book on spindle spinning (and had the raw nerve not to be me!) and I don't know if I can stand to be disappointed by it or not. I'll be disgusted if she doesn't know as much as I do about the subject. (Mostly disgusted with myself for not having written a book first, not disgusted with her.) I'll be disappointed not to learn anything new. And I've pretty much given up on finding a book that can affect my spinning more than Paula Simmons' Spinning for Softness and Speed did when it came out nearly 30 years ago. Paula taught me more in one small $8 paperback book than I've learned in all the other much more costly books on spinning I've bought since then. And I've got quite an extensive library of books on all sorts of topics.

I can't believe that I'm deciding to wait for this one to come to a bookstore near me so that I can read some of it before I decide to get it.

Maybe it's time to sit down and write my own book!

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Blogger Jackie said...

You have so much to offer why not write your own book?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 5:27:00 AM MST  
Blogger Gillian McMurray said...

Funnily enough I am finding the standard of art books to be rather low these days too. They promise so much but just fall short. I just hope it isn't a terminal trend. Maybe Jackie has a point. You could try writing your own book on the it ;o)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 9:32:00 AM MST  

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