Make Your Own Yarn: Spin With Maggie

Are you enjoying the new Knitting Daily website? Pretty, isn't it? Those Web gurus, they're talented folk. (Thank you, talented Web gurus!) If you haven't had time to go exploring, you have a treat in store for you! 

On Monday, I wrote about my little spinning "science experiments" where I tried to see how different ways of playing with fiber affected the yarn that I made. I had a ton of people write in saying "OK, you've got me hooked now. Where do I go to learn to spin?" (Evil chuckle…I think it was the pretty fiber. Pretty fiber gets a knitter every time.) 

I get a little thrill every time a knitter says they want to learn to spin. After all, it's the yarn—all that beautiful, irresistible yarn—that gets so many of us into knitting in the first place, and the experience of making your own yarn is rather heady stuff. I've seen the faces of knitters when they spin their first length of yarn…and that look of joy and wonder must be one of the greatest pleasures of a spinning teacher's life. 

This fall, I’m going to learn to teach spinning. Yes, that's right: I want to become a spinning teacher myself, because I want to pass on the fun and the deep satisfaction of making your own yarn. And who do I want to teach me to be a teacher? The woman who taught me to spin, Maggie Casey. Maggie has that magical touch—the gentleness to encourage students to overcome their anxieties, the joy in her craft to inspire folks to do more than they thought they could, and the depth of knowledge to make it fun to ask questions in class just to see what fascinating thing she comes up with! 

So when people ask me where to go to learn to spin, I always answer: Take a class from Maggie Casey. The trouble is Maggie can only teach so many classes in so many places. You can learn a lot from her book, Start Spinning: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Yarn. But my friends, spinning is best learned sitting at the wheel with Maggie by your side. So we’ve done the next best thing to cloning her—we’ve produced her video Start Spinning: The Video. It's literally a spinning class on DVD, where she starts at the very beginning and goes step by step through everything you need to know. And the best part is that Maggie isn't just talking to the camera—she's actually teaching a beginning spinner, so it really is just like being in a spinning class. A spinning class where you can set your wheel up in front of the TV, and replay things you don't understand. See a sneak peek of this video, behind the scenes of the making of Start Spinning: The Video

Oh, and did I mention that Maggie's spinning student is Eunny Jang? As in, editor of Interweave Knits Eunny Jang? Being the consummate knitter, Eunny asks questions every knitter would want answered, and learns to spin from a knitter's point of view. 

So where do you go to learn to spin? Right here, with Maggie by your side.


Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I'm seeing stars! I'm nearly done with the first row of lacy stars on the Star Light, Star Bright baby blanket for the cutest baby niece on the planet. (Well, ok, on MY planet, anyway.).

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