Eight Books Every Spinner Should Own

Learning about spinning from a book may seem old-fashioned in this era, but books—like spinning—offer something new every time you sit down. We asked some of Interweave’s spinners for their current favorites and found, to our delight, that the selections span the decades. Here’s an opinionated list of the best spinning books available today (according to, well, ourselves).

1. Spinner’s Questions with Rita Buchanan eBook

2. A Closer Look with Rita Buchanan

3. Taking the Measure of Handspun Yarn

“One of my great regrets as editor of Spin Off is that I missed the Rita Buchanan Era; her last article for the magazine, in 2002, came four years before I first picked up a spindle. Her contributions to the magazine tempered rigor with the appropriate spirit of rebelliousness, modulated with a generous dose of whimsy. Rita generally prefers that her work not be taken out of its original context, so these three eBooks are rare and delightful anthologies.” –Anne Merrow, editor, Spin Off

4. Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning

“The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning holds a unique place in my publishing experience. It was ten years in the making, and I weep to think of all the content we had to throw out to keep the book under 500 pages. It’s exhaustive, authoritative, maybe a little bombastic, certainly opinionated. The footnotes would make a book all by themselves. But if you really care about spinning, about the craft of it, how can you not want to know all this stuff? You don’t have to be the kind of spinner who counts twist and treadles and ratios to learn from this book. You don’t have to read every page. You need it like you need a dictionary or an encyclopedia, because it’s solid and true.” –Linda Ligon, founder, Interweave

5. Practical Spinner’s Guide: Rare Luxury Fibers

“This book hold a special place in my heart because of the author, Judith MacKenzie. She and I had the loveliest of conversations and email exchanges as we developed the book and went through the production process together. She’s like a dear friend and a grandma with the most caring and giving soul. I think that comes through in the book, too. You become her confidant as you read her words and she shares her knowledge of working with the most precious of fibers.” –Kerry Bogert, editorial director, Interweave Books

6. Dyeing to Spin & Knit

“Color, color, color! I love color! And Dyeing to Spin & Knit is a color lover’s dream. There are a lot of books on working with color, but SweetGeorgia Yarn’s founder Felicia Lo shares her unique approach to fiber and color in a way I’ve never seen shared before. As I read the book, I had several ‘Ah ha!’ moments and found myself thinking, ‘So that’s how it’s done.’ So many secrets to dyeing and spinning revealed, in a way that’s approachable, understandable, and achievable!” –Kerry Bogert, editorial director, Interweave Books

7. Color in Spinning

“I bought my copy of Color in Spinning years ago and open it every time I add another fiber-prep method to my repertoire. Deb Menz explains things so clearly and simply! While my tastes in color and color combos may never advance to the wild side, Deb’s eye for beautiful color inspires me to live a little. There’s no color so wild that it can’t be toned down.” –Deb Gerish, editor, Love of Knitting

spinning wool book

8. Practical Spinner’s Guide: Wool

“I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to spinning: 99% of what I spin is wool. Whether it’s a brightly dyed braid of top or a naturally colored handful of fluff, the sheepy quality of wool makes my heart sing. The Practical Spinner’s Guide: Wool is a great beginner resource for all things wooly. From learning about the different sheep breeds and their fleece types to explaining how to wash a fleece to the difference between woolen and worsted spinning, this book gives a fantastic overview of wool and the myriad ways to spin it. –Laura Hulslander, project editor, knitting

Featured Image: Arrows designed by Freepik from Flaticon

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