Judith MacKenzie: Fiber Inspiration and Delightful Detours

For me, The Intentional Spinner by Judith MacKenzie is one of those special books that is full of craft detours. I open it up to see what Judith says about Suri Alpaca (affiliate link), read about other camelids, and suddenly I’m online shopping at llamafanatics.com. There are also times that I might be looking for one thing and find something else entirely that inspires hours of research and spinning. What could be better? Here are a couple of Intentional Spinner rabbit holes for you to explore!

Judith MacKenzie

Have you tried spinning cotton straight off the seed? Photos by Kate Larson

Judith on spinning cotton from the seed:
“I learned to spin cotton from the seed from Persis Grayson, who said it was the best way to spin cotton. Just pull gently, straightening the fibers and fanning them out into a fine halo around the seed. Hold the seed with your thumb and finger, rotating it as you spin. The fiber is perfect, not damaged or disordered by processing. It pulls off easily and spins into the finest thread effortlessly.”

Judith MacKenzie

Cabled yarns are great for knitting, but have you tried warping with them?

Judith on weaving with cabled yarns:
“As a weaving yarn, cables can be used for both warp and weft. Because they’re strong and resist tangling, cables are a pleasure to use in a warp. Even quite textured yarns formed by cabling are easy to handle. Used in a mixed warp, a cable will form a lengthwise rib, creating an interesting surface texture. In bands in the weft, a cabled yarn has a similar effect, creating a pattern of raised ribs across the fabric. Using cables interspersed in both the warp and the weft produces a series of textured “window panes” in the fabric.”


Featured Image: Dyed silk/Merino combed top from MacKenzie Textiles.

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