A bundle of beautifully soft and long-stapled Blue Leicester (perfect for a beginning spinner such as me), my spinning wheel, and three relaxing hours on a Sunday evening, that is what I call paradise. As we all know, the best way to improve your spinning skills is practice, practice, practice, but it never hurts to have the assistance of an expert instructor. That’s why I invited Maggie Casey and Eunny Jang to join me.
They couldn’t come in person on such short notice, but I had the next best thing—Maggie Casey’s video Start Spinning. For just under an hour and half, Maggie teaches Eunny to spin. Four cameras, trained on their hands, feet, wheels, and fiber, allow you to really follow their actions as they spin.
And while the video is separated into chapters, focusing on different aspects of spinning such as plying or drafting, the instruction is presented less like a spinning class and more like a conversation at your local yarn shop's spinning night. As I concentrated on my own twisting fiber, I listened to Maggie offer suggestions on drafting and controlling where the twist is concentrated, determining the proper amount of twist, various reasons for weak sections in yarn, tips on plying, and so much more, all to the pleasant cadence of the whirl of her own wheel. At times I forgot that she wasn’t indeed sitting across from me.
With Maggie’s encouragement and tips, I have finished my first bobbin. The yarn is overspun in some sections and underspun in others, but I’ll join Maggie and Eunny again this Sunday for another lesson as I watch Start Spinning again. She’ll be there as I make my first attempt at plying and then as I begin carding and combing my own wool and even when I tackle exotic fibers such as buffalo and yak.
Order your own copy of Start Spinning and bring home an experienced instructor who is excited to spin with you any time, and soon you to will be confidently spinning sportweight or worsted, wool or cashmere.