Two Books That Changed My Life

There’s a meme going around Facebook now: name ten books that changed your life. Most of my friends are posting novels and children’s books, but mine are different.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that when I began working at Interweave, I wasn’t a spinner, and I had only the tiniest glimmer of interest in being one. Yet nine years later, here I am editing Spin-Off (with great respect for the spinners who have dedicated their lives to this craft for many, many decades longer than I have). So what transformed me into a spinner—and enriched my life in the process?

The first experience was a class I took with Maggie Casey. Colorado is lucky to have a number of great handspinning spinning and weaving shops, more within an hour’s drive than in some states I’ve lived in. Maggie Casey taught Beginning Spinning in my local shop, and she had a calm, gentle way of imparting information that made you feel like spinning success is within reach. Teaching almost exclusively in her Boulder shop, Maggie was one of the best-kept secrets in the spinning world . . . until she agreed to write a book, Start Spinning. (I would say it was the book on learning to spin, but as its editor I would be accused of bias.)

The second experience was working with Judith MacKenzie on her book The Intentional Spinner. An extraordinary storyteller, Judith shared the science and stories behind fibers spun for ages—including nettles, mussel tarentine, and wool of the Tartary Lamb (better known as cotton). Judith travels around the world teaching and has more things going on in her head than most of us could manage, but while she was working on the book she devoted all of her attention to it. Working on the book was, at the risk of sounding too gushy, the kind of experience after which one would never be the same.

See for yourself. These books are on sale this weekend in the Spinning Daily Shop. With digital editions, you can have them for the Labor Day Weekend.

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