From Spinning to Weaving: Gain a Better Understanding of Yarn


What many people don’t know about me is that I got sucked into the wonderful world of weaving via the orifice of a spinning wheel.  When I eventually decided to learn how to weave in order to become a production weaver, I arrived at the door of the loom room with a broad knowledge of textiles (knitting, embroidery, rug hooking, sewing…and a taste of spinning).

Knowing the basics of fiber and yarn characteristics, I was better able to make appropriate choices to create cloth that would, hopefully, fulfill its function as well as add beauty to one’s home or wardrobe.

Always on the lookout for resources to help me better understand cloth and how it works the way it does, I was delighted with Judith MacKenzie’s book The Intentional Spinner.  In one compact package it presents critical information that every textile artist should be aware of, in a concise manner.

This book is not just for spinners but for anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding of the essential nature of the fibers we work with and how preparation for and the spinning of them may modify those characteristics.

There are good photos of the fibers seen through a microscope, inspirational photos of lovely textiles, but perhaps most important to me are the great charts.  My only wish is that they could be larger and more easily read.  (Might make a great ‘kit’ for teachers to have these charts as posters for their students?)

Information includes the difference between woolen and worsted, how many textured yarns are constructed, and burn charts to help identify mysterious yarns as well as information on where fibers come from – plant, animal, synthetic.

If the number of little yellow stickers poking out of the pages of this book are anything to go by, it is obvious that this is a well-used resource!

Happy Weaving (and Spinning!),



PS: The Intentional Spinner is currently out of stock, but we have plenty of other wonderful Judith MacKenzie books in the store, like this informative eBook. 

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