Have you ever been in the yarn store wishing that a particular specialty yarn came in a different color or contained beads rather than eyelash? Perhaps you wished that beautiful alpaca hand-dyed came in lace-weight rather than bulky? Many knitters naturally take up spinning as a way to design yarns to fit specific projects and to gain a better understanding of the individual characteristics of the various types of fiber and the methods of yarn construction.
In Spin to Knit: the Knitter’s Guide to Making Yarn, Shannon Okey walks new spinners through the basic information required to begin spinning: fiber, spindles, wheels, and techniques. Spinning can be done on traditional spinning wheels; however, for those wishing to try this craft out before making an investment in tools, Okey provides instructions to make a basic spindle and a “lazy kate” out of supplies you may have around the house.
While the first half of Spin to Knit covers tools and techniques, the second half contains patterns designed for handspun yarn. Whether you have 25 yards or 2500 yards of spun yarn, Okey suggest methods to incorporate the yarn into a knitted project. The felted Mammoth Tea Cozy designed by Laura Jefferson is the most unusual project in Spin to Knit. The majority of the projects are sweaters and accessories, designed to highlight the beauty of handspun fibers and allow the individual characteristics of the yarn to stand out.
Scattered through the book are profiles of fiber artisans or those who make spinning tools. A resource directory is included at the back and contact information is also included at the end of each profile. Spin to Knit is a great resource for any knitter wishing to learn more about spinning.
Orangina, a sample pattern from Spin to Knit, can be found in the Fall 2006 edition of Knitty, an online knitting magazine.
Power Station Hat, one of the fun hat patterns, is available free on the Spin to Knit website.
Read the review at Armchair Interviews.
Publisher: Interweave Press
Publication Date: October 2006
tags: books book reviews Shannon Okey knitting spinning