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Respect the Spindle

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  562 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to the current trend of DIY crafts, the hand spindle remains one of the most productive, versatile, and convenient tools for creating stunning fiber arts from home, as this beautifully illustrated guide from a veteran spinner and spindle aficionado demonstrates. With step-by-step instructions, this essential manual details the bas ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Interweave Press
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Community Reviews

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Jan 30, 2012 Kat rated it it was ok
Shelves: fibre
This is going to be inflammatory. You have been warned.

I ordered this book the day I picked up a spindle, and waited impatiently for Amazon to take its sweet time sending the book to me. In the meantime, of course, there was no way I was putting that spindle down, and I spun and spun and spun while I awaited the book that was touted as the spindlers' Bible, written by the woman touted as the omnipotent goddess of spinning.

In the couple of weeks it took to arrive, I learnt almost everything tha
Oct 03, 2010 Velma rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fiber artists of all stripes
Recommended to Velma by: my personal corporeal spinning guardian angel, Morgaine Wilder
Disclaimer: I'm friends with the author, so my gushing review should be taken as gospel because I know what the hell I'm talking about.

I came to spinning with a spindle late: I learned long after mastering spinning with a spinning wheel. But I figured, "Hey, if little kids can do it, how hard can it be for a talented girl like me?!?" Well, yes and no. Yes, I can do it, but it does require some instruction. And I'd say that, short of an in-person class with the author (which I highly recommend),
Abby Franquemont
Dec 10, 2011 Abby Franquemont rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It wouldn't let me add this book to my shelves without including a rating, which is weird for me to try to do because I wrote it, so I have no idea how to rate it, really. That said... well, I use it as a text when I teach. ;-)
May 31, 2011 Teddy rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. I especially recommend it for anybody who's interested in spinning but who has a disability that affects their ability to use a treadle.

I didn't really notice it at the time, but when you start (or return to after a ~25 year absence) spinning and go through the myriad of books, videos, and tutorials on the topic, it all assumes that you're going to move onto a wheel. The spindle is considered valuable, but as a learning tool, not quite a toy but not for those interested in
penny shima glanz
Dec 16, 2009 penny shima glanz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: craft-spinning
When you know an addition to your bookshelf will change your life and make something you enjoy doing much more enjoyable and easier, how do you write a proper review?

When I first started spindling I was very shy and scared and really really bad at it. Some people I asked for assistance had a very anti-spindle bias; they saw a spindle as a stepping-stone on the way to a wheel. I knew that was silly and that for many cultures there were spindles, not wheels doing the yarn production. I am very lu
Jan 07, 2010 Niffer rated it really liked it
Shelves: spinning
Excellent. The author has a wonderful perspective on the usefulness of multiple spinning tools, discusses briefly the benefits of spindles versus wheels without denigrating either, and then goes on to give an incredibly complete review of types of spindles, how to spin on them, and which ones tend to be best for different tasks/fibers.

Well worth adding to your spinning library.

edit to add:
Okay, so I read a couple of the less positive reviews and some of the feedback and I decided that maybe I wa
Jan 07, 2017 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafts
Fantastic introduction to spindle spinning! Franquemont gives us a general history of spindles, an overview of the physics behind spinning, practical wisdom and tricks of the trade, while encouraging new spinners to try out whatever feels right for them. I've completed a couple of skeins of yarn while reading this book and I honestly don't think I would have made such quick progress without Franquemont's wisdom. I recommend this book to every person looking to break in their first spindle, impro ...more
Suzanne Singman
Oct 14, 2016 Suzanne Singman rated it liked it
Good book with lots of information. But hard to learn something like spinning from a book. the pictures were helpful, but... But it got me excited again and I really am going to start spinning sometime soon. really i am.
Mar 30, 2012 Joy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafting
I picked up this book from the Carolina Homespun booth at the Puyallup Sewing Expo earlier this month, the day before I took a beginner's spinning class from the shop proprietor. I read part of it the night before the class, then eagerly finished it over the next day or so after learning the basics from the teacher. This was a great way to get me introduced and started to the basics of drop spinning, and I highly recommend taking a class in conjunction with reading the book as both the class and ...more
Jan 02, 2011 Sasha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: potential spindlers
Recommended to Sasha by: ravelry
As a spindler or potential spindler, you have to love the audacious and direct title, and the reality behind it. Spindles are amazing, and they deserve to be taken seriously, not to merely play second fiddle to spinning wheels. Heck, you can start spinning with a great quality basic spindle for $20 and less, and most of the top quality spindles are still around $50. The technique may be archaic but there's no reason why it needs to be relegated to history; almost anyone can learn, though it may ...more
Dec 31, 2009 Janelle rated it it was amazing
This book has been at my bedside every since I got it for Christmas last year. I read a bunch at once, but I also dip into it for inspiration and reference every so often. I decided it's finally time to close it out on goodreads, though, even though it won't leave my bedside table.

First off, this book is visually seductive. I like the square format (what is it about square books?), and the photographs are stunning. I love the neutral, textured backgrounds on which spindles and fiber are displaye
Oct 14, 2015 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
If you have ever had the nerve to think of the drop spindle as a simple tool, or that you knew what you were doing on the drop spindle then read this book. You will lose all of your silly illusions of competence. Really, I love this book. It did take quite a bit for me to get through all of it, but I have always had that problem with non-fiction books. There is an amazing wealth of information, from different types of spindles, different ways of spinning, various methods of increasing your spinn ...more
Jan 12, 2012 Deborah rated it it was amazing
I finished this late last night as I was staying up to admin a dose of medication to gram. I really liked this book. It gives pretty clear directions on things and I would even be willing to try them based on the directions and pictures alone. Usually, I would want someone right next to me to help walk me through the process as it were. I am really loving the idea of spinning fiber. I am not sure how I will feel about the practice of it - but well, I won't know till I try. Some of the spindles a ...more
Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard
Jan 20, 2016 Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard rated it really liked it
A very good book. Although I took a Spinning workshop back in January and learned to spin, this book really taught me how to spin better and also how to accomplish goals that I never knew existed let alone that were not being met. I broke 2 of my original drop spindles. Although their name includes the word drop, it is not because we are supposed to drop them, they will break. While on my 3rd spindle, I began this book. It's the little things I learned in this book, like making a notch behind th ...more
Sandy  Kemp
Jun 06, 2012 Sandy Kemp rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: new hand spinners
Shelves: making-yarn
Very helpful for new spinners who are a bit insecure about trying spinning. Loved the science part, it really makes you understand how complex that tiny spindle really is. Beautiful inspirational photos of yarn being spun. Loved photos of the author herself spinning, instead of some model. Looking at it daily at this point!

My second spinning project is leaps beyond my first in terms of quality and my level of confidence and ease spinning - thanks to this book, it's the only real training I've ha
May 13, 2013 Mandy rated it really liked it
If you think that the act of purchasing this book will make you an expert spinner, think again. There is no magical spinning mojo that is bestowed on you the very moment that you add this book to your shopping cart. But what you do get, once you get over the initial shock that fairy dust is not lingering in the air at first open, is a ton of information on the history and the art of spinning. Ms. Franquemont's writing is clear and insightful and after finishing, I felt inspired to pick up my new ...more
Mar 07, 2010 Dora rated it it was amazing
I started to spin yarn on my own little homemade drop spindle. I grew frustrated. A lot. I contemplated on giving up. But after reading this book, I decided that I need to keep trying. It may take years to learn this craft, but I feel it is worth it. I really enjoyed the personal experience of the author. As a child, she learned to spin in South America, in a small village in th Andes. Before I read the book, I looked at drop spindles as an amusing ancient tool. Even though I still have not mast ...more
Mar 20, 2014 Abigail rated it it was amazing
This book is exclusively about spindle spinning and makes a great case for the advantages of using a spindle over a wheel. Though I knew the basics of how two spin when I bought this book, it also has information about different types of spindle types and techniques for helping you master the spindle and become a more efficient spindle spinner. I read through it and have used it for reference several times since buying it. Definitely worth having. The only downside is that it didn't have quite e ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Great book that focuses on the spindle. I like how she goes into the physics of spindles and then she goes through every type of spindle out there. The step by step photos of spinning and troubleshooting and drafting, etc are very helpful. There are even step by step photos on winding a butterfly and different ways to wind a cop. This book is so full of information you don't need anything else to learn. But I'm still going to read a couple more books on the subject! :)
Dec 19, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I loved this so much! I really wish I had this book when I first started spinning a couple of months ago. Sure, a lot of the information can be found online and/or through trial and error, but it's so nice just having it all together in one place. And it's awesome to have a spinning book that is exclusively about spindles. I have "Start Spinning," which is amazing, too, but it's very wheel centered.
Feb 03, 2015 Inky rated it it was amazing
Quite useful for a beginning spinner. I'd had a few people show me the technique in person, but it is still useful to see all the steps laid out so clearly and explained in the book. There are also lots of helpful pictures. And I loved the point that you don't need a spinning wheel to spin; the spindle works perfectly well and both costs less and takes up less room.
May 13, 2011 Irish rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Excellent book on spindle spinning. Abby not only gives you the history behind several varieties of hand spindles, but she also discusses their best uses. She does so in a way that still leaves you free to explore your own personal style. The instructional sections also include pictures of each step of the process.
Julie  Webb
Oct 11, 2016 Julie Webb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference, own
Fabulously detailed book on learning how to spin on a spindle. Full of pictures and information on spindle size and weights. I also enjoyed the story about how the author got started in hand spinning and made it a part of her life. Wonderful for anyone wanting a comprehensive and approachable book.
Mar 10, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: knitting, fiberart
A fantastic introduction to the art of spinning using a drop spindle. The instructions are clearly written and illustrated with photos (not drawings). In addition, I loved the sections about the history of spindling and the physics of how the spindle works.
Aug 10, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A very good treatment of spindles and their proper use in spinning wool. The author learned to spin as a child in the Andes where, apparently everyone runs around spinning all day. She knows of which she writes! There are beautiful pictures as well.
Sarah Stevens
Jan 04, 2015 Sarah Stevens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for beginners

This book had great tips and step by step instructions for getting started with a spindle. It lists problems you can have and tells you why they happen and how to fix it.
Jan 15, 2016 Judith rated it liked it
While I found her book to be interesting, there are things I disagree with. But, that's not unusual. Every spinner has their preferred way of working, and their own biases about what makes a good yarn.
Jenni Lathrop
Jun 06, 2016 Jenni Lathrop rated it it was amazing
Seriously, this is a must have for new spinners. I did get this as an eBook and some of the formatting is wonky, but the content is top notch as I learn to spin. I found it helpful to have had a class prior to reading so that I ha d some foundation for what I read.
Dec 27, 2010 Kristine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, spinning
this is the best spinning book I've read yet - probably because the while book is about spindle spinning. I brought this with me on my Christmas trip to teach myself to spin and I just absorbed every section as best I could. I need to own a copy of this for reference!
Jun 26, 2012 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
I loved this book and the author's perspective. I really appreciate Abby's insistence that one practice a LOT (and then practice some more) and not expect instant results. This is actually encouraging given my first efforts to learn on my own.
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