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Respect the Spindle

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  380 ratings  ·  57 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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Respect the Spindle by Abby FranquemontThe Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook by Lynne Vogelfleegle spins supported by Susan Glinert StevensSpin Dye Stitch by Jennifer ClaydonSpin Control by Amy  King
Best Fiber Spinning Books
1st out of 6 books — 3 voters
Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen HadenKnitting Without Tears by Elizabeth ZimmermannThe Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara ParkesAnticraft by Renee RigdonThe Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn and Fiber Books
6th out of 10 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

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Jan 30, 2012 Kat rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Feb 21, 2015 Velma rated it 5 of 5 stars
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),
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
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
Abby Franquemont
Dec 10, 2011 Abby Franquemont rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (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. ;-)
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
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
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
Oct 22, 2014 Sasha rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
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.
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
Jul 26, 2014 Alysha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Beginner spindle spinners and those interested in hand spinning.
Absolutely fascinating book about spindle spinning. Love the wealth of information on spinning techniques as well as the science behind how spindles work.
Sandy  Kemp
Jun 29, 2012 Sandy Kemp rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Charlou Lunsford
The essential book on spinning.
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! :)
Wonderful introduction to drop spindling. I really liked how it went over the various types of spindles and how to use them. The pictures really helped get an idea on how to start spindling.
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.
Sarah Stevens
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.
Jen Bee
Excellent book. Although marked as read, which I have, its really the sort of book you need to dip in and out of as you learn, and as you come across new issues you need to resolve in your spinning journey.
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.
Well I enjoyed it. I found her story fun and interesting. And it was very helpful in improving my spinning. Maybe some can figure it all out but I found it useful.
really great resource for beginning spinners. explains history and how to use a drop spindle to make your own yarn.
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!
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.
Wow. Abby sure has written a very detailed book on hand spindling. She doesn't cut corners and is very thorough in her explanations. She has good videos available, too. I also have the download to view. Abby is an amazing person. She signed my book!
I've just learned to spin with a spindle, and this book gave some useful tricks on how to get into the rhythm of the spin. Also, I enjoyed learning some of the background information about spindles and spindle history. I love that kind of thing.
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