There are 13 chapters in this book and a lot of information (personally I think much too much), certainly for a beginner. I would not show this to anyone thinking of learning to spin or beginners as I think in most cases they would run away and cry somewhere. It makes spinning sound so difficult and more like a Scientist’s book of spinning. And let’s face it, you can do quite a good job at spinning without actually having to know very much at all. Later when you want to do a lot of different stuff or you are trying to make specific yarns and so on, then yes there can be quite a bit you need to know.
If you’re a spinner already and like a lot of large diagrams and colour photo’s in your books, then this is not the book for you either. However if you are the type of person who is a bit of a Geek when it comes to your craft (me), then you will probably like this book and find a lot of information useful and that you might just use at some point later.
I also think that if you’re someone who’s only craft is hand spinning then you will get a lot from this book. Chapter 5’s description for instance: Accurate measurements and some physical properties of the big 4 fibres: In which we look at how fibres stretch when measured, figure moisture content and regain and learn a bit more about the big 4’s physical properties and cultural requirements. I read that and think “Ooh I want to know more”, but I think a lot of people will read it and think “can’t be bothered, too much information or I’m managing fine without all that stuff”. I did find this a difficult book to get through, but whether you buy it or not depends on how much you you already know about spinning, and how much you think you want to know!
There are 8 parts to this book: 1*Learning and methods, 2*Constructing a fabric, 3*Decorative techniques, 4*Special fabrics, 5*Stitch and colour patterns, 6*Pattern design, 7*Materials and 8*Working a project. I’ve been knitting now constantly for about 16 years and really enjoy it. I’m only half way through this book and it’s a huge book with a lot to work through, but I have learnt so much already. The thing’s this woman knows about knitting is amazing. You will enjoy this book if you’re interested in the history of knitting and discovering new ways to do lots of different techniques. If you prefer books with colour photographs and large diagrams for everything then you might think twice about buying this book – I know I did, but it was well worth it. If you’re the type of knitter who does not like to get out of your comfort zone and enjoys making the stuff you know best, then this is probably not a book you would enjoy.
This book does look very scary as it’s in black and white and about 2 inches thick and at first glance can be mistaken for a large dictionary, but if you love knitting and you love learning new things then you will definitely enjoy this book. I have kept a few sets of needles and a few small balls of yarn beside the book, so that I can try each technique as I go through the book and I have highlighted all the things I want to use in the future and other things I want to be able to find quite easy later on. At the moment my copy has yellow highlighter all over it with tiny post it’s on the pages I found really useful, as I know I will not be passing this book on to anyone else as it is far too precious for that!
In this book for instance: Part2 Constructing fabric has 7 Chapters in it and includes : 1*Casting on, 2*Selvedge and steeks, 3*Casting off, 4*Shaping a fabric, 5*Picking up stitches, 6*Openings and 7*Hems, Facings, Pleats and Tucks. There is so much information on all the different ways to do these techniques. I can’t recommend it enough, it’s excellent.