Thursday, August 29, 2013

A book review: The Rookie's Field Guide to Supported Spinning by Lonna Cunningham

Are you looking to learn a new craft? Maybe one you could become hopelessly addicted to? Enter the world of fiber arts. Knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning your own yarn is not just for old ladies. They are useful skills that have the potential to result in little fancies that are to die for.

I was recently introduced to a new type of spinning yarn that I hadn't heard of before. Supported spinning is an ancient art form. It uses a spindle and a spinning bowl, the spindle spun in the bowl kind of like a top to spin the fiber. I figured I could use one more way to annoy my husband with crafts in bed, and since this particular spinning method can be done pretty much anywhere and from a seated position, I decided to read up on it.

In the book, 'The Rookie's Field Guide to Supported Spinning,' author Lonna Cunningham talks you through the basics of supported spinning, explains some of the art's vast history, and even teaches you how to make your own spindles. I know that all of that makes it sound like you're average how-to manual, but it's so much more. Reading the book felt like having an informative discussion with a friend over a cup of coffee. The author welcomes anyone with the desire to give spinning a shot with open arms and a whole heap of great advice. She opens up about her own experiences on the subject, gives a wonderful history lesson, and explains, step-by-step and in plain but not impersonal language, how to make yarn with some fiber, a stick, and a bowl. Though I'd spun using other methods before this, her book helped me to finally learn how to draft (stretch the fibers out to make the yarn) effectively. The spiral bound print version is easy on the eyes as well, and includes some beautiful photography and some more practical photos showing the process.

If you are on the lookout for a unique new craft to try out, or know someone who might like to learn about supported spinning, I highly recommend 'The Rookie's Field Guide to Supported Spinning'.

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