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Respect the Spindle [Paperback]

Abby Franquemont
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 2009
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 basic steps of spinning and then advances to the more complicated spinning wheel, showing how to use the spindle to make specific types of yarn, explaining traditional spindle spinning techniques, and detailing five simple projects designed to instill confidence in creating a variety of yarns with this simple tool. Combining fascinating historical narratives, traditions, and cultures from around the globe with vivid photography, this all-encompassing tour of the spindle also boasts easy-to-follow, contemporary techniques and styles that affirm the tool's enduring legacy.

Frequently Bought Together

Respect the Spindle + The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn + The Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn: Techniques, Projects, and Recipes
Price For All Three: CDN$ 62.78

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"A good introduction for those beginning to explore spinning, and a comprehensive guide to technique for experienced spindlers." - Library Journal

"I have a decent assortment of spinning books, including some excellent ones that focus on spindles, but this book blows them away." -

"A great choice for those new to spinning and those who might feel cheated because their budget--or their living arrangements--make a wheel an impossibility." - Guide to Knitting

"Be prepared to have cliched thoughts about spindles and spinning on spindles blasted out of the water. Abby Franquemont has given spinners a encyclopedic gift on the topic of spindles. In a single volume, she will change the way you look at, think about and use...spindles." -

"The instructions are very well done, nothing is rushed and there are good photos of everything you need. I'd happily recommend this to a beginner." - YarnMaker

"Respect the Spindle is really lovely. It's perfect if you've always wanted to spin but were intimidated by spinning wheels because it makes the whole process a lot more elemental. Perfect for even the novice spinner!" - The Purl Bee

"Abby Franquemont says spinning with a spindle can get you any kind of yarn you want; a spinning wheel never needs to be in your house if you don't want it. She makes this argument--and proves the point nicely--in her book Respect the Spindle." -

"It's a comprehensive guide to using a drop spindle and it starts at the very beginning, which is perfect for a total novice like me." - Canadian Living craft blog

About the Author

Abby Franquemont was raised in the United States and the Andes, where she was taught to spin on a spindle at the age of five. She has been spinning, knitting, weaving, and crocheting for more than thirty years. She is a fiber artist, teacher, technical editor, and writer whose work has appeared in Spin-Off, Spindlicity, and Twist Collective. She lives in Lebanon, Ohio.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous for beginners to experts. Oct. 23 2010
By wxwtch
I have read this book cover to cover more than once. The explanations are succint, pictures are matched with instructions and explanations, and language is not too complicated or simple.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! Feb. 13 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is the most fascinating I read on spinning after Peter Teal's Hand Woolcombing and Spinning. There is something magical in the contrast between the simplicity of the humble drop spindle and in its heavy historical role in human societies. In this book, Franquemont teaches you not only a technique, but how to renew your "metaphysical" relation with a civilisational first level and first grade tool. In front of a spindle, a iphone appears ridiculously uncivilizational. Thanks to Abby Franquemont.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book! Dec 15 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a first time spindler (teaching myself)...I found this book to be straightforward with lots of info if you are looking for a specific need. Great pictures, written in detail every step of the way. For me, it is the perfect book. Abby and her mother (RIP) know how to instruct in a clear and concise order. Will recommend this book to anyone who is learning to spindle!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I can not recommend this book enough. It is well written and has lots of detailed, full colour photos to help the reader understand the information the author is providing. This book talks about everything from the history of the spindle, to the many types different types of spindles, where they come from and how they were used.
Other topics include, positions for spinning, plying techniques, types of fiber, physics of spinning (the science behind it all, this was VERY helpful for me in understanding how to spin on a spindle), drafting styles and how to do them, how to do simple repairs on a spindle and how to maintain them, and more!
There's also a chapter with patterns to knit or crochet with your own homespun yarn.

If you're thinking about learning how to spin on a spindle this is the book to start with. It is an essential for anyone who spins with a spindle. I've been spinning for a while now, and I still go to this book and "refresh" myself every now and then.
This book is awesome :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  60 reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Respect Indeed Nov. 19 2009
By JG - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book for people who want more than just a few pictures and words of advice about spinning on a spindle. You get history lessons, science lessons, math lessons, as well as spindling lessons. There is wonderful advice for beginning spinners as well as the more experienced - on everything from choosing a spindle to the varying techniques for using the tools.

The book is informative, beautiful, helpful, well organized and fun to read. You will rush through it the first time, and then settle back and read in detail the second - and then use it for reference the next time you need to figure a way out of the problem you have gotten yourself into. The photographs are informative, detailed, and if you are a spindle geek, beautiful. The book is a treasure, and you NEED one for your spinning library!
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves a Place of Honor On All Spinners Bookshelves Dec 9 2009
By Chewiedox - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a passionate spindler, I eagerly awaited the release of Abby Franquemont's book. I was not disappointed. The text is written in an engaging manner, complemented with photographs that illustrate the various concepts in a clear, step-by-step fashion. The graphics and photography are beautifully executed and the author covers all types of spindles..bottom-whorl, top-whorl, and supported. If you are a beginner, you will find everything here that you need to get started making yarn with a spindle. If you are already an accomplished spindler, you will find ways to pack more yarn onto your spindle, understand WHY different types of spindles behave the way they that do and learn new methods of spinning to add to your repertoire. There is something for everyone in this fabulous book!
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers All the Questions Jan. 6 2010
By WLL - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've attended a couple of beginning drop spindle classes, and they give you a homemade spindle and a bit of coarse wool, tell you how to start it off and, when at the end of an hour you might have something that will hold the spindle and not drop it on the floor, tell you to go home and practice. So many questions unanswered! Why does the spindle do this, why does the fiber do that, what if you want to spin a different fiber, how do you know if you have produced something you can really use, etc., etc. Ms. Franquemont answers all the questions, and even gives a lot of special tips to make the process easier and more fun. And it's a really beautiful book, too! Highly recommended.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spindle spinning your own yarns March 17 2011
By Joanna Daneman - Published on
Ok, why, given we have spinning wheels (and also, we have wonderful yarns available everywhere) would you want to take a rock and a stick and spin your own yarn? It turns out that spindle spinning is very popular, in fact, more popular than ever and crafters are spinning beautiful yarns using this simplest of tool. "Respect the Spindle" gives you an overview of spindle spinning, shows you types of spindles, yarns created by them and gives you basic techniques to start spinning as well as including a DVD that shows you the methods.

I first learned to spindle as part of a spinning course. It is FRUSTRATING. They don't call it a "drop spindle" for nothing. Clunk it goes, right on the floor. Learning to spin is like riding a bike--you have to learn to coordinate. But with about a week or two of practice, you can actually make finer yarns than you do on the wheel. I belong to a group on Ravelry, a large fiber arts website, and the spindle-spun yarns never cease to amaze me. And you can now purchase the most beautiful tool-as-art spindles from artisans around the world, or make your own from a dowel and a CD.

The book starts with the basics of spindling, how to choose one shows you how it works, and then you learn about different ways to spin. Drafting (pulling out the fiber to insert twist) is demonstrated, as well as pulling out slubs and thick areas to make your yarn smooth and even in diameter. There is a demo of Russian spindles; these are support spindles, rather like long sharpened sticks, with a thick point at one end (the whorl) and a thin point at the other, the spindle itself, where the fibers get twisted. This is the way the fine Orenburg shawls are done-- with Russian goat fiber that is handspun for that ethereal, fuzzy, thin gossamer thread that is knitted into lacy confections. You really cannot buy Russian shawl yarn, so many have been drawn to spindling to make their own for knitting. The demo here is good. Five projects give you something to make from your spun yarn.

There is a companion DVD for this book. Visuals are helpful when spinning.

This is not the be-all, end-all book of spindling, and frankly, if you are an experienced spindler, this will not really be a revelation to you. This is a good starting point for spindlers, or for spindlers looking for newer techniques such as the Russian spindling but you will need more as you advance. But if all you've done is spin wheel yarns, or if you've never spun, this is a great book. Along with a decent spindle you can pick up online or at sheep and wool shows, and a ball of roving or batt of wool fiber, you can learn a portable craft that provides relaxation and beautiful yarns.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, fun and beautifully done Dec 12 2009
By L. Downey - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a spinner of a few years now, I still find there's always more to learn and try. This book covers a great deal of information both for the basics and well beyond. The exercises are very useful and there is emphasis on the fact that this is a craft that you may understand quickly but takes time and practice for your body to execute without thought.

The pictures are beautiful and the spindles varied. The layout flows easily.

In short, I've learned from it already and am looking forward to going through this more than once. As long as I'm open to learning something new from it, it's almost inevitable that each reading will refresh or inspire something new and different.
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