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The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning: Being A Compendium of Information, Advice, and Opinions On the Noble Art & Craft Hardcover – May 15 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave (May 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883010888
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883010881
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 18.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 975 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Just when double-treadle spinning wheels had become popular, Amos caused quite a stir by suggesting that they were not necessarily God's gift to the handspinner. As the owner of a double-treadle spinning wheel, I couldn't resist looking to see if his opinion had changed in the intervening years. Nope. Amos argues here that you don't really need this type of wheel unless, among other things, "you are such a klutz that you cannot keep the wheel going with one foot." Amos, who has been making spinning wheels and studying handspinning for more than 40 years, has finally distilled this experience into a definitive book deserving of its title. Even the most knowledgeable spinner will learn something and will be entertained in the bargain. This major contribution to the literature should be in any library where there is demand, though small public libraries may prefer less comprehensive books, such as Lee Raven's Hands on Spinning (1987) or Connie Delaney's Spindle Spinning: From Novice to Expert (Kokovoco, 1998) to offer beginners.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Just when double-treadle spinning wheels had become popular, Amos caused quite a stir by suggesting that they were not necessarily God's gift to the handspinner. As the owner of a double-treadle spinning wheel, I couldn't resist looking to see if his opinion had changed in the intervening years. Nope. Amos argues here that you don't really need this type of wheel unless, among other things, 'you are such a klutz that you cannot keep the wheel going with one foot.' Amos, who has been making spinning wheels and studying handspinning for more than 40 years, has finally distilled this experience into a definitive book deserving of its title. Even the most knowledgeable spinner will learn something and will be entertained in the bargain. This major contribution to the literature should be in any library where there is demand, though small public libraries may prefer less comprehensive books, such as Lee Raven's Hands on Spinning (1987) or Connie Delaney's Spindle Spinning: From Novice to Expert (Kokovoco, 1998) to offer beginners." - Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc., Library Journal

"A great and entertaining read...Informative and funny...[despite] the very technical nature of the book." - Spindle and Wheel online magazine

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Too wordy, only line illustrations and a flamboyant writing style ,which makes the text hard to get through, gives this book a 2 star rating. Page 16 seems to indiacate that the writer has very little confidence in your being interested enough to continue and has a paragraph entitled "Why You May Want To Read Further". The book does answer some questions about handspinning in general but, in areas where more detailed info should have been provided, there's nothing. For instance, I wanted to find out how long I should steam a skein of yarn to set the twist. Pages 199 to 201 tell me nothing (except that steaming is best for wool).
If you've done some spinning and want a book that interesting in its approach then buy this book. If you are new to spinning or want good reference books for your shelf then you'll be much better off with "Hands on Spinning", "The Ashford Book of Spinning" and a subscription to "Spin Off" Magazine.
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Format: Hardcover
Alden Amos calls himself opinionated, and he is. If you want to know all about spinning on a traditional (preferably Ashford) wheel, this book will help. If you are interested in alternative techniques and/or are not using a standard wheel, you will not get much help. I am always wary of authors who know the one true way to do anything.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book last week at my friend's house, and had to order one for myself. Any handspinning book that contains a recipe for a quench to harden steel is a book I had to have. No matter what I looked for, it was there: how to make cotton punis, how to make a coin tahkli, why to use a top-whorl spindle, spinning silk, and how to estimate the quantity of flax you need to grow to yield one skein of spun flax. In fact, way, way, too much information, for example, the calculations for the ratio of twist to gage in spun fiber. And there are marginal jokes, a few recipes, and how to temper steel. Oh, and quite a bit about handspinning, from someone who has made it his life's work.
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Format: Hardcover
Alden Amos should have used a ghostwriter. This book is about 3/4 useful information and 1/4 commentary intended to show that Mr. Amos is one of the "in crowd." He uses cutesy terms like "Princess Twinkle" in lieu of Sleeping Beauty or "Oil of Oompha" for Oil of Olay. This in itself grates, but can be overlooked. Also, he implies that only mental defectives and klutzes use double treadle wheels. Throughout the book he makes several snide references to spinning amateurs and the mistakes they have made in his presence or while dealing with him.
There are many, many mathematical calculations in this book. I have never been good at math and this whole section daunts me. I simply spin a yarn that looks like what I want, without making any calculations, and so far have never been disappointed.
There are also several diagrams for making spinning accessories like niddy noddies, spindles and so on. If you are into this sort of crafting, the book would be useful for you.
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Format: Hardcover
Whilst the writing style can be slightly overwhelming at times this book is one of those "Must Haves" that everyone will wish they had purchased once it goes out of print.
I'm still only 1/5th of the way through (it has 500 pages!!!), but I've already come across much information that I wish I had known before and have applied it to my spinning technique with great success.
One of the most interesting sections of the book contains schematics for making your own tools (niddy noddy, nostepinne, drop spindle, among others). Now I just have to find myself a woodworker to make them for me!
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Format: Hardcover
You can use this book several different ways. You can look up information about specific subjects -- or read it through like a really informative journel. Personally, I would encourage you to read it through and then come back to reread specific sections. This book is rather like spending a really good visit with Alden (with Stephanie adding commentary in the background).
He talks about everything to do with spinning (along with a few other topics like forging and making beer). He will explain how to make a good worsted yarn, how to sort and scour your wool, and how to figure out the grist of your yarn. If this isn't clear to you -- then you need this book.
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