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Barbara "Nature Lover" (Ontario, Canada)

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Creative Spinning
Creative Spinning
by Alison Daykin
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 2.40

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice if you're looking for a Coffee Table Book, March 7 2009
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This review is from: Creative Spinning (Paperback)
I was really disappointed with this book. I was hoping for a lot more information on designing yarn than what I thought was supplied.

The descriptions to make the yarn are incredibly brief, and there are no instructions of any kind on how to get the wool the colours needed, only that you need to obtain a certain amount of dyed wool in the recommended colour. I guess I was expecting more of an explanation such as what the roving looked like before and after, how it was dyed, how much of one colour was used, etc. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the title: Creative Spinning?

To be totally honest, I felt like the book was making fun of me with such stupidly simple directions such as obtain "pink and green wool". If the yarn is pink and green I know that I need pink and green roving. But what I wanted to know was did you spin the colours separately and ply or were the rovings mixed up, how much of a colour was used at a time? The photos, although lovely, don't really show what the roving looked like before it was spun so I'd have a better idea how to get the final product.

On the positive side, the book does cover how to set up a spinning wheel, how to use a spindle, how to spin, card, ply and add beads to yarn. These are all hand drawings, not photos so I glossed over them too quickly at first, not realizing that this is the actual main information given in the book. But the way this content is displayed makes it seem less important than the large glossy photos. The content also covers how to make designer yarns: Slub, spiral, knot and marl, tuft, snarl, crepe, diamond and core spun yarns but the explanations are brief.

The photography is lovely and is the definitely the focus of the book. I was disappointed that so much photography is shown of trees, clouds and sunsets next to beautiful yarns instead of photos of the actual techniques to create that yarn. This gave me the impression that this is more of a coffee table book than an actual learning book. I'd like my money back on this one.

by Nancy Bush
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 22.26

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this book! Lots of Lovely Patterns, March 5 2009
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I've had this book on my wish list for a while and I'm very glad I got it!

I truly do love all the shawls and scarves in this book. They are similar to the front cover so if you like that pattern, you'll be happy with the patterns inside.

There's a little bit of the history of shawls from Haapsalu, Estonia along with photos which was very interesting.

Many shawl patterns from the region are used such as leaf, twig, birch, lily of the valley (absolutely lovely!), blueberry, ladybug, peacock, etc, etc).

The shawls are either triangular, rectangular, or square - the book cover shawl is square and called Crown Prince Square Shawl.

I was very pleased with this book and the lacey shawls offered--I'd like to start on about 4 of them right now.

The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook: Dyeing, Painting, Spinning, Designing, Knitting
The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook: Dyeing, Painting, Spinning, Designing, Knitting
by Lynne Vogel
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from CDN$ 27.81

5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive book - beautiful, colouful socks, March 4 2009
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I'm very happy to have this book.

Reviews mention that it has a great section on dyeing roving using different techniques - and it does (mixing colours, using the colour wheel, developing a thematic colour scheme, etc.) Different methods of dyeing are covered such as hot and cold pour, spot dyeing, Kool Aid dyeing.

FYI - This isn't a how to spin book so there is an assumption that you know how to spin. Spindles are mentioned but the methods aren't explained--the focus is on how to dye roving and then make socks with it. What is covered though is how to choose colour selections that once spun will be pleasing and how to prepare and draft the roving colours together prior to spinning.

There are various sock patterns and methods (cuff down, toe up, the sock as a tube, afterthought heels, basic sock toes, fancy toes, various cast on and off methods, etc). How to measure your feet, gauges and swatches are covered too.

The photos in the book are its best feature, a real pleasure to the eyes and the sock examples are fulfilling enough that you'll want to get knitting immediately.

For the dollar value compared to the info offered, this book is an excellent purchase.

Color in Spinning
Color in Spinning
by Deb Menz
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from CDN$ 86.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Information on Dyeing Fibre, March 1 2009
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This review is from: Color in Spinning (Paperback)
I bought this book after reading the reviews and I must say that it is a good book. I very much agree with the review that mentions that the photos of the dyed yarns aren't close-up enough that you can see the colour variations. Also I agree that the author doesn't show much of a repretoire of finished yarns--the examples are all spun so that they all look the same.

On the positive side, the information in the book is invaluable. It has chapters that cover: Colour Principles, Immersion dyeing, painting rovings, blending colours for a drum carder, drum carding multi-coloured yarns, creating multi-coloured yarns with comb techniques, spinning and plying multi-coloured yarns and finishes with a gallery of finished pieces.

The information on techniques is excellent and overall, the book is a worthwhile addition to the knitting/spinning/dyeing library.

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Handspinning
Teach Yourself VISUALLY Handspinning
by Judith MacKenzie McCuin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.66
32 used & new from CDN$ 11.16

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for all spinners!, Feb. 27 2009
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I am so grateful to have this book. Now things are making so much more sense! I learned to spin but there were lots of details and things which I didn't know. For instance, words like Worsted and Woolen. I'd heard these terms many times before but I was clueless what they meant. This book explains it all!

All the steps are included to set up a spinning wheel (single drive wheel and double). As well, how to use a drop spindle to create fibre is covered. All the steps for both drop spindle and wheel are fully covered.

Tools and gadgets like swifts and distaffs are covered and a tool called a Diz which I'd never heard of before.

There's a chapter on the different kinds of fibres, how to wash fibre and all the different ways to prepare it - from combing, brushing or drum carding.

The sections on how to spin, body position at the wheel, how to draft, how to use a spindle, how to ply your fibre on both the spindle and wheel are all fully illustrated.

How to spin fibre with the woolen and worsted method is covered as well as how to make a slub yarn. There's a really good section on troubleshooting which showed me very quickly what I was doing wrong.

That's just the first half of the book - There are chapters on creating cables, novelty yarns, boucle and textured yarns.

The section on preparing exotic fibres - from washing to spinning to after care (fulling) are invaluable (alpaca, angora, plant fibres such as flax and hemp, etc., camel and dog hair, silk, bison and quiviut).

There's a large section on dyeing and even a section on how to create your own loom for weaving.

I'm just loving this book and I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a treasure trove of information. (If you can only get one book on handspinning, this is the one to get!)

by Judith McCuin
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 32.00

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern, informative, practical and beautiful book, Feb. 17 2009
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I am very pleased with this book! At first I hesitated to buy another spinning book because I already know how to spin but I was hoping to learn more--I'm learning lots more now! I decided to buy it because I've been reading the author's very helpful articles in Spin Off Magazine. The book is loaded with great colour photographs of yarns, wools, fibre, and everything to do with spinning fibre. Its visual presentation is excellent and the book is better than I expected.

The first section covers the different types of fibres - animal, plant & manufactured (there's history in this section but it's really very interesting and is accompanied by photos). Many different types of fibre are covered, both old and new.

The next section covers fibre preparation and spinning techniques - all fully illustrated. The info on drafting methods is invaluable. It also fully illustrates techniques to ply your fibre and yarn design - planning the perfect yarn.

There are four knitting projects included in the book as well - a shawl, socks, scarves and a kese (a bath loofah done on a loom).

The book finishes with how to care for your fibre (storage, dealing with moths, etc) and a bibliography and index. FYI - Not covered in this book is dyeing fibre. It's presumed you know how to set up a spinning wheel but you can get that info from the author's other fabulous book Teach Yourself VISUALLY Handspinning. I'm very happy with both books.

This book is a great mix of the historical and the practical aspects of spinning.

CHINESE in 10 minutes a day
CHINESE in 10 minutes a day
by Kristine K. Kershul
Edition: Paperback
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Interesting and it gets you active using the language very quickly, Dec 2 2008
I've had this book for a while. I agree with the reviews that this is an excellent beginners book. The exercises, pictures, tear out cards and stickers to put on things around the house make this book unique and fun. I still have the stickers on my mirror, tv and fridge, etc. They make interesting conversation when company reads them and discovers they can speak Chinese words so easily.

This book takes away the fear of what has been known to be a difficult language to learn (it's not that bad actually - I think English grammar is way more scary). The book uses Pinyin which is the international alphabet. But it provides some pronunciation tips based on English sounds to help you learn the pinyin alphabet. The book doesn't focus on the Chinese script, so that's not the purpose of this book. The purpose is to give you a basic vocabularly and a comfort level that you can speak or know enough to survive your early days in China or casual conversation, shopping, etc. For that reason, I believe it's an excellent introductory book. I remember being very pleased and relieved when I started reading this book. Within less than a minute I was saying Na shi cha - That is tea. The very first page of the book has three simple sentences so you start talking immediately. Of course you have to make some effort to do the exercises, but they're fun so that makes it easy - and the feeling of success very early just encourages you to continue.

(If you want character books there are many that are good. Two books I highly recommend for that are Volume 1 250 Essential Chinese Characters and Volume 2 250 Essential Chinese Characters and there are Flashcards as well Chinese In A Flash. And for audio, I've tried Just Listen & Learn Chinese and Teach Yourself, which are okay, but my absolute favourites are Vol 1 Earworms Rapid Chinese and Vol 2Rapid Chinese (Vol 2) - I have these on my IPOD and listen all the time, even as background noise while doing other things.)

Wishing you many red envelopes (good luck).

The Beeman
The Beeman
by Laurie Krebs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.50
22 used & new from CDN$ 19.88

5.0 out of 5 stars This book is sweet!, Dec 1 2008
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This review is from: The Beeman (Hardcover)
This is a lovely book with endearing illustrations of a grandpa called the Beeman and his grandaughter. The text is cleverly put together, and is poetic. For example, "Here is the beehive, where all the bees sleep, tucked into a box called a shallow or deep and then placed on a bench by the Beeman". The pictures are accurate, including all the beekeeping tools, smoker, hive tool, beehives, and extractor - the text doesn't go into lots of detail on them -- and not it's not needed either. I love this book and it's a great story and discussion tool for children to learn about beekeeping.

Beginner's Chinese Script
Beginner's Chinese Script
by Elizabeth Scurfield
Edition: Paperback
3 used & new from CDN$ 14.18

2.0 out of 5 stars Gathering Dust, Nov. 29 2008
This book just didn't grab me enough to help me learn the script and I ended up getting very bored and putting the book back on the shelf. Right now, I don't even know where it is. If you want to learn Chinese simplified script, the absolute best books are: Vol 1 -250 Essential Chinese Characters and Vol 2 - 250 Essential Chinese Characters. These books are bigger (8 1/2 x 11) so the Chinese Script book has one advantage in that it's smaller in size and more portable. The Chinese Script book wasn't horrible but there are better books available.

And no, I did not find the Teach Yourself series of books/audio to be better - They're good but I have found Earworms Rapid Chinese Volumes 1 and 2 (Earworms Rapid Chinese and Rapid Chinese (Vol 2) ) to be the best - using natural conversation set to music.

The Aromatherapy Companion: Medicinal Uses/Ayurvedic Healing/Body-Care Blends/Perfumes & Scents/Emotional Health & Well-Being
The Aromatherapy Companion: Medicinal Uses/Ayurvedic Healing/Body-Care Blends/Perfumes & Scents/Emotional Health & Well-Being
by Victoria H. Edwards
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.56
33 used & new from CDN$ 9.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Tons of Information, Nov. 29 2008
This book doesn't have the wow of colour photographs but it makes up for it with the shear volume of information presented. All aspects of aromatherapy are covered including a bit of the history of aromatherapy, how oils are extracted, a brief excerpt on the different oils and how they react, a whole chapter on Safety & Toxicity Guidelines - along with sidebars in the margins on oils that are NOT safe to use. There's a section on carrier oils and then we get to recipes for blends of oils as well as recipes for skin care products. There's even information on reflexology. This book is an excellent purchase.

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