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Yarn how-to

W J Johnson

Do you have questions about spinning, dyeing and knitting your own yarn? Wendy J Johnson has the answers, in "yARn wORks". She has condensed all this information into an oversized, semi soft covered book. Wendy has her own company Saga Hill Designs, specializing in fine fibers and yarn, undyed and hand-painted.

Her book is divided into four section, 'Fiber Workshop', 'Spin Workshop', 'Dye Workshop' and 'Knit Workshop'. Feel free to read it from cover to cover or refer to a specific workshop. Each section starts with a bit of history.

'Fiber Workshop' will teach you about different fibers and their qualities. You will learn what to look for in purchasing a fleece and how to prepare it for spinning. There are tips and techniques on blending fibers that is informative and usually not written about.

The section on 'Spin Workshop' it covers the drop spindle and wheel. "When times are tough I sit down to spin during the news broadcasts, with therapeutic results. Knitting as you well know is therapy too." Elizabeth Zimmerman. Let Wendy teach you to spin.

It is all up to you to use your yarn in its original color or to dye it. 'Dye Workshop' has step by step instruction on dyeing with natural as well as synthetic dyes using different methods. You don't need to be a chemist to create beautiful colors.

In 'Knit Workshop' you can use the yarn you spun and dyed to knit 10 different patterns. The instructions include how to dye your yarn to obtain a similar color. 'Vallkulla' is a twined fingerless mitt that has an interemediate skill level. The double thickness is sure to keep your hands toasty. There are patterns for a hat, cuffs, cowl, bag...

"There is no yajna (sacrifice) greater than spinning calculated to bring peace to the troubled spirit..." - Gandhi. He spun every evening for its "rhythm, music, poetry, romance...and spiritual solace. If you spin, you understand. If your goal is to learn to spin, with this book you are on your way. Then take it to the next step.

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