Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nifty Creative Books And My On-Going Creative Attemps...

What a marvelous book! I picked up a couple over the past weeks. Since I've only been to a couple fiber shows, I really wanted to see this book, which is an overview of the largest shows in the country. I was delighted to see the Michigan Fiber Festival included! I do NOT plan to miss this one this year. Come hell or high water, I will be there! I loved the photos and descriptions of the fleece shows...the huge tables filled with prize-winning fleeces, and the spinners lined up to buy them. There's instructions in here about how to wash a fleece (something I have no IDEA how to do), how to skirt a fleece, and even how to help out at a shearing day.

One thing I love about Fiber and Wool Shows is that they seem to follow the "old ways"....sheep are shorn in the Spring, and most of these shows are in early May. So, those fleeces are shorn, and then go right off the sheep's back to the show.

In the book, there's also a tidbit of info on how to hand-paint yarn, some gorgeous kitting projects, how to make your own spindle, and loads of other stuff. Had this been a book full of just pretty pictures and overviews of the shows, I would have returned it. Turns out that this wonderful book is a real keeper. Lots of REALLY useful info that I am glad to have!

And the next book that I treated myself with is "The Intentional Spinner" by veteran spinning diva Judith McKenzie-McCuin. Ohhh, I eagerly awaited this book! I was a bit apprehensive, though. I tend to be pretty rigid about my spinning, and I didn't want a book to start telling me how I should do things, and so on. But this book does NOT do that at all! I was delighted! With an incredible overview of all the different fiber types, the book would have been worth it right there. But of course, this is a book about spinning, and it delves in deep. Judith's way of writing is so laid back and easy, she makes you feel like you can do anything, and doesn't criticize if you just want to read and follow along in your mind!

Judith goes over all the basics of spinning worsted and woolen, plus she gives awesome advice about plying do's and don'ts. Again, you can always do things your way, but she's a veteran, so why not just listen to what she has to say!

The chapter on Yarn Design is just amazing. There's a spinning flow chart...all about cause and effect and how to get the yarn you want. There's finishing advice here, too, as well as priceless advice on how to store your items safely to keep the pests away. The projects in this book are yummy, too. I can't wait to make that shawl!

And this one is on the way. I should have it Monday. Now, why would I buy a book about hand-dyeing yarn? Well, because you can simply never stop learning. That's they way I see it. Plus, I've always wanted to write my own book about my dyeing methods, and I always like to see how other books compare to the book that lives in my mind. Most books I've found just aren't detailed enough. As I go through the instructions of other books I've purchased, I find so many holes in the process given. TWO books I have on dyeing wool and yarn never once tell the reader to cover the pot while the wool is on the stove! Okay, so call this petty. But for a beginner, this is vital info! So, let's hope this book isn't another "creative" book about "winging it" and "throwing thing in the dyepot" for your "own creative touch". I'd love to see some controlled stuff here. I'd love to see some honest-to-goodness repeatable, dependable information. Because when you know a scientific approach, your "creative touches" are based on knowledge about the process. And gee, I bet your results might just look good, too!

So...there ya have it. There are other books, too, that I am thinking of. Right now, though, I am more interested in some new music that is coming out....!

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