Spin to Knit

Spin To Knit: The Knitter’s Guide To Making Yarn
128 pages
ISBN: 1-59668-007-5
$21.95 paperback
Available October 2006: order on Amazon.com now or directly from Interweave Press.

Learn to make your own one-of-a-kind handspun yarns, how to adapt patterns meant for commercial yarn to handspun and much, much more. Spin to Knit features beautiful patterns, profiles of inspirational spinners from across the country, and so many great tips and tricks, you’ll be running for a spindle or wheel!

For more, see the Spin To Knit website.


YARN — The Australian magazine for knitting and more, April 2007

Remember having driving lessons with your parents? For a knitter taking up spinning, Shannon Okey is more like your laid-back aunt. She doesn’t bother much with telling you the right way to do it; instead, she gives you the basics, hands you the keys to her (manual-shift) car and lets you get on the road. She knows nothing will teach you like experience.

In the first two paragraphs of this new book Okey proposes that not only can you learn to spin, it will take you a lot less time than learning to knit did, and in no time at all, you’ll have some handspun to knit with.

In support of this theory the book gets up to speed quickly, with the first chapters whizzing through equipment, terms and the basic how-to of turning fibre to yarn. There’s a chapter each on spindles and wheels; another chapter shows how to use both. Fun stuff (dyeing, adding beads to handspun) is introduced along with essentials like plying and the specifications of yarn.

Spin to Knit is never a dry technical manual, however. Okey often uses quite vivid language to evoke hands-on concepts that are difficult to get from print. (She describes Andean plying, for example, as ‘looking like you’re dancing the hula from the elbow down’.)

Most of this book is devoted to what to knit with handspun, so the balance definitely tips toward the product and not the process of spinning. But there’s little point in insisting a beginner spin a ‘perfect’ yarn. By simply demonstrating the joy to be had in spinning, Okey will probably do more to build a new generation of spinners than any dedicated manual could.

Spinner’s Quarterly, April 2007

Reading this 128-paged book is like having author Shannon Okey give me a cup of tea, look me in the eye, and spell spinning out for me. She uses technical vocabulary with simple definitions that I can apply to the spinning I have already done, with an eye to making progress with my future spinning. The focus of the book goes beyond basic spinning tecnhiques, encompassing spinning tools as well as troubleshooting common problems.

… This book took me through the practice of spinning, slowly and methodically. It drove home the point that this is not a quickly acquired skill, rather it takes time and experience. I look forward to enjoying the evolution of my spinning with the help of resources like this.

Yarn Market News, August 2005 (click thumbnail for larger version)

Knit Together: the quarterly publication of the Canadian Guild of Knitters, August 2008

If learning by book is the only option available, the pictorial and written information in Spin to Knit is an excellent substitute. An excellent introduction to spinning for knitters who want to learn to spin.

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