When I got Alanna Wilcox’s new book, A New Spin on Color, I knew it needed a post. Since gifting season is upon us, over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some ideas and goodies that could be the perfect holiday gift for your favorite fiber artist (even if that’s yourself!!)
I was so excited to get A New Spin On Color, and I wasn’t disappointed when it arrived. When I opened the package I was immediately drawn into the rich warm photography. You already know without even cracking it open, that it’s going to be one of those “yarn porn” books, full of inspiring yarn photos.
This book starts with a review of color theory. It then explains how to look at the way hand painted top is dyed, and how differences like color spacing, spinning and plying will affect the different ways the resulting yarn will look. Alanna takes the spinner through creating solid and crisp colors, barber pole and heathered yarns, and blended and more muted yarns. She even includes some extras like how to make a tensioned lazy kate and how she recommends finishing handspun.
Upon going through the book, I was amazed at the detail in explanation of techniques, with photos, drawings AND text. There are examples throughout each technique, showing spun yarns, knit/crochet/woven/needlepointed swatches and finished projects! The reader can clearly see the progression of the top through the choices made to prep, spin, swatch and create. It allows the spinner to learn how to make the choices so they can achieve the yarn they want, rather than just spinning the fiber and letting it “spin itself”
And it’s not just pretty photos.. these are solid techniques that both seasoned and new spinners will appreciate. Different ways of preparing and spinning top. Different variations of mixing and matching. Ways of plying (and how even to ply different ways, so if you are a new spinner and don’t know how to chain ply, she doesn’t just say “Oh this is how it looks chain plied.. she shares those How To’s as well) What a book like this allows, is for the spinner to already compare how certain techniques already look, so they can make choices on how to spin their yarn, without doing all the comparing prep themselves. This is a must have for all spinners who enjoy playing with color and being in control of how the color plays out in their finished yarns. You can order it in print or download a copy for your E-reader HERE.
And what better to sit and read a new awesome book, than an amazing mug to have a cup of tea or coffee as you do it!! I have been a fan of Creative with Clay knitted mugs since I saw them few years ago. When my fave Asheville yarn shop had them at SAFF last month, I knew one was coming home with me. Charan’s mugs are a textile delight. They are sturdy and feel good in your hand. The way the “knit stitches” feel under your fingers is delightful, inspiring the knitter to pick up their needles. There are even “buttons” that give the mug it’s own cozy sweater. I was perusing his etsy shop for gifts, and I was thrilled to see a NEW design!! He described as a spinner, how he loves the special quality that you only get with handspun yarn- and he
took the beautiful variations of handspun and was able to create another beautiful mug for spinners. It even has the same signature “buttons” !! There are many variations of color and glazing within the different designs. Even a speckled version, for those #specklesaresohotrightnow addicts!!
Pick one up for yourself, and a friend!! Be sure to note his cut off date for holiday delivery!!
Next week I will share another few ideas that your favorite fiber artist might love to receive this holiday! If you have any items on your wish list, I would love to hear about them in the comments!!