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Respect the Spindle

The perfect how-to book for any spinner with a growing collection of spindles or even just a dowel, with step-by-step photography with detailed illustrations, making the spindle spinning techniques clear to even the novice spinner.


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Portable and productive, the hand spindle has been responsible for creating the world's yarn for millennia. In Respect the Spindle, veteran spinner and spindle aficionado Abby Franquemont teaches spinners old and new how to create incredible yarn with this amazing, yet simple tool.

Many contemporary spinners view the hand spindle as a beginner's tool, suited to learn the basic steps of spinning before moving on to a spinning wheel. In Respect the Spindle, Abby emphasizes the spindle's importance and its use in making yarn in advanced ways for high-end to novelty cloth.

The perfect how-to book for any spinner with a growing collection of spindles or even just a dowel, Respect the Spindle includes:
  • Step-by-step photography with detailed illustrations, making the spindle spinning techniques clear to even the novice spinner.
  • Techniques from the basics, such as getting started on the spindle, to more specialized techniques, such as using the spindle to make specific kinds of yarn faster than imagined.
  • Profiles of spindle spinners from various traditions are presented in sidebars throughout the book, which introduce heartwarming and historical fiber stories from around the world.
  • Five simple projects give spinners practice in creating a variety of yarns and patterns.
  • And more!
Table of Contents
Spindle Anatomy
Getting Started
What About The Wheel?
Fine Tuning
Spindle Productivity
Your Spindle Lifestyle
Five Spindle-Spun Projects
About the Author
Abby Franquemont was raised in the United States and the Andes, where she was taught to spin on a spindle at the age of five. She has been spinning, knitting, weaving, and crocheting, for more than thirty years. She is a fiber artist, teacher, technical editor, and writer whose work has appeared in Spin-Off, Spindlecity, and Twist Collective.
Respect the Spindle is really lovely.  It's perfect if you've always wanted to spin but were intimidated by spinning wheels because it makes the whole process a lot more elemental.  Perfect for even the novice spinner!” –The Purl Bee 
"I have a decent assortment of spinning books, including some excellent ones that focus on spindles, but this book blows them away." —
"A great choice for those new to spinning and those who might feel cheated because their budget or their living arrangements make a wheel an impossibility." — Guide to Knitting
"The instructions are very well done, nothing is rushed and there are good photos of everything you need.  I'd happily recommend this to a beginner." — YarnMaker

“It's a comprehensive guide to using a drop spindle and it starts at the very beginning, which is perfect for a total novice like me.” – Canadian Living craft blog

SKU: 09SP02

Author/Speaker/Editor: Abby Franquemont

Format: Paperback

ISBN 13: 9781596681552

Number Of Pages: 136

Customer Reviews

Respect the Spindle Review by Esther Reese

Superb book. The pictures are clear, relevant, and EVERYWHERE. Abby gives a comprehensive yet compact introduction to the development of spindle spinning, something I found extremely useful, both in giving me new means of making yarn to try, and in understanding the context of how the spindles we are familiar with today actually work. The coverage of what appears to be the full range of suspended and supported spindles, in a cultural and available fiber during development context, is terrific. I've bought just about every other book on spinning you can buy, and this one tops all of them. I can't imagine that every level of suspended spindle spinner (say THAT three times fast!) wouldn't find this book useful, and return to it time and time again, as I have. I have also purchased the DVD of the same name, and it, too, is incredibly useful. These two together, are what I recommend when someone wants to learn how to spindle spin. Finally, I would like to say a word about the question of "over-priced". Much to my surprise, I have found this complaint cropping up over and over again, and often in pretty abusive language! I would like to point out, that given the content of the book, the exceptional quality and quantity of the full color photographs, this book is NOT overpriced. I haven't found ANY of the Interweave materials to be over-priced, in the context of their unique content and their boutique customer base. It costs money to produce a book, and if you're producing a graphic intense book, with a customer base in the thousands, you're not going to be able to charge an "Amazon" price and stay in business very long. It costs money to make and burn a DVD, it costs money for cameras, for editing, for pre and post production.... It costs money to pay for the server where you can go and get the ebook and dvd downloads. Interweave doesn't have the resources or market share that Amazon or other large publishers and suppliers do, which perhaps makes their fair price higher than the large companies, but also allows them to make beautiful and informative products that only appeal to smaller markets. Interweave is a small and incredibly valuable (to me) press. I'm happy to pay what I consider more than reasonable prices to support the business that keeps me informed, and helps to build the crafts and community that I love. I wish people would look at the entire context of the pricing, the quality, the quantity, and market, and get off this idea that they are being "ripped off" because they are being asked to pay a fair price for hard work, simply because they "want" what is being offered, and thus deserve to get it for less than it's worth. This attitude often increases the prices of things like ebooks, which are not over-priced, given the work that goes into creating them, making them available, and the (for a small press) relatively large bite that pirates take, by making ebooks available for free of for a cut rate, and the people who feel entitled to download them, because for whatever reason, they feel a fair market price "rips them off". Thank you for what you do.

(Posted on 1/21/11)

Expensive Hoo-Ha Review by Caroline Alexander

After all the hype, I expected something really special - a book to inspire; and because I sell spindles, a modern book to recommend to new spinners. Yes, a new spinner can learn something from this book, there is no argument about that, but I have to wonder how many will be willing to plough through the extraneous material to search out the nuggets of gold. Unless you are interested in Abby, her parents and her background, its just so much irrelevant waffle and gets put in the "another American spinning book that does not apply elsewhere in the world" category. It just does not stack up against the other excellent books on spindle spinning,old and new, either in presentation or content. Your editors did not do this author justice. Mostly imperfect. And over priced.

(Posted on 12/31/10)

A wonderful book Review by Joan Jurancich

I have been spinning for over 30 years on handspindles. And I learned a great deal from the author. I greatly enjoyed the stories about her childhood. The illustrations were clear and informative. I recommend this book to anyone who wants in improve, or start, using handspindles.

(Posted on 11/17/10)

A Comprehensive Drop Spindle Guide Review by Andres Nevarez

This book is fantastic and it gives you a lot of practical hands on experience. You will benefit from reading it more than once.

(Posted on 3/28/10)