On Teaching Fashion: Spinning a Good Yarn

Starting a new term is always exciting for an instructor, whether it is the regular school year, or summer session.  Here in the northern hemisphere, most colleges and universities are on summer break and summer classes are just beginning.  This summer, I am teaching hand-spinning and yarn and fiber dyeing, with a focus on natural dyes.   

The text I use for teaching spinning is Maggie Casey’s Start Spinning: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Yarn.  It was published only last year and the cover price is relatively low (US $21.95).  It covers everything from preparing raw fleece (as in fresh off the sheep) to spinning with a drop spindle, to spinning with a spinning wheel, and everything in between.  I use a separate book for teaching the dyeing portion of the course and will share that with you in a future post.

The wheels my school owns are made by Ashford Handicrafts of New Zealand and the model we have is the Traditional Single Drive.  As far as wheels go, this model is relatively simple, which means it is good for beginners.  It is easy to figure out and easy to maintain.   

If you are interested in reading more about spinning online, I recommend the following web sites:  Joy of Handspinning and KnittySpin, the spinning offshoot of the online knitting zine, Knitty.

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