Books

Loom Knitting Primer

Book Description
Knitting looms are flying off the shelves in craft stores because loom- knitting is such an easy craft to take up-it can be learned by both children and adults alike in just a few hours. If you have fond memories of spool knitting (a round wooden spool with a central hole surrounded by four small nails) when you were a child then you know how easy it was to create yards and yards of knitted tubes. Today’s loom are just as easy and fun to use!Widely available in craft stores, looms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some are circular, others rectangular, some tiny and some large. The size of the loom dictates the size of the knitted piece although you can easily join smaller panels together to make larger items.This book is designed as a hands on project resource as well as an essential reference for the growing band of loom knitters.Clear step by step illustrations throughout show how to cast-on, bind-off and knit a wide range of stitches on both round looms and knitting boards.Practice projects are provided for each technique, and there are more then 30 attractive patterns to get the crafter started. – the first book to provide patterns for an increasingly popular tool- comprehensive techniques and information provide the essential back-up manual to supplement the minimal instructions that come with the looms – over 30 quick and easy patterns for sweaters and accessories- written by an expert in the field An Alternate Selection of the Crafter’s Choice Book Club

Laura’s Review: I started to use a rake loom because, although I learned to knit and crochet umpteen years ago, I never seemed to advance beyond “beginner.” The rake loom was finally something I could use while watching TV without dropping stitches or destroying a pattern. And best of all, it allowed me to make hats without repeating my first (and only) failed attempt on circular knitting needles.

Rake loom brochures come with most loom kits, and give you the basics to make hats and tubular scarves. A more advanced booklet that came with my hand-made wooden looms showed how to make more complex tubular thingies; why, I even made socks with a turned heel! But the Loom Knitting Primer is far better than the basic instructions. The book teaches you many techniques until you can probably loom knit anything that you could make with regular knitting needles.  And there are several projects included to test your skills.

Perhaps knitting is still faster or ultimately more flexible than loom knitting.  But, if you have Knitting-Phobia or you just want to try something different, with this book by your side you will find the rake loom much more rewarding and versatile than you ever thought possible.

Intertwined

Intertwined is an inspirational handbook for yarn lovers everywhere, created in an eye-popping, showcase style and packed with sparkling, full-color photos.
This book will be a delight to the enthusiastic fiber crowd that is growing by leaps and bounds. It captures all the excitement of experimental, handspun yarns, and includes recipes for handspun yarns, project ideas for knitters and crocheters, tips on how to use one-of-a-kind handspun yarns (whether you spin them or buy them at yarn boutiques), and a gallery of handmade creations. The book also features profiles, anecdotes, essays, and thoughts on fiber arts and the creative process. Contributors range from Alpaca farmers and cutting-edge spinners to well-known knitwear designers.

Laura’s Review: This book is a real Wow! If you want some inspiration for your handspinning, this is it. The book is not for beginners, but if you have a good grasp of how to make a consistent traditional yarn and you know how to ply, you have the basics for branching out into some of the ideas in the book. For traditionalists, many–actually, most—of the yarns shown will be a little far out. But even a traditionalist can get some ideas that show just how fiber can be spun to create many different effects. The photos are great and the instructions are clear and give you the confidence to try out some of the techniques. This book is a good one for your library if you like to experiment or break out from the ordinary. The book is also newly published in 2008, but is available on Amazon now.

The Yarn Lover’s Guide to Hand Dyeing

For rich, unique yarns of your very own creation, The Yarn Lover’s Guide to Hand Dyeing is your essential go-to guide.

Now you can create gorgeous, unique, handpainted yarns in your very own kitchen. In this practical guide to dyeing yarn at home, you’ll learn simple techniques for creating beautiful, colorful yarns–and pick up some new patterns to highlight your new hues along the way.

Fiber artist, knitter, and teacher Linda LaBelle provides her own valuable expertise and insight and gives readers a peek into a typical day in the lives of seven professional hand dyers through lush photographs and personal interviews in which they share their thoughts, advice, and sometimes dyeing secrets!

Laura’s Review:  I liked this book, and I would recommend it for someone contemplating trying to dye fiber for the first time.  I think it is a good overview of various techniques, without over-emphasis on any one technique.  Experienced dyers will still find some tips and ideas, as well a some possible projects.  I enjoyed the embedded interviews with professional dyers, and could relate to their struggle to find time for their work, animals, fiber, family, and creativity.  Most of the stories were inspirational and all were fun to read.  The photography in this book is beautifully done.

Creative Spinning

Needleworkers no longer have to settle for what’s available at the local yarn shop! Alison Daykin and Jane Deane, who have decades of experience spinning, weaving, and dyeing, show how easy it can be to create personalized and gorgeous skeins of one-of-a-kind fibers. Designed for complete beginners, this attractive guide offers 30 beautiful projects that teach a repertoire of skills on both the hand spindle and spinning wheel. It starts with simple, basic combing, twisting, plying, and finishing, then goes on to offer a primer on working with fibers. All the chapters are organized by yarn type, including short wool and down, medium fine wool, long wool and lustre, hill and mountain, rare wool, animal hair, silk, and vegetable fiber.

Laura’s Review 
This is a great idea book, similar in layout to Creative Weaving.  The photos are beautiful and the entire book is wonderful for generating ideas.

The Natural Knitter: How to Choose, Use, and Knit Natural Fibers from Alpaca to Yak

In The Natural Knitter, Barbara Albright takes readers on a rich journey through the joys of all-natural fibers–materials that can make an incredible difference, both in your knitting and in the health of our planet. From the animals and plants that produce the fibers to the artisans who work with them, The Natural Knitter presents the first-ever all-encompassing look at the world of natural knitting.

Tempted by the versatile and beautiful yarns produced from the fibers of llamas, sheep, cashmere-producing goats, and angora bunnies–as well as from cotton, hemp, linen, and silk–some of the most renowned designers in the textile industry have contributed patterns to this collection. There are more than twenty wonderful projects in all, and each highlights the softness, drape, and quality of the fiber used–from Norah Gaughan’s “Architectural Rib Pullover” in cashmere and wool yarn and Vicki Square’s “Uma Sweater” in silk yarn, to clever designs like Debbie New’s “Cast-Off Clothing” in hemp yarn and Barbara Albright’s “Lilliana’s Organic Cotton Poncho and Drawstring Pouch” design for organic cotton yarn. Meet the entrepreneurs who are creating beautiful products that are also non-toxic and earth-friendly, using plant-dyed fibers and unique processes. For the adventurous, step-by-step instructions are included for dyeing yarn naturally at home.

Lavishly illustrated and thoughtfully detailed, The Natural Knitter offers a thorough and engaging picture of the natural fiber industry–and a beautiful palette of designs for readers to knit, savor, and enjoy.

Spin to Knit: The Knitter’s Guide to Making Yarn (Paperback)

Knitters who want new worlds to conquer can reach for this guide to handspinning their own designer yarns. A rundown on equipment introduces the drop spindle, supported spindle, niddy-noddy, McMorran balance, and yarn meter, while the following sections include choosing wool and other fibers, presenting knitting patterns suitable for handspun yarn, and in-depth profiles of real urban spinners. For crafters who want to experiment with spinning but don’t want to sacrifice too much of their knitting time, there are lots of ideas for jazzing up a thrift-store cardigan with handspun trim or knitting a boatneck pullover in a combination of commercial and handspun yarns. Methods for incorporating beads and threads into yarn and a technique for dyeing yarn in the dishwasher are also featured.

Spin It: Making Yarn from Scratch (Paperback)

Here are step-by-step instructions and illustrations that explain how to make yarn from scratch using handspindles-simple tools used to turn wool into yarn. Designed to appeal to the beginning spinner, tips and hints are provided that illustrate how easy, enjoyable, and relaxing spinning can be. This manual also includes complete instructions for five simple, appealing projects: a woven sleeve, a knitted bunny bag, a knitted baby hat, knitted fingerless mittens, and a crocheted hat.

Spinning in the Old Way: How (and Why) To Make Your Own Yarn With A High-Whorl Handspindle

Knitters are discovering the pleasure and satisfaction of spinning their own yarns. Master craftsman Priscilla Gibson-Roberts guides readers in the fast-track, low-cost, high-quality approach to spinning. No spinning wheel required.

The Whole Craft of Spinning: From the Raw Material to the Finished Yarn (Paperback)

ou can master the timeless craft of spinning with this clear, easy-to-follow manual. Everything you need to know from set-up to finished product in order to create distinctive yarns for use in knitting, weaving, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery, and macrame. Author’s preface. 33 illustrations, 10 black-and-white photographs. Bibliography. Sources of Supply.

The Weaving, Spinning, and Dyeing Book (Paperback)

This big, beautiful book with 435 illustrations is the clearest and most comprehensive ever published on the subject–explains everything the expert or beginner needs to know on how to weave, spin, and dye.

The Magic of Handweaving (Paperback)

Beautiful works of fabric art are easily achieved using the magical hand weaving techniques presented in this exciting new book—the second in the Tradition in the Making series.

Author Sigrid Piroch expertly guides readers through everything they need to know about the art of hand weaving, including the history and heritage of this timeless art, how looms work, what tools and equipment to use, the basics of good technique, how to plan projects, analyzing cloth, reading and drawing patterns, and designing fabric for practical and art purposes. She then guides the weaver step-by-step through more than 10 gorgeous projects, including mug rugs, a scarf, napkins, pillows, towels, and clothing.

Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving (Hands on) (Paperback)

The rigid Heddle loom is a very good way to learn the basic concepts of weaving prior to moving to a multi-harness loom. This book provides a good hands on introduction to the rigid heddle loom.  This is a great book for anyone who is curious about rigid heddle weaving.

Big Book of Handspinning (Alden Amos)

Alden Amos shares his deep knowledge of wheel mechanics, spinning fibers, wheel construction, and yarn, as well as a wealth of spinning history and traditions. Every aspect of handspinning is explored, including dissolving lanolin, washing fleece, rotating wheel position, and choosing types of wool. Also discussed are various hand positions, which can result in everything from smooth, fine thread to funky, bulky yarn.

Laura’s Review

This is one of the most comprehensive books on handspinning that I have ever read. The author goes into great detail on many subjects including how spinning wheels work, and how fiber “works” during spinning and plying, and how to best employ various techniques. While the author does tend to use some lame humor and has some strong opinions (the one that seems to draw the most ire is his adamant opinion about single treadle vs double treadle wheels), the book still contains mountains of information that are great for reference. This may not be a beginner’s book, unless one is very technically minded. But intermediate and advanced spinners or those wanting a depth of knowledge in one place will find this book invaluable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Learning To Weave

Since it’s first printing a decade ago, Learning to Weave has become the standard text book for both teachers and self-taught weavers. All you need to know is here including warping, reading and designing drafts, and the basics of weave structures. Warping back to front is included as well as updated resource lists.

Laura’s Review: If you want a single book that is comprehensive but will not overwhelm the novice, this is it. I use it for reference again and again. As I expand my weaving repetoire, I am sure I will continue to consult this text. For example, I had always wondered how double weave worked; it sounded like a trick of smoke and mirrors to me. Then after I read the section on double weave, the explanation was so clear, that the method was obvious and the mystery disappeared. This book has given me that “ah-hah” sensation on several occasions. If you must learn from a book rather than a class, start with this book. It is destined to be a classic, if it is not already.

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