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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
Maggie Casey has written a great book for beginning spinners.

Lara's Library (Sort Of): Start Spinning

Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I love Maggie's method for handcarding.

Start Spinning: Everything You Need to Knot to Make Great Yarn, by Maggie Casey, is one of my favorite "beginning spinner" books.

The book begins with an explanation of why wool might be the perfect fiber to learn to spin (unless you are allergic, of course).

"Spinning fleece you have prepared is the best, like eating your own homegrown, fresh-picked strawberries," Maggie writes.

I haven't done either of those things (yet), but Maggie makes me want to.

She follows with an extensive list of types of commercially prepared fibers, from rolags to combed top.

Then, the book launches into a complete course on spinning. How to pre-draft and draft, managing the drafting triangle, and directions of twist are all covered in the first few pages.

Maggie then explains how to use a spindle or a wheel to spin, including a great primer on the different types of wheels and what the heck all of the parts are called.

Some elements of spinning that were still rather mysterious to me, like tying a leader onto a bobbin in a way that won't slip, are now crystal-clear thanks to the instructions and photographs in this book. (If you think this sounds easy, you try figuring it out for yourself.)

Also, I finally know how to cross-thread the yarn before it hits the bobbin when flyer hooks are on the opposite sides of the two arms on my flyer. (Once again, it seems easy, but I've been staring at it for 12 weeks!)

She also has an interesting method for hand-carding that I find more intuitive and easier than the other ways I've seen before. Check out pages 104-105 for step-by-step instructions and photographs.

Lastly, you should read this book because Maggie Casey is hilarious. "You don't need to use the Vulcan Death Grip to keep the twist out, but you do need to keep it on the orifice side of your twist hand."