Denise: Over the past 35+ years of spinning we’ve accumulated quite a collection of books on spinning, weaving, dyeing. We haven’t bought any recently. Truth be told, they do seem so often to be little more than re-formulations of what we’ve all seen so many times in previously published books. But having seen ths new book – Yarnitecture, by Jillian Moreno – reviewed by a WordPress blogger we follow, we were so impressed that we went online immediately and ordered it.
Yarnitecture brings a welcome new perspective to the craft of spinning. Instead of starting with the assumption that the reader has a fleece and a spinning wheel (or at least a drop-spindle) and wants to produce something with them, – anything!, it turns the whole thing on its head and starts with the knitter or crocheter having a project in mind, and wanting to produce a yarn that’s just right for the job. Both of us are excited at the prospect of working with the ideas and techniques of this book … and producing a yarn with an immediate use in mind!
Charlotte Linton, J’s first spinning pupil
Denise: I first started spinning in about 1982, when we lived in Kendal. What few others know is that Jonathan too has been spinning all that time. In fact, I seem to recall, as it was he that had assembled our first spinning wheel (an Ashford Traditional), it was him too that got to spin first! (We taught ourselves, from books.) Until 2003, when I started spinning wool for sale (in our own Hebridean Woolshed), we both spun wool about the same. Over the past ten years and more, though, I’ve spun more and more, but J has had to give his full attention to his professional work. But he’s certainly not forgotten how to spin – very far from it. What he’s lost through lack of practice is just speed and consistency. So he’s a bit slow and occasionally wobbly – but nothing that can’t be improved on with a bit more regular spinning! Even without that, though, he really does know what he’s talking about: he’s very knowledgeable about the craft. He’s also got long experience of tutoring beginners (albeit in engineering, not spinning!). Now, since he ‘retired’ from civil engineering and construction, late last summer, we’ve been looking for how he could relieve me of some of my workload. Over the winter we agreed he’d take on tutoring of spinning workshops (perhaps not all, but at least half of them). Well, today was his first workshop. And it looks like he managed to get through. And if this photo of Charlotte – his first pupil – is anything to go by, he must have managed quite well, because she’s not only smiling for the camera, but is managing to keep spinning at the same time!