Friday, 7 March 2014

Book Review - Yarn Works by W J Johnson

How to Spin, Dye, and Knit Your Own Yarn
by W J Johnson
I have been asked to review this wonderful new book which was released in January 2014 by Creative Publishing International and is a brilliant complete guide for any spinner, dyer and those who knit their own yarns.  
Being a novice spinner, just starting out, I think this book covers just about everything and anything to do with fibre preparation,and includes several knitting patterns suitable hand spun yarns.  It is one that I certainly would recommend for anyone interested in hand spinning and dyeing their own yarns.
  It is a complete source of valuable information and would be suitable for beginners to advance spinners alike. 
This book contains so much technical information, sections include: 
fibre source and preparation;
types of fibre - animal through to synthetic;
Tools and their uses;
Spinning, with a section on draw and wraps per inch;
Dyeing with synthetics and naturals and methods;
Knitting with your own hand spun and hand dyed yarns;
fibre appendices with micron info;
how to clean raw fleece;
fibre storage and pests;
mixing custom dyes;
record keeping,
together with a history of spinning and dyeing throughout the book.
W J Johnson, the Author, has been a spinner and artist for over thirty years and she is the founder of Saga Hill Design, where she produces her own dye line, designs and teaches fibre arts.

It is priced at £20.00
ISBN: 9781589237889

For further information contact 0207 284 9300
 all the images are used here with the kind permission of the publisher
Bee x

PS. I have been busy mastering the technique of American Long Draw
 and Navajo Plying this week,
 to some success and will show and tell next week. 

I am planning on having a dyeing session soon so watch this space! x

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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Unravel 2014 - A Festival of Knitting

Did anyone go to Unravel 2014 in Farnham,Surrey,last weekend?
I am pleased to say that I did!!! whoopee
I was lucky enough to be taken their by my lovely friend, Josie, who I met at my spinning classes. We had a great day looking at all the lovely products for sale on the numerous stands and seeing some new techniques.
If you haven't had the chance to attend, it is an annual knitting and fibre related festival at the
Farnham Maltings in Surrey.
It is a smaller, more intimate, exhibition than some of the larger stitching and knitting shows in London so quite manageable if you find the bigger shows a little too much.
Here are some of my favourite exhibitors which you might like to check out online ......
a hand knitter, pattern designer, prop and toy maker
I love this display of Louise's work -
stuffed taxidermy animals
displayed near the entrance to the exhibition!
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Jenny Barnett
 - Needle felted Sculptures,
Handmade dolls, kits and workshops

Jenny's work was stunning and took my breath away!

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Ingrid Wagner
Rug and Art Creation

for extreme knitting with BIG knitting needles and even BIGGER yarns
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Here are some the exhibits from the 'Best in Show' entrants

this little cardi was a beginners work 

This was a beginners work and a rug
These are hand puppets


This was based on a dog kennels
if you get a chance to attend next year,
it is well worth the effort. 
There were many yarn companies selling their hand dyed and artisan fine yarns as well. 
Lots of alpaca, silk, cashmere and more unusual yarns, such as yak.
It gave me a lot of food for thought and was very inspiring.
If you wish to check out the Unravel website
I have a another great Spinning Yarn book
to review so pop back soon
Bee x
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