Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Book: Abby Franquemont, Respect the Spindle

With spinning so far I have not bothered to "properly" learn it; instead, I simply gave it a go without even looking up anywhere how it should be done. Luckily, it seems as though I haven't made any grave errors, or at least nobody has ever mentioned any. My approach was entirely intuitive and it seems to have been right so far.

In order to find out more about the theory behind spinning (methods, material etc.), I added Abby Frankquemont's book Respect the Spindle to my wishlist recently. Abby's Youtube videos were recommended to me by a fellow spinner and I used them to check how to ply before my very first attempt. So, I thought that getting her book couldn't be such a bad idea either and, lo and behold, Mark's parents gave it to me for Christmas! I have been engrossed in it ever since and it was so frustrating not to have my spinning with me over Christmas. I am sure next time I read a page I will be spinning soon after.

So far, what I don't like about the book is the very basic chapter about physics. It's not really relevant if you just want to spin, and it is far too basic to be of interest to anyone who has ever suffered through Physics at school, in my opinion. Then again, it may only seem irrelevant to me because all principles at work while spinning are intuitive for spinners anyway. We don't think about how the shape and weight of our tool influences what we do, we just adapt to it in the way we work with it. I am not sure anyone who is unable to spin intuitiveley would be any better at it knowing the physical principles, to be honest - I guess we all know that practice and theory are two very different things.

Other than that the book is very good so far (I am almost at the halfway mark now), if a little repetitive. The latter is excusable: having written a book myself I know how editors like to insist on a little bit of repetition since they don't like to assume everybody understands what you are talking about right away. (Why they think readers would have the attention span of a gnat, I have no idea.) Despite my dislike of catering to the thick, the editor has the last word and that's that. But do not let that detract you from buying the book because it really is good and the photos are wonderful too. I especially liked the start of the book in which Abby writes about growing up in the Andes. I would say the book is probably better suited for beginners and those who, like me, haven't read about spinning before. It is a book about technique and history for the main part and an easy read that is easy on the eye too. I suspect, however, that is is not of any use to advanced spinners.

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