I first heard about the 51 Yarns book in an online spin a long. Being an adventurous spinner myself, I was curious to know if I had spun all 51 yarns. If not, what yarns was I missing out on? I purchased the book 51 Yarns to Spin Before You Cast Off by Jacey Boggs Faulkner and I read it from cover to cover! Here are my thoughts about this book…
What are the 51 Yarns?
This book separates 51 different yarns into categories. The categories vary and while some cover different classes of wool breeds, some are more focused on color, construction, or twist. Those were the yarns I did expect to see in the list of 51, but then, Jacey Boggs Faulkner surprised me!
There are other yarns included that have less to do with the yarn and more to do with the spinner. What is your “default” yarn and what is its “nemesis”? What is your personal best or fastest yarn? Yep, these yarns that stretch the spinner creatively have a place in the 51 yarns too!
Who is this book for?
I think this book is a great guide book if you want to journey into spinning and explore all the possibilities. It will push you out of your comfort spinning and encourage you to try a fiber or technique you’ve never tried before. It will get you thinking about color combinations and textures you haven’t considered, and it will introduce you to breeds of sheep that maybe weren’t already in your stash. I think it is a great book to encourage spinners to get better at the spinning they already do well and to get spinning outside of their box, whatever that personal box may be.
A Traveling Companion, Not a How-To
If you are a very brand new spinner and you are looking for a how-to book, this is probably not that book. While the book does give amazing tips and guidance for spinning each type of yarn (and lots of fun facts and trivia too) it is written in a way that assumes you have some basic spinning knowledge.
However, this book is a great traveling companion as you journey through your yarn adventures. It even has spaces for you to keep notes about each yarn you have spun and the date you spun it! I love how the table of contents is even written as a check list!
How Many Yarns?
If you are an experienced spinner, it might be fun to look at this list of yarns as a quiz to see what you have already spun. You could see it as a challenge to spin the rest of the 51, or keep the whole thing as a new journey forward to re-spin all 51!
I looked through the list to see how many I have spun and I came up with… 48 yarns! There are only 3 of the 51 yarns that I have not spun before. Wow! Am I that adventurous of a spinner? A little bit, probably. But, I have also spun lots of contracts for people who own fiber animals. That has always pushed me as a spinner. When a customer makes a request, I make it happen!
Still, as I look through the book and the list of yarns that I have spun, I see several in there that I would like to revisit. One of those is the fractal yarn. I spun a fractal yarn but I didn’t get to use it in my own project. Seeing how the colors repeat in the fabric you work up with them is kind of the point of a fractal yarn. I feel like I missed out when I sent that yarn back to the sheep’s owner.
What is my plan for this book?
As I continue my spinning journey, I will keep this book close at hand to keep track of the yarns I spin, check to see that I’m constantly pushing my boundaries both technically and creatively, and browse through the book from time to time simply to enjoy the tips and tidbits about each of the 51 Yarns to Spin Before You Cast Off.
If you want to get your own copy of the book, Click here!
Happy Spinning Fiber Friends!