I’m frequently asked about my favorite spinning books, especially for beginners. There are so many excellent spinning books out there, it was hard for me to choose my favorites. But, as I started to narrow it down, I realized that my favorite beginner books were the books that taught me how to spin yarn! While several of these books are no longer in print, they are available in Kindle format, and of course you can always find them second hand if you are on the look out. So here they are, my top 5 books that taught me how to spin yarn.
This is my favorite book in the list that covers the basics and tells you what you really need to know to get spinning yarn and get your handspun yarn ready for a project. Start Spinning: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Yarn by Maggie Casey is absolutely perfect for beginners. I especially love the sections that discuss plying, and finishing your yarn and how to choose and plan yarn for a specific project by determining yardage and wraps per inch.
#2 Spinning and Dyeing Yarn: The Home Spinner’s Guide to Creating Traditional and Art Yarns by Ashley Martineau
I was already well on my spinning journey when this book was published, but it really introduced me to the DIY aspects of spinning. In Spinning and Dyeing Yarn: The Home Spinner’s Guide to Creating Traditional and Art Yarns by Ashley Martineau you will find great illustrations and instructions for spinning consistent yarns and how to spin a variety of textured yarns. It also has a chapter about dying yarn and creating your own DIY spinning equipment that includs instructions to build a niddy noddy, kick spindle, PVC spinning wheel, and more!
I really hope that it will be available in print again, but at least it is still available on Kindle. The Intentional Spinner: A Wholistic Approach to Making Yarn by Judith Mackenzie is a treasure of a book. Mackenzie covers different types of fibers, how various yarns are structured, and includes several spinning projects and instruction to spin the yarn you want, intentionally. This book is also sprinkled with historical information about fibers and spinning. Sometimes you can still come across used copies of this one at a reasonable price, so if you do, grab it!
If you are learning how to spin with a spindle, you need to read Abby Franquemont’s Respect the Spindle: Spin Infinite Yarns with One Amazing Tool. This is the book I absolutely devoured when I learned how to spin on a drop spindle.
There is information in this book about the many different types of spindles, what kind of spindle to look for as a beginner, explanations of the physics of spinning, and how to choose a spindle that will be the right tool for the yarn you want to create. If you are learning to drop spindle, this is THE book!
I also have a post about spinning with a drop spindle for beginners that you can read here.
This book is more vintage than the others in this list, having been published in 1981, but there is a reason it made this list! The Whole Craft of Spinning: From the Raw Material to the Finished Yarn by Carol Kroll is the book that many new and experienced spinners swear by. It covers fiber types, their preparation, different types of spinning equipment from spindles to wheels, and the fundamentals of spinning with clear and detailed instructions.
Bonus – Spin Off Magazine
Spin Off Magazine is a resource that I read when I first started spinning…and I haven’t ever stopped! This magazine comes quarterly and not only includes articles covering how to spin, but also personal stories, projects, history, and more! There is always something to learn no matter your experience level. I feel like the articles in each issue of Spin Off have made me a more well rounded spinner, in touch with skills, history, and the spinning community.
What about YouTube?
There you have it! My list of five books and one bonus resource that taught me how to spin. If you are looking for more video tutorials to learn how to spin, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel. I post a new spinning video every Tuesday! See you there!