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The Ashford Book of Hand Spinning - Jo Reeve

The Ashford Book of Hand Spinning - Jo Reeve


  • Making handspun yarn
  • The tools for spinning
  • Spinning on a drop spindle
  • Andean plying
  • Spinning on a wheel
  • Plying - two-ply, navajo
  • Carding
  • Fibre for spinning - wool, other fibres
  • Novelty yarns
  • Projects for knitting and weaving with handspun yarn
  • Wheel maintenance
  • Glossary

Not to be confused with the Ashford Book of Spinning by Anne Field, this is a new comprehensive spinning book from Ashford by a different author.

I rate Jo Reeve's Ashford Book of Carding because it's clear, practical and inspirational. She has written this book in the same clear, friendly and well-illustrated way.

The book has an updated feel. The quality glossy pages carry numerous colour illustrations. This is an extremely well-illustrated book.

The book is a great guide for beginners and improvers. It covers the basics of using a spindle and a wheel, then plying, drafting techniques (do you know your worsted from your woolen?) hand and drum carding. It covers the different types of wool with some wonderful illustrations of the sheep breeds discussed. Other types of fibre, novelty yarn techniques, maintaining your wheel and a glossary.

Like the original Ashford Book of Spinning, Jo includes five patterns (Anne Field included ten in her book). I'm not a big fan of patterns being included in books, but these are particularly appealing patterns. Missing is felting and dyeing, which did seem a little incongruous in the original book.


Predictably, Ashford do take the opportunity to promote their products, but not too gratuitously. Their wheels and specifications are shown alongside information about naming the parts and maintaining your wheel. The book is certainly just as useful to users of other brands.

Shiela Dixon, 20 April 2009

This shop has now closed. Remaining stock is listed on eBay.

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