Fiber Arts Friday & Giveaway

Start Spinning Book Review & Giveaway


I just finished reading Start Spinning: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Yarn by Maggie Casey, and I have to highly recommend this terrific book. It has excellent photographs and she walks you through things slowly enough that you don’t get lost.

Ms. Casey begins by answering the question I had for many years – “WHY?” Why spin one’s own yarn? I mean, there are yarn shops for that, and mills to spin it, right? Once I fell in love with artsy yarns and realized how fun they could be I started to become interested in spinning my own. It is also more cost effective for a fiber grower such as myself to spin my own yarn. Economic times have made me look at these things.  But Casey really convinced me to give it a try when she spoke about the connection between spinning and our heritage. Not to mention the connection with the animals that grow our fleece and the consumers of our yarn.

This book teaches more than just how to spin. It teaches you about yarn. For alpaca breeders who aren’t spinning yet, this book is a helpful resource in understanding the process, and terms like “twist”, “wpi”, “ply”, and much more. As fiber growers, the more we know about our product and how it will be used, the better our product can be.

I’m dying to learn to spin! We will be holding a Beginning Spinning Class at our alpaca farm on Saturday, May 23th for anyone who would like to join us. Our teacher will be long-time Fiber Artist and Alpaca Breeder Sheri Watkins. Sheri is so kind, patient, and full of knowledge. Wheels will be available for rent that day or for purchase. If you ever wanted to learn to spin, and if you’d love to meet our alpacas ~ Join us! Click here for a registration form. You can also contact me at alpacas (at ) for more information.

In the meantime, I am so impressed with this book, that I am going to give one away. There are four ways to enter to win a copy of this book:

  1. Leave a comment telling me what you love about fiber, spinning, alpacas, anything really related to this topic.
  2. Tweet about the giveaway and leave another comment including your tweet URL. (After you tweet go to your “updates”. Click on the date/time under your contest tweet. That’s the URL you want)
  3. Subscribe to our RSS feed (top right corner of page). Leave a comment saying you did so.
  4. Sign up for our farm email list (both are in the top right corner of this page). Leave a comment telling me that you did so.

Thanks for your entries and good luck. Contest will close Monday, May 4 at Midnight (CST). One winner will be chosed at random.

Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival!

To participate:

  1. Add the permalink to a specific blog post that features something Fiber Art related, rather than your general blog address and not your Etsy store. (Please DO put a link in your blog post that takes us to your store though.)
  2. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Use the button or a text link to
  3. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
  4. Double-check to make sure your link works and goes to the right page so it doesn’t get deleted.

Be sure to visit our wonderful participants AND please leave them some comments!

Fiber Art Fridays Participants

1. Tara of Blonde Chicken Boutique
2. Ingrid\’s Handwoven Rugs
3. Carolyn B (vintagepix)
4. Feistywoman Designs
5. Dutch Hollow Acres
6. Youngsters Knitting
7. Dawn – Kaiser Mommy
8. TexasRed
9. Vtknitboy
10. Lime & Violet
11. Leigh Thomas
12. spotted dog farm
13. Angella – Powell Studios
14. Knitty
15. Laylock
16. Colleen Leader
17. Rose-Kim Knits
18. Noble Knits
19. At the Kitchen Table
20. Karen Macpherson Wessinger
21. L.L.Abbott
22. Tabitha Knits
23. Sandy
24. spvaugha

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. I admit my post is a bit of a repeat but I wanted to get the word out about the Fiber Arts for a Cause fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The preview of art donated started this week, and the sale for charity is next week. So check it out and forward it on to whomever you think might be interested.
    Hmmm…. I love the idea of learning to spin, but suspect I would provide more entertainment for the cats than yarn for myself. However I know two spinners in my ATC group who would LOVE that book :D

    Carolyn B (vintagepix)s last blog post..Mother’s Day Countdown at Ten Two Studios

  2. Got some new sock batts listed this week and am heading to the studio to make more.

    I just went over to Ingrid’s rugs–Wow! Gives new meaning to ‘coiled yarn’. Lovely rugs, too.

    Feistywoman Designss last blog post..How to Spin My Posy Toes Batts–Snake Plant techie stuff

  3. Wow your excitement about spinning makes me want to learn. I’ve got roving coming from the mill (hopfully soon) and boy it would be wonderful to learn how to spin it into yarn. Now that I’ve finally had my first shearing I’m up to my knees in fiber and lost as what to do with it all! –Lindsay

  4. darn, i’d love that book! i love spinning alpaca cuz it’s soft, and warm, and nice to wallow in my oodles of fiber!

    vtknitboys last blog post..First: A Bit on Twitter….then, about spinning!

  5. I’m so impressed with your spinning and teaching others!

    TexasReds last blog post..Portable Stained Glass Window Wall Hanging

  6. Ooh I love that my friend just sent me a couple little bags of alpaca fiber from her alpacas..and I need to figure out what to do with it!! Help I need that book.

  7. Alpacadero says:

    Your comments on “why spin?” reflect my own thought processes too. I have my own spinning wheel here waiting for me to begin, but I have been too intimidated that I might make a mistake and ruin the fiber. Maybe this book will give me the encouragement to try.

  8. What I love about fiber?

    I love SOFT fiber. I shop by touch. I love baby alpaca for this reason.

    Conversely, I can’t handle mohair because it makes me feel all sweaty. I know. weird.

  9. ikkinlala says:

    I love fibre because it’s pretty and it feels nice, and because there’s always something new to learn about it.

  10. I tweeted too! Thanks for explaining how to get the tweet link! No one has ever bothered to do that before!

  11. What I love about fiber and spinning? The people! Since I got into knitting an spinning, I’ve only met wonderful people related to this craft. Not only are they kind, but they are creative and innovative. I’ve never been more inspired by any other group than I have been by fiber folks.

  12. I love alpacas and I love their fiber. I would like to learn to spin one day, but right now I am looking forward to getting my loom warped so that I can get started on weaving. I don’t know all of the terminology, but that’s what’s cool about learning something new at the age of 53! Wow, can’t believe I told everyone how old I am.

  13. what DON’T i love about fibres, lol?!? raw to woven, dyed to natural, i’m a sucker for the spin and a lover of the alpacas! even going to try my hand ad harvesting a bit of stinging nettle fibres (carefully, of course, as it grows all over the place where i am)i just have a wee bit of alpy fibre at the moment, but it’s definately soft and a dream to play with.

    and, please do entre my name for the draw: i don’t tweet (trying desperately to limit my web-talk, heh heh) but did the rest :)

    angellas last blog spin me right round, spindle, right round…

  14. i’m not very good at following instructions – i think i put the wrong link above. but i’m so glad you are doing this carnival! it’s great to be introduced to new farms and fiber blogs!

    what’s great about fiber to me is the comfort factor. when i’m knitting or spinning i feel love. i also love how easy it is to be creative with fiber.

    spotted dog farms last blog post..

  15. I love alpacas because of their curious and gentle nature. I love their fiber because it feels so good on knitting needles and against my skin. I love talking about alpacas to anyone who will listen, hence my alpaca podcast, I taught myself to spin, but I’m not very good yet. Another book on the subject will probably help. :)

  16. Leigh, you are adorable. We’ll never tell. You don’t look a day over 29!
    Dawn, interesting about mohair. It looks so shiny!
    Denise, we gotta get you this book. I don’t even spin and I can pour over it.
    vtknitboy, we know you don’t NEED this book. He’s a spinner extraordinaire! But thanks for playing along and joining FAF today!
    Lindsay, I can’t believe it. I think I am learning your name for the first time! Always telling DH, “and Dutch Hollow…” lol
    Carolyn, keep it comin’- charity is so important
    Feisty – I know, right RE: rugs!

    Love you guys and gals! Thanks so much for participating today. It’s my Bday. You’ve helped make it a great one!

  17. I just started spinning on Monday and could so do with this book! :) I love the simplicity of my spindle and the fact that I get to spend more time with my lovely fibre. First when I spin it, then when I knit it. Magic.

  18. I would love to know how to spin my own yarn. Then I wouldn’t have to buy it from someone else. Alpacas Rock!

  19. I’m a beginning spinner with a few spindles, and I’m saving up for a wheel. I got to spin some alpaca on a friend’s wheel recently-yummy.

    Catherines last blog post..Boxy Bag Zippered Pouch – pods on black

  20. Just got turned on to spinning and fiber, and just had to get a wheel, and a loom! Am having fun discovering the new world of fiber, spinning, and all that. Llamas and Alpacas have THE BEST fiber!

    I am really hoping to win the book, it will be my first book on fiber and spinning…

    Thanks so much!


  21. I’ve just started learning to spin on a wheel about a month ago. It’s quite relaxing. I’ve sent my sister some of the yarn I’ve spun so far and she thinks it’s great! I’ll have to try alpaca after I get more practice.

  22. I love everything about knitting and crocheting. I am very interested to learn more about spinning yarn.

  23. I’ve renewed my interst in handspinning of late, by blogging about & shopping for silk hankies & alpaca roving. A friend of mine raised price winning alpacas in Sprigfield OH, & visiting her farm and herd was an absolute joy for me. I got to hold one of her newborns. Many years ago, I wove with alpaca… it’s a beautiful fiber, but–I never had the opportunity to spin it. START SPINNING would make an excellent addition to my craft library & I would enjoy writing my own review.

  24. I’ve renewed my interst in handspinning of late, by blogging about & shopping for silk hankies & alpaca roving. A friend of mine raised price winning alpacas in Sprigfield OH, & visiting her farm & herd was an absolute joy for me. I got to hold one of her newborns. Many years ago, I wove with alpaca. It’s a beautiful fiber, but–I never had the opportunity to spin it. I’m refurbishing my antique saxony spinning wheel to remedy that! START SPINNING would make an excellent addition to my craft library & I would enjoy writing & blogging my own review.

    L.L. Abbotts last blog post..The Friday Five Favorites of May 1st

  25. Fiber. What’s not to love? It is soft to touch, lovely to look at and you can knit it. And alpaca is one of the softest and loveliest of fibers as well as being environmentally friendly. I don’t see a down side here.

    tabithas last blog post..Perhaps You Should Read the Instructions.

  26. I also subscribed to your RSS feed and am now following you on Twitter. I am TabithaKnits on twitter.

    tabithas last blog post..Perhaps You Should Read the Instructions.

  27. Carolyn says:

    Hello! Wanted to say hi and let you know I’ve signed up for your feed. Just found your site through VTknitboy! Not sure how I found him :) I’m always looking for spinners with much knowledge and wisdom. (He has it in bucket loads!) I started spinning a few months ago, and it has consumed my fiber life. I’ve been a passionate knitter for a few years now, but spinning was always lurking around in the back of my mind. Once I picked up my first drop spindle I was hooked. The rhythm of the spindle or wheel, the feel of the fibers in your hand, the beauty of the emerging yarn….. it’s addictive. You will love it. I am excited for you!

  28. Lou Lou says:

    Signed up for the farm newsletter. Looking forward to hearing and learning more.

  29. I have been in love with alpacas for several years. I hope someday I can own my own herd. They are sweet creatures and their fiber is so soft. While I crochet and knit, I do not spin, but I want to learn. Your recommendation of this book is great. I’d love a copy so I can learn more about fiber and the terms I need to know when I venture forth and try spinning!

    P.S. I also tweeted with a link to this page!

    Eileens last blog post..Hannah the Pink Turtle – Crochet Amigurumi

  30. i do not want to spin but i want to learn all i can about it. (i know this sounds like the temptation is going stronger but…)

  31. I am also learning how to spin but only on a spindle so far. I’m taking a class at Jacob’s Reward Farm at some point to learn. I just washed my first raw alpaca fleece and it is so soft and lovely. Thanks for the giveaway!

  32. Renee G says:

    What I love most about fiber is the endless possibilities. Each piece is another item waiting to be created.


  33. Well, I love spinning and consider myself a beginner and still have lots to learn. Of course I Love Alpaca’s that’s my Ravelry and twitter name. I love the fiber and how soft and squoosy it is. I am a sucker for a alpaca fleece.

    Pam aka inlovewithalpacas last blog post..Socks, socks and more about socks

  34. i love the zen quality of spinning.. i think that because it is a left/right brain activity, and a left/right body activity, that it is very much like emdr therapy.. all i know is that it’s calming and productive for me.

    annies last blog post..All spinning, all the time

  35. I have never actually been able to pinpoint what it is I love about spinning (or knitting, or felting, or any fibre-arts), but I do love it so much it makes me come out goosebumps. It’s partly the colours, partly the smell, partly the wonderful trance-like state it induces… I don’t know, but it makes me deeply, deeply calm and happy.

  36. I just tweeted about this giveaway:

    Strawberrys last blog post..Busy Getting Nothin’ Done

  37. ….A-a-a-and I just signed up for your RSS feed.

    Strawberrys last blog post..Busy Getting Nothin’ Done

  38. And, the last bit… I just signed up to your email list! Yay!

    Strawberrys last blog post..Busy Getting Nothin’ Done

  39. I’m a new spinner myself. The first time I spun alpaca I couldn’t wrap my mind around how soft it is! Great stuff. And by stuff I mean a highly addictive substance :)

    Michelles last blog post..In Search of Swine Flu

  40. Yay! a book about spinning! The hubster just asked yesterday, as we stared at our two geldings (well, one soon-to-be-gelding….), “what on earth are you going to do with all the fiber when they’re sheared?” to which I replied, “I’ll learn how to spin it! Or, find someone else who will do it for me!” So, whoever ends up with the winning copy of the book, I want to hire you to spin my fiber when you’re through reading it. :) Thanks for the opportunity, Katy! Oh, and I just signed up for your newsletter!

    Myssys last blog post..Sunsets

  41. I’m following you on Twitter too, I’m haleyshandmades.

  42. Tweet tweet!

    Susans last blog post..Happy May!

  43. Oh boy I need thisbook!!

    Even if I don’t technically have time to spin yet— I’m loving living the alpaca life!!! :) .

    Jennis last blog post..That made me smile. :-)

  44. I have signed up for your newsletter! :)

    Jennis last blog post..That made me smile. :-)

  45. The winner is Karen Macpherson Wessinger! Congratulations Karen! I think you will really enjoy this book.

    Karen said:

    Just got turned on to spinning and fiber, and just had to get a wheel, and a loom! Am having fun discovering the new world of fiber, spinning, and all that. Llamas and Alpacas have THE BEST fiber!

    I am really hoping to win the book, it will be my first book on fiber and spinning…

    Thanks so much!


  46. Karen, thanks so much for the recommendation on the book! I was thinking of getting it and now I will for sure.

    Joans last blog post..Visiting Boston!