I met Alanna Wilcox at the end of 2016. We had a great time at dinner along with Jillian Moreno and Cal Patch who I was also just getting to know although I was familiar with Cal’s work. But as usual, I’m getting off topic.
Alanna asked if I would be willing to read and review her new book called A New Spin on Color. I told her that I would be happy to read it and I would review it if I liked it.
Well, I liked it!
I’m going to be honest. I didn’t expect to. The main reason is it is self published. I have seen a lot of self published books and many look amature. This one does not. Also, let’s face it, everyone isn’t a writer and it is often difficult to explain things on the printed page that take 10 seconds to demonstrate in person. Alanna doesn’t seem to have that problem. The writing style is friendly and the instructions for how to get the techniques she describes are very clear.
I have spent 90% of the the last 10 years focused on raw fleece and undyed processed wool. I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about hand painted fibers. When I sat down with this book I suddenly had a desire to start playing with some of those painted beauties I have been collecting for years and then just admiring on the shelf.
There is a ton of great information in this book focusing on all sorts of things that I have and haven’t thought about. She even shows how pre-drafting fiber changes the look of the dyed yarn and why you might or might not want to do it.
I love love love the parts throughout the book about how to make color change lengths on sleeves match the lengths of color changes on the body of the sweater. Do you hate barber poling? (I don’t) Take a look at how fabulous the knitted fabric is from purposely barber poled yarn. Interested in weaving? Well, even though this book does focus on knitting, there are some lovely woven fabrics with explanations about how to get the color effects shown.
Have you taken my hand carding class? You know, the one about blending? Well Alanna takes you to the next step. I won’t give it all away you need to see it for yourself.
I think this would be a great book for a wide range of spinners. Most people aren’t like me and so they want this color in their lives. Everyone, beginner and experienced spinner alike, could benefit from working through this book from front to back as a text book.
Alanna has done her homework and now you stand to benefit from her pursuits. You can get her book on her website here.
I have one more thing to say. This book is available both as a download and a physical book. The physical book is worth all the money. The paper is beautiful, the printing is top notch, the photography is clear and beautiful, and the cover is good and heavy. You’ll want this in your library.