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W.J. JOHNSON (aka Wendy J. Johnson) has been spinning, dyeing, and knitting for more than thirty years. She has a BA in Fine Arts and Music with additional arts education in Fibre Arts, Graphic Design, and Architecture. She is a fibre artist, photographer, media and installation artist, and educator in the fiber arts, with an emphasis on spinning, dyeing, weaving, and knitting. Her fibre arts, photography, and fine art work is highlighted in her company Saga Hill Designs, www.SagaHill.com. She has been a champion for Swedish textile arts and has facilitated exhibits on Swedish knitting artists (Elsebeth Lavold, Inger Fredholm, and Bohus Stickning-all at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minn.). Wendy was a principal author, photographer, and designer of the book Bohus Stickning-Radiant Knits: An Enchanting Obsession. She is also the President and Art Director of Points Of View Productions, a multimedia company; and founder of Elder Eye Design, where she is "The Legibility Doctor", advising clients on legibility issues in print, space design, and products for the aging eye. On the side, Wendy visits fleece on the hoof as she and her border collies attempt to "come by" sheep every so often in a dance called "herding." Wendy lives in an area west of Minneapolis with her husband and two crazy border collies in a home she designed using aging-friendly principles.
"Yarn Works" is the ultimate sheep to sweater reference book for fiber enthusiasts everywhere." - Mother Earth News "Knitters and crocheters are often drawn to handspinning as a way to further connect with the materials that they use. In this beginner's guide, fiber arts instructor Johnson introduces the basics of fiber selection, spinning, dyeing, and knitting with hand-spun yarn. Each part of the process has its own dedicated chapter that addresses historical context, basic supplies or techniques, and "workshops" that delve more deeply into the hows and whys of the technique. The information in the fiber selection and preparation chapter is fairly standard, but specific chapters include a lot of useful information, particularly on using spinning wheels and employing natural or acid dyes. Johnson places a good deal of focus on the meditative nature of handspinning, which is ideal for knitters who use their craft as a way to relax. VERDICT This guide provides an excellent jumping-off point for those who are curious about handspinning and hand dyeing." - Library Journal "The layout of the book allows for a concentration of information and details while keeping the reader engaged... Her focus is Swedish textile arts and this book is an amazing compendium of fiber details told with humor and attention to detail, rarely seen in craft books." - Handweaver's Guild of America "This is a unique and incredibly useful book. It is textbook-like in it's scholarship, it's appendices and illustrations. But, unlike the average textbook, Yarn Works is a delight to read." - Annie Modesitt, a knitter, designer, yarn dyer, writer, teacher and author of Confessions of a Knitting Heretic " 'There is no yajna (sacrifice) greater than spinning calculated to bring peace to the troubled spirit...' - Gandhi. He spun every evening for its 'rhythm, music, poetry, romance...and spiritual solace.' If you spin, you understand. If your goal is to learn to spin, with this book you are on your way. Then take it to the next step." - Examiner.com