Review: The Big Book of Fibery Rainbows by Suzy Brown & Arlene Thayer

Audience: Intermediate Spinners

The Big Book of Fibery Rainbows by Suzy Brown (The WoolWench) and Arlene Thayer (SpinArtiste) is an overview of fiber techniques with a focus on rainbows.  The queens of color and all things fibery goodness, there is no better pair to talk about rainbows in wool.  The book  begins with a discussion of what rainbows are and inspiration for rainbow palettes.  It then moves into a description of basic blending techniques, followed by a variety of spinning techniques and how to handle rainbows with those techniques. The book finishes with a gallery of finished objects that display a number of different techniques used in the book.


I love that early in the book, Brown and Thayer point the reader toward other books on color theory for those who are interested, but focus on an intuitive method. They really get at the heart of color and approach the methods they describe using less technical terms than many spinning books.

This title is full of inspiration and great photos. A variety of rainbow palettes get the reader started.  It explodes from there.  In the techniques section, the authors cover a whole slew of different techniques from simple to art yarn techniques, all with the spotlight on color handling.  This section may be the gem of this title.

The techniques they cover, from blending to spinning, are solidly explained in short order.  A very beginner might find some of the techniques difficult, but for an intermediate spinner, there is enough information to get from point A to point B.


While I don’t consider myself an aggressive grammar aficionado (my husband still calls me the worst English major, ever) I’m sad to say, poor editing made it difficult for me to immerse myself in the content.  If it were just small errors, such as using the word “firstly” instead of “first,” it wouldn’t have been noteworthy.  But there are larger errors that really caught my attention.  On page fifteen, a whole paragraph is repeated twice.  This should have been caught before publication.  There are so many errors throughout the text, it really pulled me away from the core of the book.

I’ll also note that, for a book about color, heavy on photographs and intended to be used as a reference the quality of the paper and binding was less than expected.  The paper felt thin and easy to tear and many of the photos looked dull on the matte paper.

Another concern I had is how the authors discuss specific, branded tools.  They discuss them in ways that neither help guide the reader toward a specific tool nor in a way that impacts the processes described.  I found it to be a plug for brands the authors favor and not particularly helpful in the actual content of the book.


I found this title worthy of three stars. The purpose of this book is to inspire, and I think it hits the nail on the head.  Even after reading it through, I keep flipping back through the pictures and thinking of all the scrummy yarn I’m going to make now that I’ve read it. This book is also unique, in that it focuses more on the emotion and intuitive how-to of color rather than the technical side of color.  But the lack of editing and quality of the print really impacted the readability.


For a spinner looking for color inspiration this book is pretty sharp.  Brown and Thayer know how to handle a rainbow and they know their novelty techniques.


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