The spinning world remembers Alden Amos as a guru, a genius, a curmudgeon, a paradox. I remember him as a pair of rough boots sticking out from under a broken-down van in my driveway.
If this breakdown had happened only once, I probably wouldn’t remember it. But no. That old blue van, stuffed with spinning gear, traveled the country for years, and breakdowns were frequent and inevitable. The genius part was that Alden could fix anything.
He would tinker and hammer and swear, then he and his traveling companions would come in for a spaghetti dinner. It had to be spaghetti, because hey, we were spinners. And you could twirl it on your fork, ply it, make starchy bobbles and bad jokes, chase it with a glass of cheap red wine.
These memories are some thirty years old now, and the old blue van long gone. But Alden lives on in the collected knowledge he has left behind. You read his articles, his books, and what you come away with is the sense of a man who understood how things worked, and who shared generously in his own gruff way.
Before he was a spinning wheel maker, Alden was a fine bookbinder. He understood the power and glory of the recorded word. We do, too.
In the Complete Works of Alden Amos, you’ll find Alden’s magazine articles as they were originally presented—as part of Spin-Off magazine or collections of other writing, in the context of the community of spinners. We’re also pleased to reveal several gems: articles published under the psuedonyms “Becky Norton” and “John Gickie.” You’ll find other collaborations as well: with Cindy Lair in Know Your Wheel, with Susan Druding in his answers to spinner’s questions in Spinning Wheel Primer, and with Stephenie Gaustad as illustrator of The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning.