Snuggle up with the Winter issue of Spin-Off
The Winter 2010 issue of Spin-Off magazine should be arriving in your mailbox or at your local fiber store soon. It is so full of fiber that if you snuggled up next to it, it will keep you warm. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit. Just a wee bit. Open the pages and you'll find (images of) angora, qiviut, alpaca, and sheep's wool tucked into every available space, plus lots of great tips on how to spin these fibers.
We finished up the Winter issue right before we literally got on a plane and headed to SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) in Delavan, Wisconsin, and it made for an interesting segue for me because many of the articles that appear in the magazine were happening live on-site at SOAR. So, if you didn't get to attend SOAR this year, many of the things we learned about at SOAR are contained in this issue of the magazine. Kaye Collins was teaching workshop and retreat sessions about Suri alpaca, Bobbi Daniels brought two bunnies for her Bunny Love classes, Maggie Casey taught classes on how to spin, and Linda Ligon was on-site and organized a spinning contest (thankfully, it wasn't about how to spin from the indumentum on the backs of leaves, rather it was a more realistically achievable contest about making a hat from a batt in an hour).
This year, we've included a six-page Natural Fiber Directory in the issue—this is a special section that you can pull out and take with you for reference when you're shopping for natural fiber. As a bonus, we included enlarged versions of the charts for the Qiviut Shawlette by Sandi Wiseheart on the back of the directory (the charts are also included with the pattern in the magazine).
The pattern for the half-gloves shown on the cover is included in the handspun gallery, along with six versions of the half-gloves showing just the tip-of-the-iceberg of what can be done with the pattern if you vary the fiber, color, and/or grist of the yarn you use.
And one of my favorite articles in this issue is Jill Hall's article that asks the question, "Did Priscilla Mullins Spin?" If the name Priscilla Mullins doesn't ring bells for you, take a look at Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish." It's a great piece of American poetry that uses spinning as a metaphor for female industry among other things.