SpinKnit: Treat Yourself to Our New eMag!

Knitting the Peruvian way—inside out!

A note from Kathleen: The knitters of Peru are so inspiring. They knit in explosive color, which is what draws me to Peruvian knitted objects every time.

The thing that fascinates me about Peruvian knitters is how they knit "inside-out," tensioning the yarn around their necks.They use this technique because it makes their tension perfect and managing the bevy of colored yarn strands really easy. It's amazingly fast, too.

You'll see a video of this technique in our newest eMag, SpinKnit, which celebrates the rich tradition of Peruvian knitting—including the fabulous colors, the handspun and dyed yarns, and the technique of knitting inside-out. Not to mention some really beautiful knitting patterns!

Interweave founder Linda Ligon recently traveled to Peru and she brought back all kinds of fascinating content for SpinKnit!

There's lots of other spinning and knitting info in this inaugural issue of SpinKnit—including an enthralling slideshow of alpaca wool being processed from animal to dye pot! You won't want to miss it.

Here's Linda to tell you more about SpinKnit.

SpinKnit: Knitting and Spinning in Motion

Kaye Collins shares her enthusiasm for Andean design and technique
Kathryn Alexander's Peaks and Swirls Socks, which are dyed after being knit!

The hardest thing about being an ink-on-paper editor is having to cut out stuff that you love. You have five great photographs, but only room for one. Your author has shared some amazing in-depth information, loads of it, but you only have two pages.

Oh, the pain!

That's one of the reasons creating SpinKnit, our newest electronic magazine, has been so liberating for my co-editor, Anita Osterhaug, and me. Instead of a single photo, we can do a whole slide show.

Instead of trying to show a tricky knitting technique in a couple of still shots, we can pop in a little video. Instead of cutting to fit two pages, we can run on and on—just use the scroll bar! What joy!

Here are some highlights:

  • We visited a paco-vicuña ranch in the Colorado Rockies. You can talk about alpaca throwback genetics and fine micron count on paper, but watching these graceful, personable creatures bound around their mountain pastures on video is just pure fun.
  • We spent a day with spinning/knitting icon Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. Hearing her story was a rare treat, but capturing her passion and commitment to her crafts on screen was inspiring and touching in a very personal way. How do you do that in print? It would just be sappy.
  • We have long admired Kathryn Alexander's wild and crazy energized knitting yarn explorations. Videotaping Kathryn musing on how it all started and where she expects to take it, and seeing an extended slide show of her pieces, is tantalizing—get me to my spinning wheel!
  • We've published book chapters and magazine articles about double-drafting. I understand the theory, but never quite got the trick of it. Seeing Navajo spinner Sarah Natani and several Peruvian spinners actually doing it—well, it makes so much sense now.
  • And speaking of Peru—that clever, mind-bending way of knitting inside out that has been practiced for centuries in the highlands makes a lot more sense if you can see it being done, and see how really efficient and clever it is.

Oh, there's more.

Judith MacKenzie judging a fleece at the Madrona Fiber Festival. Me chasing a sweet old Peruvian shepherdess up a hillside, camera in tow. Our publisher, John Bolton, sharing a slide show of his trip to an alpaca yarn factory. Kaye Collins demonstrating in close detail how to do that backwards Peruvian knitting (which is a lot like Portuguese knitting, by the way).  And still more, but you'll just have to take a look for yourself.

You could argue that this new freedom from constraint leads to editorial excess. Well, so be it. The only downside I can see is that downloading SpinKnit can take a long time, depending on your internet connection.  But once you've got in on your computer, it's all yours forever to explore and replay.

Try SpinKnit. I hope you love it.


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