3 Spin Off Magazines That Changed My Handspun Yarn

I discovered Spin Off about the same time I became the proud owner of my first spinning wheel and started producing copious amounts of handspun yarn. Where were you when you first read Spin Off?

In 2005, I was working on a farm in northern Vermont milking cows and managing a grass-fed flock. Once a week, my soon-to-be husband and I would drive to Burlington to have a restful day of bookstores and cafes. While I slowly sipped coffee, I would read each issue of Spin Off from cover to cover repeatedly. Spin Off quickly became a vital connection to a community of people who love what I love: glorious handspun yarn.

handspun yarn

Kate still loves Spin Off and coffee as a welcomed break. Photos by Kate Larson

While there are articles and projects (even ads!) in every issue that influence my handspun yarn, some articles have served as watersheds in my fibery education. Here are just a few:

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Spin Off Summer 2007, Winter 2008, and Summer 2018.

1. “Fractal Spinning” by Janel Laidman in Spin Off Summer 2007 taught me to take my top-splitting preparations more seriously.

handspun yarn

Spin Off Summer 2007, Winter 2008, and Summer 2018.

2. “Swoopy Skirts” by Kathryn Alexander in Spin Off Winter 2008 taught me that not only is plying not a requirement but that the twist energy of singles can do amazing things!

handspun yarn

Spin Off Summer 2007, Winter 2008, and Summer 2018.

3. “Blending & Spinning for Fair Isle Knitting” by Elizabeth Johnston in Spin Off Summer 2018 encouraged me to drop a bit of natural color into my carded blends to harmonize colorways.

My subscription to Spin Off meant that a new batch of curated spinning articles would come my way each season, challenging me to try new things and find answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. Our community continues to thrive, always moving forward. Become a subscriber and join us for the journey!

—Kate


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