Bringing you delicious fiber and scrumptious yarn


In her article in the Spring 2014 issue of Spin-Off Karen Pike shares her experiments with a less-than-desirable fleece, including trying different preparations and beaded yarns.

We just sent the Spring 2014 issue of Spin-Off to the printer and are really excited about how it turned out. The theme of the issue is color, which lends itself easily to a gorgeous issue full of delicious fiber and scrumptious yarn. There is a lot of great information about how to work with color—how to dye with natural and synthetic dyes, how to blend for color, and how to combine colors of yarn you already have on hand.

I am really inspired by Karen Pike's article Making Lemonade in which she takes advantage of receiving a less-than-desirable fleece from eBay to learn to dye and explore different color techniques. I myself have wanted to experiment with dyeing and reading about how she was liberated by designating an entire fleece for experimenting has got me thinking. I don't necessarily have my own sacrificial fleece, but it is important to give yourself the resources to experiment and try new things. Do you have an example of a time you needed to give yourself license to experiment? How did it turn out? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments section below.


Karen Pike also tried blending a gradient using dyed less-than-desirable fleece and a natural colored Dorset-cross fleece from her stash. Photo: Karen Pike.

And, as is often the case in the magazine business, we are already hard at work on the summer issue. It is going to be a real treat filled with world textile techniques and traditions. There are so many fascinating stories, we can't wait to see how this issue turns out. We have articles from Robin Russo and Marianne Guckelsberger about Icelandic fibers, dyes, and spinning traditions; from Coleen Nimetz sharing her experiences studying sericulture in Laos; and Kathy Augustine who shares the history of spinning asbestos. There's a lot more, too. You'll just have to wait to learn what else.

We are also in the process of planning the Fall and Winter issues. This Fall we will again be exploring equipment. Along with our ongoing study of the spinning wheel, we'll have a special focus on spindles and fiber processing tools. (We have received a lot of great tips we can't wait to share.) Our annual Winter fiber issue, in addition to our Natural Fiber Directory, will feature an in-depth look at down and double coat fibers. The call for entries for the Winter issue is on Spinning Daily now.

This coming year is shaping up to be very exciting and we hope you will join us for each and every issue.

Spin on,

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