Connecting to past leads to spinning gold

Spin-Off back issues are treasure filled

The lovely entrelac vest by Dianne Sinclair from the Handspun Gallery of Autumn Vests in the Fall 1998 issue.

Every time I sit down at my wheel I feel the yarn I'm spinning connecting me to all the spinners who have come before me. And although my cherry-red drive wheel was originally designed for a bike, what I do is pretty much the same as my forespinners. (I'll choose to overlook the spinning by choice rather than necessity for the moment.)

The same happens when I look at past issues of Spin-Off. I am honored to carry on the legacy of such an important link within our community. Thumbing through past issues I am tickled that many of the same topics are covered and how much you can learn by looking at something in a different way. There is always something to be learned from what was going on in the spinning community and how the garments came about. There are also some great projects worth a second look.

While my fore-editors had a very different experience—keying in articles, doing paste-ups, and faxing—I know that we are connected by a common goal. Throughout Spin-Off's existence we have strived to create a community where spinning questions can be asked and answered by experts and where craftspeople can share their passions.

Then Spin-Off editorial assistant, Amy Clarke Moore models Early Evening, Winter from an article all about designing hats by Marla Dowell in the Fall 1998 issue.

As technology advances so does our craft. Thanks to the Internet we have access to massive amounts of information, tools, and luscious fiber. We are more connected than ever through an explosion of places to gather both online and in person. This interconnectedness has advanced what is available to us in innumerable ways. Just think of how many styles of wheels are available today compared to even ten years ago, and how many are tweaks on the same classic designs to allow for spinners to experiment and create new ways of making yarn. Isn't it amazing what can happen when the right people get together?

Another thing technology has given us is access to our past. There are online depositories of historical textile images and swatches, and publications that were out of print are now available in digital form. Along these lines, we are making single digital back issues of Interweave magazines available, including Spin-Off. Thanks to digital technology, what was previously inaccessible is now within reach. It is cost-prohibitive to go back on press with a magazine so once it was sold out it was gone. Now with new digital capabilities, we can bring a treasure trove of knowledge to a new audience or offer it in a new format to those who have been learning with us for a while.

Spin on,

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