Every issue is full of memories

A trip down memory lane

I just received a copy of the Spin-Off 2000 Collection CD, and seeing it brought back a flood of memories—it is the year I transitioned from assistant editor to guest editor, to editor, represented in the Spring, Summer, and Fall issues. It was all so new to me—every time I received a package containing garments for an article, it was like opening gifts at a birthday (of course, I had to send them back—but still!). Twelve years ago and each one sits brightly in my memory.

An atlas moth embroidered in wild silk from the Spring issue.

The Spring 2000 issue presented the second half of an in-depth look at wild silk and embroidered silk moths with handspun silk yarns as well as an article on a Nigerian indigo bath. It also featured an article I wrote about then Spin-Off editor, Deb Robson's Save the Sheep project—Deb is still working tirelessly preserving rare wools and the sheep that produce them. She took the next issue off to edit the book that came out of that project. And more recently she's produced an opus with Carol Eckarius—The Fiber and Fleece Sourcebook—that catalogs the amazing array of fibers available to handspinners.

Amy and Rita Buchanan in 2000.

I guest-edited the Summer 2000 issue with Rita Buchanan, who taught me how to be an editor. The Summer issue contains an eclectic mix of articles ranging from a profile of Shetland sheep, ideas for working with Icelandic wool, many small projects including resoleable socks, thick slippers, and a baby bonnet in addition to a number of weaving projects. There's a whole section on spinning around the world, from Latin America to Asia to Europe.

A yard-stick swift from the Fall issue.

The Fall 2000 issue has articles about spinning and weaving as therapy, what it is like to take a wool-classing workshop, how to spin suri alpaca, tips on knitting with unspun roving, working with space-dyed fiber, and projects for shawls, a color-worked hat, a Möbius scarf, silk kumihimo braids, and spinning for a fisherman's gansey. There are also instructions for how to make an umbrella swift from yardsticks, and an article about antique postcards depicting women spinning.

Connie Delaney spun the cotton yarn for this vest in the Winter issue on a Hohokam spindle.

The Winter 2000 issue takes a look at centerpull balls, follows a guild color-challenge, journey to Ireland to visit James Shiel's spinning wheel studio, takes a look at spinning cotton on a spindle in the Southwest United States, and examines Scandinavian wool and twined knitting. The issue also provides instructions for making a cotton T-shirt, a fuzzy winter cap, oil-bottle bags, shaggy sheep puppets, and handspindles on a lathe.

Of course, clicking through a Collection CD of magazines is different from flipping through hard copies of the magazine. For instance, it takes up less space on your shelf, one CD contains four issues—an entire year—and once you pop the CD into your computer and open up the PDFs, you can click through to the pages you want to view. Vaguely remember an article, but can't recall where you saw it? You can search keywords—just a quick "Control F" and off you go. You can also print out portions—say you want to make the Swan Cap from the Winter issue, just print out the pattern and stick it in your knitting bag. Hmmm. I wonder how that cap would look on my daughter Sarah?…

Happy spinning,

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