Favorite Back Issues of Spin-Off
Editor’s note: Some of our readers may not know Linda Ligon by name; others may be surprised to learn that after forty years she is still a vital force in the Interweave leadership. For those in the former camp, check out “Behind the Scenes with Linda Ligon” from Spin Off Summer 2014. Linda’s name has been on every issue of the magazine since its inception. We asked her for some of her favorite back issues of Spin-Off.
Fall 1987 was the 10-year anniversary of Spin-Off, and Deb Robson, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and I each marked the occasion with remembrances and predictions. It’s wonderful to look back and see how things have continued on the same path and how they have veered off in a different direction.
Two of my favorite spinners, whom we have lost recently, added their voices. “With ten years’ practice, anyone should get better,” said Alden Amos, decades before Malcolm Gladwell’s famous 10,000 Hour Rule. And Lee Raven wrote words that could have been spoken yesterday: “I don’t want to sound like an aging hippie, but it keeps us in touch with the earth—it ‘grounds’ us. We take only our hands and some raw fibers, and we are able to make beautiful, intricate, useful things. In this age of asphalt and VCRs, there is something healthful, beneficent, about being able to make something from scratch, for yourself or others.” (All but the VCR part.)
Two evergreen articles are worth the price of the issue. “Oops!” features true confessions of spinners who made choices they regretted, and “Words of Wisdom for Beginning Spinners” has gems from practical to philosophical, including the following: “Get a wheel you can take outside!”
Fall 2001 found us on the approach to another landmark, the 25th anniversary of Spin-Off, for which an iconic sweater was designed, spun, and knitted by Sarah Swett. Other highlights include a fine article by Carol Huebscher Rhoades on the perpetually intriguing subject of handcarding and a seminal piece on plying by Rita Buchanan.
Fall is a great season for Spin-Off! The third of my favorites (in chronology, not in affection) is the Fall 2007 issue, the 30th anniversary issue and the debut of a brand-new look. The issue was full of delightful sock stories: spinning for sock knitting machines, a design by sock legend Ann Budd, and others.