How an issue of Spin-Off is created

How an issue of Spin-Off is created


Falkland wool, in the Hello Yarn September 2012 club colorway, Critter.

We start planning each issue of Spin-Off over a year in advance. Many parts and pieces must come together to make a successful issue and it is always fascinating to see how the initial idea changes as it turns into reality. Sometimes as the issue develops, it stays true to the original idea and other times it shifts as we learn more about a given topic and see how the articles fit together in one volume.

Oftentimes my favorite articles are a result of these shifts and the problem-solving that goes into creating a well-rounded issue. For example, our Spring 2013 issue focuses on fiber businesses, however, we realized we wanted articles readers would find interesting both about getting into the spinning business and celebrating businesses that support our personal spinning passions. For our Behind the Scenes conversation we interviewed Adrian Bizilia of Hello Yarn (one of my personal favorite dyers) and she shared firsthand how she started her dyeing business and the work that goes in to it. We also decided to invite DeAnna Dailey to outline how serendipity has led her to create a business selling her handspun, handwoven scarves in upscale boutiques. And Kathy Sletto muses on the lessons she has learned from her small rag-tag fiber flock. We also included a range of spinning projects that, in addition to being lovely garments, also use indie-dyed fiber, are easily customizable for sale, and show a clever way to morph a class sample into a wearable garment.


DeAnna Dailey packages her handspun, handwoven, naturally dyed scarves with labels that introduce the consumer to the animal who provided the fiber.

Right now, we are putting the finishing touches on the Summer 2013 issue that focuses on the history of spinning. We ended up with quite a range of articles with themes from antique wheels and spindle whorls to reenactment to the ancient netting technique of sprang, and a lot more. One article you won't want to miss is the recent history of the christening shawl Margaret Stove was commissioned to make for Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who is soon to be a new father himself. Our Fall 2013 issue will focus on spinning equipment and we're working on  revamping the spinning wheel roundup we published in 2009.  The Winter 2013 issue is all about natural fiber with a focus on the usual (wait until you see what we've unearthed!), and we're well underway with the 2014 issues in the initial planning stages.

It is shaping up to be an exciting year for Spin-Off and we can't wait to see how it develops.

Spin on,

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