Inspired by Nature

If you’re a Spin-Off subscriber, you should just now be receiving your Summer 2009 issue of Spin-Off.  I hope it has made its way to your mailbox. I (and the rest of the Spin-Off team) sure had fun working on this issue. There are several knitted patterns that should make good portable summer projects, an intense weaving project for tiny handspun silk yarns, some great information about sheep breeds, as well as how-to articles on spinning medium yarns and basics such as pre-drafting and Z- and S-twist yarns, feature articles about spinners in Sweden and Lithuania, and a hilarious, but useful tongue-in-cheek article about how to use your body as a spinner’s tool box. But my favorite article this issue by far is the one by Judith MacKenzie McCuin about Biomimicry—and how nature can inspire our spinning, knitting, and weaving technology. This article was born in the pages of Judith’s book, The Intentional Spinner and expanded upon in the magazine. And every time I read it, I feel a wondrous connection between my spinning hands and the living, breathing earth that surrounds me.  How many times have spinners gazed at spider’s webs and imagined the possibilities? And not just the practical applications, such as early humans watching spiders catch their evening meals in their spun nets, and then making their own nets for catching fish or snaring rabbits, but the more ponderous ones where we (as earth-bound creatures) looked at birds in flight and said, “we can do that” and designed kites, and parachutes, and planes, or perhaps saw the delicate patterning in a spider’s web, and imagined a warm, lace shawl around our shoulders.

– Amy Clarke Moore
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