Lordy, Lordy—Spin Off Magazine’s 40!

Is 40 young or old? Having just turned 40 myself, I can’t tell; I know more than when I was 20, but I don’t feel over the hill yet. When it comes to Spin Off magazine, most days we feel like we’re just scratching the surface of what there is to know about the art and craft of spinning yarn.

When I began editing Spin Off in 2014, I also began a delicate balance of remembering and forgetting. (My colleagues would point out that I have a special talent for forgetting, though that’s not the kind I mean.) I need to remember what we can build from nearly 150 issues of archives, relationships, and ideas, but forget enough to start every issue as a new, fresh collection.

The Fall 2017 issue looks at old fibers—spider silk, sea silk, and bamboo—and considers the surprising ways they’ve evolved. We look at the way a group of Kyrgyz shepherds have relearned to comb cashmere from their goats, how a Portuguese architect is preserving her country’s artisan heritage, and why today’s spinners picked up the craft. We learn to use handspun yarn for mending, adapt any knitting pattern for handspun, and long draw with ease. We revisit 40 of our favorite tips from the first 40 years, ogle the locally sourced fibers in Your Yarns, and plan to spin for projects large and small.

Spin Off

One of my favorite photos of Interweave founder Linda Ligon: always game for an adventure. Photos by George Boe

I’ve always admired Interweave founder Linda Ligon for what I see as another delicate balance: recognizing what makes Interweave special yet daring to change it over and over. Although she remains the spiritual heart and soul of Interweave, she’d be the first to brush that off and ask what’s next. Our history gives us a foundation, and sometimes we need to be willing to shake that foundation to build the next thing.

With this in mind, I hope you enjoy the Spin Off fortieth-anniversary issue. It makes us proud of what we’ve done—and reminds us to keep moving forward.

And make sure to check out the online bonus content from Fall 2017: Your Yarns: Spin Local and Spinning a Cashmere Cloud: June Cashmere for Spinners.

Anne Merrow

Discover 40 years of spinning wisdom!


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