Small, portable, and at your fingertips

Lynn DeRose shares the basics of spinning on a supported spindle in A Handspindle Treasury: Spindle Spinning.

Elise Cohen shares the basics of supported spinning on Russian-type spindles in the Summer 2012 issue of Spin-Off.

Simple tools for making yarn

We are currently hard at work putting the final touches on the Summer 2012 issue of Spin-Off (which will be mailing out the end of May and on newsstands mid-June). The upcoming issue takes a look at portable spinning (and projects) with a focus on spindles. As someone with a major soft-spot for handmade things that come in small packages, I definitely have a weakness for spindles. They are appealing on so many levels. The portability, the inherent beauty of the tool, and the endless possibilities of what you can make with them.

As this issue comes together, I find myself frequently referencing past issues and articles about all the different spindles available and for what types of yarn they are best suited. Many of my favorite articles were compiled into A Handspindle Treasury in 2000. This great book contains treasures from the early years of Spin-Off. Articles by Rita Buchanan, Celia Quinn, the late Ed Franquemont, Pricilla Gibson-Roberts, and many more spindle enthusiasts were compiled into one booklet covering how to use a spindle and how spindles are used around the world. I love how many of the articles have a truly anthropological focus to them, explaining where the techniques originated and how they were passed on to the author.

We have heard from many readers over the years that this out-of-print booklet is a favorite. We were really excited last year when we were able to rerelease it as two eBooks, one focusing on the how-to and one on the spindle-spinning traditions. The eBook format is an amazing gift for us. So often we lament along with our readers when books have gone out of print and become hard to find. Often times these out-of-print books are some of our best resources, books that focus on a very specific topic on which there isn't a lot of information elsewhere. Being able to reprint them digitally allows us to offer them to readers again.

As the Summer issue comes together, I can't help but feel grateful that this information is both readily available to us as editors for reference and to our readers as a chance to explore topics more in-depth and to round out knowledge and skills. We live in a truly magical age where any information we seek can easily be close at hand with help of technology.

Spin on,

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