Snuggle up with Winter Spin-Off

Winter might be my favorite season—snowmen, cuddling up with a book and some hot chocolate, lots of time with family and friends, and, of course, holiday gift making! The Winter 2009 issue of Spin-Off is on its way to mailboxes and newsstands right now, and I think it's a pretty exciting one. There are lots of great tidbits to keep you company as you sit by the fire and watch the snow fall.

While every issue of Spin-Off is educational, this one really has a lot to teach. There's a fabulous article by Jacey Boggs about how to spin coiled yarn—these yarns are creative and beautiful, and Jacey's explanation of the technique is clear and easy to follow (I'm excited to try it out for myself!). There are also tutorials from Carol Rhoades about how to spin big yarns and how to master those pesky center-pull balls. A preview from Abby Franquemont's new book will teach you how to chain-ply and Andean-ply on a spindle, and Jeannine Bakriges will walk you through seven drafting techniques to increase your spinning repertoire.

If you're looking for some quick holiday gift ideas, the Winter Spin-Off has you covered there, too. There's a great trio of small projects in Robin Russo's Polwarth Socks, Debbie Grale's Feather and Fan Cowl, and Jill Smith-Mott's Tahoe Caps. If you're in the mood for a bigger project, try Amy King's Oatmeal Cardigan—I'm a fairly beginning knitter, but I like this sweater so much I'm thinking about challenging myself and casting on this one.

All in all it's a great issue of Spin-Off, and I'm glad I was given the opportunity to take the helm while Amy was on maternity leave (more info about that here!). I hope you like it as much as I do and that it keeps you company as the weather turns cold.

—Stefanie

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