Where will these locks lead you?

Merino fiber that has about twelve crimps per inch.

Romney fiber that has about six crimps per inch.

Lincoln fiber that has about three crimps per inch.

Locks of Potential

What is it that brings you to spinning? I imagine we come to spinning for a whole host of reasons—as diverse as we are as spinners. There isn't just one thread. What I love about the cover of the Winter 2011 issue is that it captures the simplicity and diversity of spinning in one image of crimpy wool fiber from sheep—three locks that are as different as they are similar. And they are just the beginning. What we do with that fiber is a wide world of possibility. Those locks are full of potential. I'd love to hear about what brings you to spinning in the comments!

In this issue, we're looking at fiber close-up—really close-up—by examining crimp and diameter in detail to understand why fiber does what it does. Beth Smith has written a great article about spinning to the crimp—it's a pretty straightforward concept and a wonderful place to start when you're deciding how to spin your yarn. Deb Robson has written a really fascinating article about fiber diameter—she sent samples to a lab to look at the diameter of fiber from rare breeds of sheep (in addition to some that are not so rare). She walks us through the scans in a very logical way, explaining what the findings mean for spinners. And Judith MacKenzie examines the difference between hair and fiber with her wonderful ability to ask big questions and then answer them in lyrical ways.

This issue also includes our largest ever special pullout Natural Fiber Directory, full of suppliers and mills from across the United States and around the world.

Happy spinning,

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