Winter 2020 is coming

The Winter 2020 issue on Warmth is coming next month, and it’s specially crafted to keep you toasty as we slide into December. This issue is full of everything: it’s got smart, informative articles that run the gamut from dyeing (with Sasha Duerr) to how to spin the warmest worsted yarn possible, from what the warmest sheep breeds are to how to spin a very fine woolen yarn. It’s got colorwork convertible mittens as well as a brioche hat from Nell Ziroli, and Maggie Casey and Judy Steinkoenig team up to make the warmest yarn and the warmest woven scarf. Judith MacKenzie writes “Notes from a cold country,” 6 of our favorite spinners tell you about the warmest yarn they can make, and we take socks that were once warm and make them warm again. You’ll read about things that warm a heart and community, such as fibersheds, community art, and Shetland’s traditional pile blankets, and a piece about one of the warmest women in the community. Of course, there’s more, too! Don’t miss it. Make sure your subscription is up to date by November 20th and look for it around the 10th of December!

PLY Magazine believes that Black lives matter, as well as LBGTQI+ lives. Those most vulnerable and persecuted in our communities deserve our love and support. Please be good to each other.

The Fur Issue is coming: sneak peek

Spring is upon us and that means the Fur issue is coming! It’s filled with all the fluffy little animals with fiber so fine and flighty that they delight spinners all over. The issue starts off with wise words from Judith MacKenzie and her take on spinable wild fibers.

From there it delves into exactly how to deal with fur. Stephenie Gaustad, Terri Guerette, and Roy Clemes give you the basics on prepping and spinning these short slick fibers.

Then we get specific with articles about processing, blending, spinning, weaving, and knitting with dog, cat, chinchilla, wolf, and rabbit (along with bits about sea otter, mountain goat, and possum).

There are a couple of great projects and important community news as well. It’s definitely one of PLY’s cutest (and informational) issues yet. Make sure your sub is current by going here. This issue will ship out March 10th (digital issues will be in your account on March 1st).

Cotton issue cover image

What’s inside the Cotton issue?

The Spring 2016 “Cotton” issue is busy making its way to various destinations around the world. Whether you’re a subscriber waiting for your copy to arrive, or you’ve been thinking of subscribing and you’d like a preview before you buy, today’s post is here to give you a sneak peek inside the issue!

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Cotton issue cover imageSo many spinners stick mainly to animal fibers for their spinning, and never really get a chance to try cotton. Others have tried it but for whatever reason it didn’t click. Still others love cotton so much that they sing its praises throughout the spinning world – and we’ve tried to bring that level of enthusiasm to this issue. Many, many thanks to Joan Ruane for helping to bring this issue to life and sharing her inspiring love of cotton with the rest of us. Let’s dig in!

Great Articles!

We’ve rounded up the a talented group of spinners and asked them to share their insights and experiments with us, and as always we’ve got a tip jar full of helpful hints from our readers, humor by Franklin Habit, and how to keep your spinning body happy by Carson Demers! Take a look at what you’ll get!:

  • Cotton: the Miracle Fiber, by Irene Laughing Cloud Schmoller  – Irene LOVES cotton, and it shows in her article which covers the history of the plant itself and its many uses in everyday life.
  • Cotton Lessons, by Stephenie Gaustad – Learn from Stephenie’s early “mistakes” with cotton spinning and you’ll be off on the right foot with her tips for how cotton begs to be spun.
  • Prep it! Dyeing Cotton Naturally, by Ric Rao – The photography alone will take your breath away with this article – who knew you could achieve such vibrant colors with dyes you picked or grew yourself? Venture into the world of natural dyeing with Ric; you won’t be sorry.
  • Prep it! Carding Cotton Lint and Making a Puni, by Joan Ruane – If you live near a cotton mill you can probably get cotton lint directly from them! Otherwise, we encourage you to buy some online and follow along with Joan as she shows you how to hand card and roll punis from this fiber.
  • Prep it! Blending Cotton, by Susan Sullivan Maynard – If working with cotton by itself isn’t your thing, this article is just what you need! There’s plenty of information and even a color-coded chart to help you blend cotton with other fibers to achieve the result you’re hoping for.
  • Charkha Tips and Tricks, by Eileen Hallman – Have you ever seen a Charkha in action? These adorable mini-spinning contraptions were literally made for spinning cotton, and Eileen’s got all the tips you need to start working with one today.
  • Spin it! Cotton on a wheel, by Joan Ruane –  If you’re a wheel spinner, you don’t have to change your whole methodology just to begin spinning cotton. Joan will guide you through the process of changing just a few things to make cotton work on your wheel, even if you’re accustomed to animal fibers.
  • Cotton Spindles from Around the World, by Kristin Merritt – Kristin wrote and illustrated the gorgeous spindles for this article, which is a fantastic comparison of spindles used for cotton. She also has an accompanying Spin It! article to help you learn to spin cotton on a spindle!
  • Hot Button: Boiling Cotton – Several experts sound off this issue on the issue of boiling cotton fibers for spinning.
  • Cotton Farming in New Mexico Prehistory, by Glenna Dean –  Glenna is an archeobotanist (someone who studies the growth and use of plants in historical times), and in this exploration she shows us how ancient people used land that most would think wasn’t suitable for farming at all to grow cotton.
  • Cotton Spinning and Sprang in the Pueblo Southwest, by Louie Garcia – A traditional Pueblo fiber artist, Louie takes us on a journey of Pueblo ancestry and their relationship to cotton fibers.
  • The Arizona Openwork (Tonto) Shirt Project, by Carol James – In 2013, Carol James met Joan Ruane and the two of them went to visit the historical Tonto shirt, an openwork garment dating back to the 13th century. Together, they hatched a plan to re-create that shirt. Follow along with their project in this article.
  • Cotton Spinning in Uganda, by Allen Nansubuga – Allen is one of the founders of Crochet4Life, an organization that empowers Ugandan women to bring in their own income through the production of handmade cotton goods. Read about his project in this issue!
  • Khadi: the Freedom Cloth, by Chitra Balasubramaniam – Khadi is a handspun, handwoven cloth that has come to represent India’s freedom from British rule. We think you’ll love the story Chitra weaves and her gorgeous photos of Khadi production in India.

CharkasFantastic Projects

In every issue of PLY, you’ll find a handful of projects for knitting, weaving, crocheting and more – along with instructions for how to best spin the yarns you’ll use in those projects. Here are the projects from the Winter issue:

  • Cotton Cactus Flower Shirt, by Jill Holbrook – Spin along and knit the perfect summer garment – a cotton tunic style shirt made using two different natural colors of this versatile fiber.
  • Weave with your First Handspun Cottons, by Patricia Santangelo – Try weaving with your first handspun cotton – yes, even that “beginner stuff” you think isn’t usable. You’ll be surprised what it teaches you! And who couldn’t use a few extra towels?

Everything Else!

Tip Jar will empower you to overcome your fears and get into spinning cotton. In Ergo Neo, Carson explains the best way to spin in a chair for comfort and bodily health. Who’s That Spinner? introduces us to Kay Toombs, who explains her cotton spinning history and how she learned to spin and weave with Multiple Sclerosis.  Scene is full of things on the spinning scene that you’ll want to know about including the upcoming Ply Away retreat, the 70-year anniversary of a Florida guild, and a symposium on flax and linen. Beth Smith offers a variety of pattern suggestions to get you to Use Your Yarn, even those first handspun cottons.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that right here on our website! And be sure to pick up a copy of this issue if you don’t already have one (or it isn’t on its way to you)!

Cover of the Singles Issue

What’s inside the Singles Issue?

The Winter 2015 “Singles” issue is busy making its way to various destinations around the world. Whether you’re a subscriber waiting for your copy to arrive, or you’ve been thinking of subscribing and you’d like a preview before you buy, today’s post is here to give you a sneak peek inside the issue!

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Cover of the Singles IssueJacey’s opening article in this issue starts  – “Any yarn is possible, even singles!” And in this issue, that’s the goal – to show you that spinning a singles yarn is definitely possible, even if you’ve struggled with it in the past. The issue is full of “how” articles that’ll get you spinning, but it’s also got a fair number of “why” articles that’ll get you thinking!

Great Articles!

We’ve rounded up the a talented group of spinners and asked them to share their insights and experiments with us, and as always we’ve got a tip jar full of helpful hints from our readers, humor by Franklin Habit, and how to keep your spinning body happy by Carson Demers! Take a look at what you’ll get!:

  • Singles: Fiber Matters, by Beth Smith – Though it’s true you can spin a singles yarn out of any fiber, Beth Smith tells us what’s what when it comes to choosing a fiber that will give you the best results in a singles yarn.
  • The Race is On: Singles vs. 2-Ply Yarns, by Jillian Moreno – People say all the time that spinning singles is faster, is it true? Jillian finds out!
  • Bias Point, by Elizabeth Watt – Ready to have your spinning mind blown?  Read this slowly and then read it again!  It’s illuminating!
  • Journal of a Singles Sock Yarn, by Grace Shalom Hopkins – Read the journal of a girl wearing 2 socks, one is singles yarn and the other is plied.  You might be surprised by the last entry.
  • Single and Free, by Katherine Johnson – Singles yarns aren’t just for knitting, you know!  Katherine Johnson takes on tatting, tri-pin loom weaving, and naalbinding with singles yarns and it was awesome enough to make the cover!
  • Weaving with Singles: A Test of Abrasion, by Carol G. McFadden – Carol breaks out her rigid heddle loom and tests how 5 different types of singles (different fibers, preps, and spins) hold up in scarves.
  • Taming the Wild Single, by Stephenie Gaustad –  Nobody can tame a wild single like Stephenie and she walks you through various methods and how they work.
  • Hot Button: Tension-Set Yarns – Several experts sound off this issue on the controversial issue of setting a yarn with tension.
  • Spin it! Color-Changing Singles, by Melissa Yoder Ricks –  Melissa loves color changing singles yarns and shares several ways of spinning and using  a singles yarn.

Fantastic Projects

In every issue of PLY, you’ll find a handful of projects for knitting, weaving, crocheting and more – along with instructions for how to best spin the yarns you’ll use in those projects. Here are the projects from the Winter issue:

  • Veila Scarf, by Susanna IC – This lacy, crescent-shaped scarf is knit out of a soft gradient singles yarn. Ann Krieg explains how she spun the yarn for this project using a Falkland wool.
  • Nebel Hat and Cowl, by Susanna IC – Ann Krieg spun the same fiber for these projects, too, but the resulting project is more striped and textured than the gradient scarf. These projects knit up quickly and really showcase the softness of a singles yarn in a project where it’s single-nature won’t be a drawback.
  • Ondulant Scarf, by Carol Feller – A smooth, subtle waving shape makes this scarf graceful and understated.  In the accompanying Spin It! article, Kathryn Benavides will guide you through the process of spinning for this project.
  • Bad Girl Scarf, by Sylvia Becker –   Sylvia uptwists on purpose, and shows how awesome it can be when a good girl yarn goes bad, especially if you just have the right pattern to go with it.
  • Tapestry Weaving, by Deborah Behm – The wonderful and dear Deborah  (whom we will all miss) walks you through an explanation of how to spin singles for tapestry weaving, and also provides a simple and fun project anyone can weave (seriously – you make your own loom!).
  • Weaving on a Peg Loom, by Ann Mickow – A single and fun way to weave — on a peg loom! Ann demonstrates the process and explains how to make a quick and great loopy scarf out of singles yarns.

 

All Everything Else!

PLY-011-contents

You’ll also find Jacey’s article where she talks about how she experiments as a way of  learning more about her spinning. Tip Jar is where you’ll find your fellow PLY readers explain how they control the twist in a singles yarn. In Ergo Neo, Carson tells us to take care of our body when spinning on a spindle. Who’s That Spinner? introduces us to Johanna Carter, who takes us on her journey of learning to knit in childhood and expanding her skills to include spinning as an adult. Check out her spindle-spun sweater!  Scene is full of things on the spinning scene that you’ll want to know about including the upcoming Ply Away retreat, lotion bars, and books and DVDs to enhance your spinning education. Franklin Habit and his pal Lazy Kate are back again with another adorable comic, and in Follow the Fiber Sue Tye and Jill Sanders take us along for their Saori weaving tunic project from fiber to finished object. It’s a beautiful and inspiring story of making no mistakes.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that right here on our website! And be sure to pick up a copy of this issue if you don’t already have one (or it isn’t on its way to you)!