PLY’s lunchtable

In the 2 days since my last blog post (the one about needing to hire 2 copy-editors), my inbox has had more “in” it’s “box” than ever!  From stay-at-home moms who love 2 things — kids and spinning, to ex-editors-in-chief, to librarians, to graduate students, to actual professional copy-editors, 210 people expressed interest in working with PLY.

That’s cool.

Really, it makes me feel like if I had to walk into my high school lunchroom now, somebody would make room at a table for me and I wouldn’t grab some french fries and a nuttybar and go sit in the gym doorway with my headphones on like it was a choice I was making.

Of course, I know it’s not really about me.  It’s not because I’m cool.  It’s because the magazine is wonderful.  Everyone that works on it (from the staff to the authors to the advertisers) really loves spinning and wants to spread the word.  Still, it maked me feel a little cool.  Though that feeling of coolness  quickly dispersed when I realized that about half the people emailing are more qualified to do my job than I am!

In fact, many of the names that came through my inbox I want to hire just so they will be my friends.  But hiring these 1-2 copy-editors is to make the magazine better, to make things less overwhelming and stressful.  I need great copy-editors.

And so today I sat down and emailed the bundle to everyone on the list, which was broken into 3 groups for sanity’s sake.  Of course, the first group I sent to got the wrong bundle.  By that I mean I sent them the test article and also the test article’s answer sheet (such as it is).

Of course, I fixed it by changing out the test article, and I guess it’s good for them to see how I operate now, all thumbs and double-spaces after my periods (.) — a habit I can’t break.  I literally have to do a search and replace after everything I write.  Muscle memory, the good and bad.  They say you can tell a person’s age from his/her typing.  If they put 2 spaces after periods, they’re over 30, if not, younger.

So now I wait.  I’m excited to see what comes back!  I’m going to read them blind, so I don’t get influenced by pretty names and lots of credentials.  I’m going to push down the impulse to be cool and do my job and I can’t wait to have 2 new people working on the magazine, they’re going to make it sooo cool.

We’re biggering!

I don’t think change is just the nature of a new business as much as the nature of all businesses, perhaps, all things. Things are changing here at PLY. We’re evolving and figuring and growing and learning and we’re biggering. We’ve moved up in a few areas. The biggest change is that we’re no longer using multiple excel sheets to clumsily keep track of all of our subscriptions. We’ve moved to a subscription management program, which, I hope, makes my and your life easier. Y’all can manage your account now – add issues, resubscribe, auto-subscribe, check how many issues left, change your address, etc. It’s the kind of organizational triumph that makes me a little weak-kneed.

And because, apparently, PLY evolving is really just us transferring work from us to you, we also moved to an online ad system to manage our website ads that allows you to manage your own ads! But it’s cool. Kinda like on Ravelry, you buy a spot, you upload it, link it, change it if you want, check your stats, etc. I’m really excited about it and am crossing my fingers it works like magic.

But what this blog post is really about is that PLY is hiring. Kind of. I need 1-2 freelance copy editors to be at my beck and call. Okay, not really my beck and call, but I do need you. I need you so much.

The Job

What I’d like is to find a couple of spinners that are copy-editing firecrackers. By the time the articles get to you they’ll have gone through the heavy editing and will be shaped organizationally so it’s not really heavy editing, more light-medium. It’ll involve double-checking accuracy, grammatical issues, article and issue consistency, fact checking, and pointing out any areas that might be unclear or confusing for readers/spinners. Of course, you’ll have access to the always evolving live PLY style sheet and a fairly over-the-top explanation of what each kind of article should look/read like. Because I’m nothing if not overly thorough.

If things go well, there’s also the possibility of doing a final proofread of the entire issue in PDF form before it goes to press. We’ll see, we might have to do some trust exercises before I make that leap.

The Schedule

You’ve probably guessed that it’s not a full time job but it’s steady in its hit-and-miss-ed-ness. Four times a year for about 3-4 weeks, we need you. Those times are pretty darned predictable though, essentially the months of February, May, August, and November. In each of those months we’ll have roughly 25 articles that need your red pen. Some of these articles are 800 words and others are 2500 words, some are instructional and some are informational, some are stories and some are other kinds of stories, but it works out to about 25,000 words edited in that given month which also works out to roughly 25 hours. I’m not married to the idea of it being 1 person or 2 people. I don’t want to overwhelm one person but I also don’t want to have too little work for more. That’s a detail we can talk about but if it’s a deal-breaker for you either way, be sure to mention that to me.

The Compensation

PLY likes to pay fairly. It’s something that’s very important to me. I wish we could pay everyone far more than we already do but we’re not even 2 years old so we do what we can do. The compensation for this job, right now and for the first issue edited is $25/hour. We’ve found that the copy-editing averages about an hour an article. If it all works out and the time is roughly what we think, the next issue we’ll raise it to $30/hour.   From there, if it continues to work out and we’re both happy, we’ll try and raise it to $40 by the end of 2015. I’m not saying we’ll stay at $40 forever, but I feel that’s pretty fair pay for the work and from there, we’ll raise it when we can.

Extras: for as long as you copy-edit for PLY you’ll have a subscription. For every issue you work on, you’ll be listed in the masthead.

The Process

If you’re interested in working with us, steady yourself, there’s a bit of a process. PLY is my baby. It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done and I feel strongly that it’s important, that the knowledge the spinning community pours into it is going to stand longer than anything else I facilitate. It’s important to me and as such, I’m going to give you a few hoops. Forgive me. It’s all for the good of the magazine and my crazy, busy, never-stop brain.

The first step is to let me know you’re interested. Email me. Jacey at plymagazine dot com. I’ll send you a bundle of stuff. In that bundle you’ll find:

  1. A short set of questions about you and your experience.
  2. A copy of the PLY style sheet so you know what grammatical conventions we follow.
  3. Three versions of a past PLY article. The first version is as it came to me, the original. The second version is after I edited it (essentially how it would come to you). The third version is the final version, the version that went to print (essentially what we’d like you to do to the articles).
  4. One article that I’ve edited but needs to be copy edited by you. Please turn on track changes and save it by adding your name to the end in place of mine.

If I get lots of people that are amazing and perfect and I can’t decide, I’ll send out one more short piece to be edited.

I’d like to get this started now. In fact, if it works out, I’d like to have somebody do a bit of editing the last week of November or first week of December (I know that’s not really the time-frame I set above, but I’d like to see how it goes, I could use the help, and maybe a bit of holiday cash is not a bad thing, right?). So let’s start! Yes, let’s do!

Cover of the Community Issue

You’re on the cover of PLY!

The newest issue of PLY Magazine is arriving in mail boxes this week.  One of my favorite things about PLY is our covers.  I just love them.  This one is no different.  Whenever I get a new issue, I line them all up on the kitchen table, in order, and smile.  Then I stack them and smile at the spines.  This cover was more troublesome than the rest.  I was flummoxed as to what would say “Community issue”.  All kinds of terrible ideas came to mind and I was afraid we’d have to go with one of them.  That’s right, I almost had to ask Bernadette to shoot a spinning circle, sans spinners.  Just the wheels, from above.  Yeah, she would have cried (she’s sensitive like that).  Then my wonderful Levi came up with an idea.  He wanted me to gather as many spinning snapshots of our spinning community as possible and he’de make a mosaic of the world, this side and that side, for the covers.

And that’s what we did.  I begged y’all for photos, you delivered, and so did he. So grab a magnifying glass and check yourself out!  Can you find yourself (or your yarn, cat, dog, wheel, kid etc)?

Community issue of PLY





Spinzilla team roster: Alice Hollowed (aka spinalot)

Name: alice hollowed

Spinning nickname: spinalot

years spinning: 3 year

Location: chicago

Spinning tool of choice for spinzilla: matchless

Favorite weight of yarn: worsted

Favorite fiber for fast spinning: romney

Favorite treat to eat while spinning: Coffee and beer

Project you’ll be spinning for: Sweater

Personal Spinzilla goal: 6000 yds

I live on the northside of chicago (near wrigley field) with my four kids, 3 chickens, 2 chinchillas, 1 cat, and 40 silk moths ( for another couple of days).  I homeschool, garden, can, compost, cook, throw pottery,  and make yarn. I ‘ve mastered the technique of spinning with a sleeping or nursing baby.  I also try to knit and crochet but little hands and paws keep trying to help.

Reprinting Color and Woolen!

If you’re one of the PLY readers that missed out on issue #2 and #3 (Color and Woolen), guess what?  We are reprinting!  However, since we are a small operation, we don’t have green enough just sitting around, so we’re going to have to do what we did for the Summer 2013 (#1, first).

Here’s how it works.  If you don’t have the issue but you want it, you order it.  I take your money but don’t send you anything. Not for a while anyway.  I have to wait until we have enough orders to cover a print run.  For the #1 issue, I said it could take anywhere from 2 months to 12 months.  It made it in 6 months and the reprint went out last month.

I suspect it’ll take about the same time for #2 and #3, but it could take longer.  Again, I’ll print by July 2015 if we haven’t made the numbers yet, even if I have to sell handspun on the street!

It’s been up for 2 weeks and we’re 10% there, so that’s pretty promising.

If you’re torn about the issues, don’t be, they’re both really good.  Woolen is one of my favorites (mostly because I think it has changed the most people’s spinning) and Color is one of the most beautiful issues (not just because my lovely mom is in it).

If you want to help us get it back in stock faster, order!  Tell your friends!

handspun yarn and shawl

PLY’s wishlist for photoshoots

You may have noticed that we try to do most of the photography in  house.  That’s not just because Bernadette has mad photo skills, but also because I really think it gives an issue a cohesive, beautiful feel.  Of course, there are always things we can’t shoot — photos about a location, about a person, about a festival, or about a technique we just don’t know at all.  Generally though, we try and shoot as much as we can.

A problem we run into is that sometimes we don’t have the equipment needed to bring to life a particular article.  For instance, see that little wpi tool in the photo?, the cute little sheepie one from The Clay Sheep?  I had to use that in 2 back to back issues because I didn’t have another WPI tool!  Not that I minded, it’s super adorable, but still, you see what I mean.

We’re pretty solidly stocked on wheels, PLY now has a large assortment of wheels so if an author mentions a wheel, we’re likely to be able to use it in the photoshoot.  If we don’t have the model, we at least have the make, you know?  Things we’re not so stocked on is all the other stuff, some big, some small.  So, here’s just some of the things we wish we had on hand for photoshoots, our wishlist, if you will:

  • wool combs: 4-pitch and 2-pitch; english, viking, dutch
  • mini wool combs
  • flickers
  • hand cards
  • small hackle
  • various types of spindles (we really need support, russian, turkish, navajo, tahkli, and bottom whorls)
  • various measuring tools –tpi, wpi ect
  • cute spinning things that enhance photos

Now it’s true that PLY could buy some of these things, but we run a pretty tight ship over here.  In order to keep our ad to content ratio low low low, we don’t really have a budget for tools yet.  Right now we’re saving for subscription management software (currently we do it all by hand).  But it’s not only that our ship is tight, it’s also that we really love supporting small indie companies, companies that support spinners, companies that support us.  We like being able to list them on the Independent Spinner page when we use one of their products in our photos. We like that we get to spread the word.

So if you’d like to see your product on the pages of PLY, let’s see what we can do!  Check out this page to learn more about it!



PLY’s got some new digs

This is the nicest website I’ve ever been allowed to post on.  Seriously.  It’s nice.  Right?  After a year, 5 issues to be exact, I decided it was time.  The magazine deserved a website that reflected how awesome it is, how hard everybody involved in it works, how much great information it holds,  and now that is what it has.  I keep going to other websites and then coming back, pretending to see it for the first time.  I love it that much.  Miss Jessica Becker deserves all the adoration and adulation.  She certainly has mine.

Now that we’ve got a rockin’ website, we’re going to use it!  There are a few of us that you’ll see popping up around the blog, keeping you informed about what we’re doing, what’s happening with the photography, the production, the printing.  We’re also going to put all of our calls for submissions here (check out the moodboard page), our tipjar question (yep, there’s a page for that too), our call for dyers, spinners, and designers.  And give-a-ways!  Yes, we’re going to give away stuff.  To you!  Like the fiber for projects in the issue. By fiber, I mean, the exact same fiber used in the issue.  Cool, right?  We always get fantastic dyers with great fibers so we’re going to share that with you (and give our small businesses a little attention at the same time).

In short, expect this blog to be used. Just watch and see.

silk types (bombyx, eri, muga, tussah) showing different natural dyes

Thank you for donating!

Thank you for donating to PLY Magazine!

We simply wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for the gracious support of the following folks who contributed to our Kickstarter campaign:


Marcy M. Moffet

Cooperative Press

Paula Durrant

Mary Catherine Black

Liz DeVoss

Caroline Griffin

Janice Zindel

Angela Baker

Antonia Smith

Spunky Eclectic – Amy King

Regina Lauless Imhoff

Janet Dalzell

L. Brackbill

Coleen Nimetz

Karen Alpert

Vanessa Grimmett

Fabulosity Yarn

Limpus Shetland Sheep Farm

Sharon Terry

The Kuntz-Romanoski Family at koru Fiber and Dairy Ciroula

Lisa F. Leard

Linda Hillesum

Jayne Schafer

Laura Sniderman

Jennifer Newcomb

Patti the oldgoatwoman!

Gord Lendrum

Peggy Mitchell

Bonnie Miller

Wonderland Fiber


Gwen Powell

Twisted Kitten Creations

Janine Bajus, Feral Knitter

Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber

Camelot Dyeworks

Natural Obsessions

YarnSpinners Tales Podcast

Barbara Bates

Debbie Bartle


Tsarina of Tsocks

The Fuzzy Bunny

Liz Gipson

Linda Brust

Deborah Kaplan

Sibylle Peter & Regula Rudin

Gail Roemer

Adam Trilling

Storybook Fibers – Kristine Haddock

Sarah Townsend/breyerchic04

Leah Vandergriff

Loop Fiber Studio

Laura Hennessy

Ercil Howard-Wroth

Sharon Houck

Aunt Janet’s Fiber Mill

Cathy Davies

Dicentra Designs Fiber Arts

Alpacas at Orchard Hill Farm

Rachel Hamm

Jellyfish Knits

Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Sharon Hanger (squirrelacre)

Kristin Price

Susan Ramsey

Marie Ekberg

Spruce Hill Fiber Farm

Flying Goat Farm

Fable Fibers

Suzanne Tetreault, ACraftyLawyer

Laura D. Scott

Daniela ROBIN

Porpoise Fur

Angela K Schneider

Studio Avenue Six

missknitta’s studio

Sarah Anderson

WI Peterson

Rowen White

Stony Mountain Fibers

Joanne Burrows

Dixi Talke

K. Case

Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair

R & B Alpaca Ranch

Ezara Penning

Kristie “Bionickristie” Grange

Jill Marchant

Gayle Andrus

Stephanie Tomasco

Jane Morton Bynum

Angela Jenkins


Susan Brockett

Fiber Optic Yarns

Knit Unto Others


Mandy Blomenkamp

Sarah Herman

Inspiration Fibers

Batts in the Bellfry

Angie Simon

Sarah McGinnes

Split Rock Ranch

Maria Ey. Luihn

Lisa Davies

Sheryl Means

Just 4 Ewe Fiber Studio

Cheryll Athorp

Emsket’s Fiberworks

Stephanie Brady

Diane Palme

Bryan and Katie Sebeck

Enchanted Knoll Farm

Autumn Olive

Knitting Lagniappe

Donna Magee

Connie Kephart

patricia stevenson

Blueball Mountain Spindle & Needleworks

Barbara Bonn

Jennifer Radcliff

Helena Wood

Southern Cross Fibre

Deb Bouchard

Rainbow Twist Handspun

Natasha Sills – Gritty Knits

Beth Gallego

Kate Richbourg

Hampton Artistic Yarns

Stitched by JessaLu

Rainbow Farms Pygora

Peggy Richard

Teri Plemel

April Rose


Lori Blevins


Gregory Road Handspuns

Karen Monique Chan

Yarn Hollow

Swan and Moon Designs

Duffy “Fiberqat” Stephens

Heather Brooks – Anchorage

Moonlight and Laughter

Jennifer Shuster-Clark

Sheeri Cabral

Ru Temple Design Studio

Nancy Streicher

frabjous fibers

Hello Yarn

Gwen Tevis

Debra Lukeis

Susan Sucheta

Rosemary Moore

Ruth Goldenberg

Melissa Bravin

Vicki Castro

Carolyn Ramos


Pocket Wheels

Heather NH

A Lawson

Fuzzy Wuzzy Fiber, Wool & Wheels

The Weaver’s Shop at Har-Ber Village

SLM Alpacas

Into The Whirled

Windy Hill Farm (Cormo Sheep and Fibers)

M. Lynn Yu

Virginia Gillespie

Lazy SockMonkey Designs

Clemes & Clemes, Inc.

Cathy Brooks

Ann-Marie MacKay

J. Elizabeth Clark

Twisted Yarns

Caryn Vainio

Barbara G Meyer

Carolyn Leigh Bennion Ferro

Jeri Brock Woodworks

HansenCrafts LLC

Laura Cummings

Sheep Dreams/Tanglewood Farm

Margot Williams

Ann Fisher Rhodes

Sonya Anderson

Hatter Rose Custom Clothing

Carrie Pugh @ Unraveled Designs

Joy Dunn

Colleen Ponzani

Carol I. Cooper

Gilead Fiber Farm/Kristen Judkins

Karen Bone

Deb Accuardi

Malarky Crafts

Jacquelyn Reith

Suzanne Bills

Bridget Smith

Myrtle’s Daughter

Vicki Campbell

Sheryl Ramm, someday to be “Driven Fibers”

Kara Perpelitz of SpinHeartSpin


Doula Quinn

Ivy Dickinson

Applegrass Farm Icelandic Sheep, Cumberland, ME


Jimi Green

Patricia Boldenow

Kristina Schmitt

Kate Axtell

Yarn Geek Fibers

Shelly Kilgallon

Stacey Simpson Duke

Warren Agee


Tracy Forbes-Bosley

Jennifer Ostheimer

B Maura Townsend

Allison R. Levin

Lost City Knits

Beth Smith

222 Handspun

FBN Plastics

Catherine Dickman

Carrie Ouradnik (craftypuppylover)

Julie Sprague

Jenny Sagrillo

Ruth Blau

Peggy Laipple AKA PickleSoup on Ravelry

Dragonflylotus Designs Handspun Thread

Melanie Weiss

Amelia Garripoli, Ask The Bellwether

Shooting Yarn

Tea Time Garden

KL Noyes

Maureen Miller

Michele Mathews

Kimber L. Cortese

Beth Raymond

Vickie Beaver

Laura Cameron

Little Bird Fibers

Pam Boulet

The Woolery

Greenwood Fiberworks

Unbridled Animal Rescue, Inc

Little Monkey’s Stitch n Spin

Tiny Dino Studios

Brigette Goulet

Denise Tilrico

SpinDoctor Podcast

Nightfall Yarns by FibroFibers

Tanya Koenig

Caitlin Doran

Sheridan Femia

Marieanne Coursen

Holly Odegard

Kathy Harry


Rebecca Agin

Jill Robinson

Ayse Sercan

Janelle Wertzberger

Badfaerie Designs

Christina Duke

Pat and Tony Santangelo

Georgean Curran


Heritage Spinning & Weaving

Spinning Mermaid Fibers

The Yarn Wench

Vero Pepperrell, Running with Crayons

Anne Burgeson

Kendrick Kreations

Jane Cooper

BohoKnitterChic Spins

John Michaud

Sincere Sheep

The Copper Corgi Fiber Studio

cjkoho Designs

Georgiana Dorr

Joy Adiletta

Barbara Currie

Stash Enhancement

Jae Biritz

Deborah Robson

Raven Ridge Fiber Arts

Kelpie Fibers


Diana Collins

Shelia January

Cephalopod Yarns

Laura Paul


Clara Beauty – Yarn & Knit Design

Barclay A. Dunn

Kristin L. Frazier


Eliza Sheppard

laurie sitkiewicz

Kathy French

Larissa Kats

Vicky Scowcroft


Julie Higgins

Yuka Suzuki

Sunburst Ranch Shetlands

Lizette Hopkins/SpinGlitz

Jillian Moreno

Robin Pruss

follow the star studio

Patti Edwards

bridgett davis

Kathy Rohacek


Bob Bercaw

Pipe’s Canyon Pygoras

Cynthia Konow-Brownell

planetKnit aka Karen Ward

Wooly Ridge Farm

Shadawyn Fiber Arts

Freehaven Farm, Ltd.

Debbie Doty

Alba Ranch LLC

Charlene Mudd

Mickey Perdue

Cricket Thicket

Rebecca Tyson Smith

Just Ducky-Hand Spun

The Cloistered Lamb

Furnace Creek Farm