Sunday, August 21, 2011

eMag Review: SpinKnits, Fall 2011

Spin Knit Fall 2011 Preview

Title: SpinKnit, Fall 2011 eMag
Media: eMag, Downloadable.  Available for PC or MAC
Publisher: Interweave Press
Approx. Retail Price: $9.99 (USD)
Craft: Spinning, Knitting
Patterns: 4 Downloadable Knitting Patterns
Availability: Available now, online

You all know I'm not a spinner.  I've mentioned that probably a bazillion times.  But I am fascinated with culture, tradition, and even modern spinners and weavers.  I have such an affinity for handwoven or handspun items and the people who create them.  So when I got the opportunity to review SpinKnits, Fall 2011 eMag from Interweave, I was thrilled when the first article I read was called Traditional Textiles and featured  a written piece and a couple of videos about the pacific northwest, specifically Forks, Washington, and the peoples, the Makah and Queileute, who used the inner portions of cedar bark to create textiles.  I think my favorite part of one of the videos was when the narrator, Judith MacKenzie said, "This is your culture... Genetics doesn't make a culture. What makes the culture is us."  It is truly a connecting moment.

The next article, Batsi Chij: The "True Sheep" of Chiapas, is another culturally fascinating article which highlights the sacred, double-coated churra sheep (only used for their fiber, not consumption) of Chiapas.  It was very interesting to read of the Tzotzil Maya Shepherdesses and their keeping of these 16th century sheep.  The video of the native woman spinning churra with a spindle and a gourd bowl, while her sister is carding the wool,  is incredibly interesting!  There's also a video of a woman backstrap weaving to make a traditional thick fabric that is later fulled and felted.

If you are interested in trying out spindles for drop-spinning, the article, Spindle Love, will definitely catch your interest.  It's the story of one spinner learning to use drop spindles and includes a pattern for a lace cowl!

In another article, 12,000 Spindles and Counting, Tom Forrester and his love of creating beautiful spindles is highlighted.  Tom creates signature spindles that are aerodynamic.  His love of physics, design, and woodworking has lead him to create some of the most sought-after spindles.  This article is fascinating and the photos of his work are beautiful.  Included is a slide-show of his spindles and a video of how Tom creates his spindles, step-by-step.

In the Wool, Worldwide section, you'll learn all about the Bond Sheep and Corriedale-Bond Mix sheep owned by Joanna Gleason of Gleason Woolies.  I had no idea the sheep wore coats to protect their fibers.  I adored the video in which Joanna showed how to part the wool and explained the crimp and staple.  The article goes on to explain that all Bond Sheep in the US can be traced back to Joanna's original 4 sheep!  A fascinating look at breeding, shearing, and history of the breed, this article will leave you wanting to learn more about the various breeds out there.  Psst - there's a pattern included in this section as well - the Bond Bon-Bon Bowler.

Not to be outdone by the Bond Sheep, the North Ronaldsay Sheep make an appearance in the article, North Ronaldsay Sheep, Rare and Hardy.  This article is a comprehensive look at the history of this primitive breed, the fiber it produces, and the uses for the fiber.  The article even talks about the sheep's diet (seaweed!).

To round out this eMag, there is a section devoted to Spinning to Knit!  Jacey Boggs demonstrates how to spin a tail spun yarn (a form of corespinning)!  And of course there is a pattern for TailSpun Mittens included!   Also included in this section is a pattern for handspun socks, Pilaster Socks (toe-up, cabled socks).

So if you're a spinner or just interested in the history and culture surrounding fibers, pick up a copy of SpinKnit, Fall 2011 eMag from Interweave.  You won't be disappointed! :)

Disclosure: Interweave Press sent KnitPurlGurl a copy of SpinKnits, Fall 2011 FREE for review.   KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the above blog post.  All opinions in the above blog post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Interweave Press.


1 comment:

  1. I'll have to have a look, this magazine sounds really good. We sheared a North Ronaldsay ram the other week, he had patches round his eyes so he looked like he was wearing glasses!


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