Spring is a time of change and renewal, and as I write in mid-April, change abounds in this season of social distancing and loss. Renewal can be hard to embrace despite trees breaking bud and new lambs exploring green pastures.
A year ago, my vision for the Summer 2020 issue of Spin Off was about the unrelenting continuity that textiles offer (and have offered for a very, very long time). Through war and famine as well as times of abundance and leisure, people have made, mended, and remade textiles. In cloth of the past, however ancient or recent, we can find creativity, skill, and intention.
Spring of 2020 was a time of change, but I look to summer for the reminders of what endures. Whether you sit down to spin at a wheel, e-spinner, or favorite support spindle, I hope that you find comfort in your connection to the long thread of handspinners that stretches as far back as it does into the future. Yard by yard, we move forward.
In this Handspun Histories Issue, you’ll meet handspinners connecting or reconnecting to the makers, animals, and tools that came before us. Heavenly Bresser shares her utter joy at chancing upon an antique spinning wheel in need of nurture. Jane Woodhouse goes back to her spinning roots with Karakul wool. And follow Louie García’s incredible re-creation of ancient cloth and lost textile techniques. The authors in this issue, each in a personal way, share pieces of their own handspun histories. I hope their stories bring you a sense of continuity, community, and joy.
Wishing you peace and perfectly filled bobbins,