All my life, I have seized any opportunity to pack a bag and head out into the world. The thrill of learning and challenging my perspectives never fades. When I connected with the Spin Off community in the early 2000s, I was amazed to meet so many like-minded fiber fellows. Spinners are often deeply curious about flora and fauna, traditions and cultures, creativity and technique. For more than four decades, Spin Off has allowed us to explore the confluence of all these things, and I am grateful.
As I write to you about the Woolly Wanderlust Issue, I am on a plane, peering down at the Rocky Mountains. My own woolly wanderlust carries me from coast to coast each year as I visit spinning retreats, guilds, and conferences. Forever a textile magpie, I gather yarn, bits of cloth, and (of course) spinning fibers as I move through the world. Creating yarns and fabrics that combine these things is my favorite way to create meaningful work.
The fibers on the cover of this issue are all connected to my journeys and the spinners I met along the way: luscious Vijay Fibers red eri silk I purchased from Red Stone Glen Fiberarts Center in Pennsylvania, Polwarth top dyed the perfect orange from Neighborhood Fiber Co. in Maryland, and vibrant handpainted top from Interlacements in Michigan. Deciding what to make is the next journey!
In our annual travel issue, you can learn about Amanda Hannaford’s adventure in Tibet, meet the rare sheep at Colonial Williamsburg with Amy Ross Manko, and explore pastures near and far with Deborah Robson. (And she’ll tell you why you should scrub your shoes, too!) Grab your handcards and explore Donegal-style tweed with Melissa Weaver Dunning, and see how to spin flax distaff-free with Tom Knisely.
Where will your spinning travels take you next? —Kate
Featured Image: Spin Off Summer 2019 features the Traveler’s Secret Pocket Cowl by Rachel Simmons.