During these winter snowstorms, I always think that I will go though all of my drawers, closets, nooks and multiple crannies, where things get stashed and forgotten. It has been a particularly brutal winter, so it seems like a good time to start. I thought an easy starting place would be my magazines. I would clean up some piles and pass along any that I didn’t need, to fiber friends who might enjoy them.
I started with my Spin Off Magazines. I have stacks of them going back 20 years. Some I hadn’t looked at in those same 20 years; since the day I first read them. This should be easy. Spread out in front of the wood stove. Sit on the floor with the dog and be ruthless. I would just keep the ones that had really good stuff in them: articles with technical information, history and travel. I could dream of places I haven’t been to see fiber I haven’t spun. I didn’t need the beginner articles or the project/pattern heavy issues. We all know we don’t need new projects!
Needless to say, this didn’t go as planned. The first issue I picked up was Summer 2001, which contained “Learn How To Spin Silk with Sara Lamb”. I don’t need a silk refresher so this can go. I should not have opened the cover. Her article was “Spinning Silk for Weaving” and the jackets that were made from the spun and woven silk were amazing. NO! No new projects, especially ones that will take me the rest of my life! This issue can and has to go. Look here though: an article on “Spinning Threads of Freedom:Mahama Gandhi’s Message” by Brinda Gill and a few pages later: “The Chacara of the Ngobe Woman” by Pam De Luco. So…put this issue in the keep pile. That only took 30 minutes. Next up, I randomly picked Spring 2000. Just leafing though it, I noticed a question put to Rita Buchanan about crocheting with handspun. This was very informative and not the answers you normally hear on the subject. She recommended some test swatches and I thought about getting out a crochet hook… and I don’t crochet. I am not going over every article in this issue that kept me reading but just to mention, “Indigo Dyeing:Nigeria Meets New Mexico” by Glenna Dean and “Journeys in the Wild Silk Jungles of India” by Karen Selk; both wonderful and informative. I threw another issue to put on the keep pile.
The afternoon was almost over and I had skimmed over numerous issues. None were in the Give-Away pile. Articles which didn’t interest me 10 or 20 years ago are now what I am looking for. The projects and the beginner information have numerous tips and ideas that I will follow up on. Over time, my focus has shifted and I realized that there is something in these old issues for everyone. Good writing and fascinating subjects make all these issues keepers. Sorry fiber friends, these magazines are staying. They are my library for the future. Who knows what I will be looking for in 20 years, but I bet I will find it in these pages.