Library news and reviews

New issues of four magazines have recently arrived in our library, and Liz has written reviews of them all. A review of anything in the library would always be welcome for this blog – if there’s a book or magazine you’d like to tell other members about, Mary would like to hear from you!

Spin-off Fall 2015, Ply autumn 2015, Yarnmaker # 24 autumn 2015, Handwoven Nov/Dec 2015.

plycoverSpOcoverTextured yarn, designer yarn, art yarn. Are they the same thing? Read Ply Autumn 2015 or Spin-off Fall 2015 to find out, or to get inspired to create some of these interesting yarns yourself. Have you a hankering to spin with wire, feathers or other unusual inclusions? Either magazine will have something for you. Ply has the entire magazine devoted to different styles of designer yarns and the techniques of producing them. Spin-off has the more varied content and the articles on textured yarn concentrate on plying techniques to produce texture or optical effects. Ply offers patterns where heavily textured yarn can be used to create garments to show off the yarns to their best effect whereas Spin-off does not.

Spinners living in a disorganised household may be amused by a spinner describing his latest art yarn creation (in Ply) which includes cracker crumbs, candy wrappers, Lego, cat hairs, dust, and Dottie the hamster. So use these magazines as a starting point for creating your own art yarns but be kind to animals, no small pets as inclusions please.

YMcoverframeYarnMaker can sometimes seem rather “bitty” because of the many varied accounts of events, reviews, and local activities. The Autumn 2015 issue, however, has a couple of intriguing articles about making beautiful garments from dyeing experiments. Two longer articles are about fleece. One is about a “tour de fleece” – an event modelled on the Tour de France, where a group of spinners spent eight days touring Britain looking at the breeds and spinning their fleece. The other is a second part of the story of Haunui wool (from the South Island of New Zealand, not from outside Martinborough). There is a small article about a British spinning wheel website inspired by the one our own Mary Knox has created about New Zealand wheels, but Mary’s article about woolly things in the Wairarapa will be in the next issue. Watch this space.

HWcoverNow one for the weavers. Handwoven #177 features a number of weaving projects ranging from a simple rag rug to complex eight shaft shadow weaves. If you don’t know what an eight shaft shadow weave looks like, inspect the Lord of the Rings cloak upstairs at the Wool Shed. It is a good example. However, the article that really took my eye was a scarf woven on a simple rigid heddle loom. To produce this article on a conventional multishaft loom the weaver would have needed at least 30 shafts. But here was a complex design woven on the most basic equipment. Come to think of it, ancient Chinese brocades were also woven on simple two shaft looms. How about members who have knitter’s looms or similar having a go to see what they can come up with!

Thanks Liz! Our library is a wonderful resource.

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