2014-10-10 13.27.09

PLY MAGAZINE: a Rave and a review

I have been following PLY magazine on FB for a while now and been drooling over their issues as they came out. Sadly it is not in my budget to subscribe to it at this point.

Somehow I got talking to talking to Jacey Boggs Faulkner, Editor in Chief of the magazine and wonderful person all round. Anyway, she was sweet enough to comp me an issue (or was it really evil???? Because now I am obsessed with saving up for a subscription) for review.

Well. The Community issue arrived here just a few days ago. OH BOY. What can I say?

How about ITSABSOLUTELYAWESOMEANDILOVEIT! Seriously, this magazine is amazing. SO MUCH INFO! The ads in it are decent and do not distract you from the experience,  like in so many other magazines these days.

I rather love the idea of a magazine gathering it’s content around a theme, rather than just the seasons for once. There is so much to sink your teeth into with a theme. So many variants to explore!

The Fall issue is all about community. Let me just cite you some of the articles in it: Communities through time and art (my favourite one!), Shetland Sheep & Wool: A crossover of communities, Ravelers spin together. See what I mean it’s all about community?

2014-10-10 13.18.51

The other amazing thing are the patterns in the magazine. They are beautiful and wearable. The patterns consist of a SPIN IT section (the designer explains about how she spun the yarn for the project, gives you the specs of the wool and the finished yarn you will be aiming for and general encouragement to go try it for yourself). Then there is the pattern itself, as we are used to them in other knitting/spinning magazines. I find PLY’s patterns clearly written and very detailed. I love that it’s not all squished together. The patterns have room and are nicely formatted. It’s very easy to follow them and not lose your place. The patterns in this magazine are for a really really cute cardigan, a fun hat and a shawl. There is something for everyone! If you want a big, sink your teeth into project, or just something little and quick for that bit of fluff, you just could not say no to at the fibre fair.2014-10-10 13.19.41 2014-10-10 13.20.03

Ads.. well, it is a magazine and it does have to make money. There are ads. HOWEVER, they are decently placed on the edges of the articles. You do not have to flip through pages and pages in a row. I really DO appreciate that! I hope that won’t change.

The magazine is 104 pages of INFO, ENCOURAGEMENT and FIBRE. It’s a catalog lol I am smitten!

2014-10-10 13.19.12

When you get this magazine (see how I said WHEN? Because I URGE YOU to go subscribe to it), go make yourself a nice cup of tea, or coffee, or chocolate (or grab a glass of wine) and make yourself comfortable. This is a READ not a brows and look at pictures magazine. Although the photos in PLY magazine are really wonderful shots and some are supplied by the readers themselves. There are frequent shout outs and requests on the PLY FB page for photos of sheep or diverse other things. I love this level of inclusion of the readers. I find it wonderful to see a community come together and create something so inspiring.

Of course the big part of the work is done by the editors and photographers. To them I would like to extend a big THANK YOU! and Please continue the hard work you have put in so far. It is amazing and wonderful and worth every penny!

Want to subscribe now, or contribute to the magazine? Here you go!

Salvaged

2014-09-13 08.13.11 How do you like my new pullover?

I am not sure if you know. I certainly haven’t really made it a secret… I am on a budget. A  TIGHT budget. So my clothes usually come from the thrift shop, yard sales, or free piles (which are plenty around our city).

I am not ashamed of it, if I can use something and keep it out of the landfill, I think I have done my job. I firmly believe we do not own the land, but are mere caretakers and as such should do what ever we can, when ever we can, no matter how small we think the gesture is.

My husband found the LL Bean, 100% Merino pullover in a free pile the other day. He brought it home, we washed it and then I noticed a little tear in the right sleeve cuff. No doubt, this was the reason it got tossed out in the first place.

2014-09-12 20.53.07

Well. It’s 100% Merino and the colour is amazing, so a little tear is not going to keep me from using it. I was thinking about how to fix it. Maybe a pretty ribbon? I don’t have any handy. OH!!!! YES! Some handmade lace! Why not? I have amazing gray coloured yarn that would look great with it.

A few blanket-stitches, so I have something to anchor the lace to and it also hold the cuff turned under, so the tear is not going to be seen. Then the fun part: deciding what lace to use.

2014-09-12 20.53.29

I opted for crochet this time around. There are so many beautiful edgings out there. Just do a search on pintrest and you will be busy for hours.

I finally narrowed it down and went for it. 20 minutes after making up my mind, I had a brand new sweater. One of a kind now, that I personalized it.

2014-09-12 22.17.21

:) I am happy about my new sweater and that one more piece is staying out of landfills for a little while longer. (don’t worry, when it gets to a point where one can’t fix it any more, I use it as a cleaning rag until there is literally nothing left lol)

2014-09-13 08.00.01

There has been knitting going on.

10616025_960918077336981_4494295686773284988_n 10687168_960918100670312_3162661821748524367_n

Remember the little arm guards I made last time it was cold?

I finally made the inserts to go with them! Phew! lol They still need to be blocked, but here they are, with and without the arm guards.

Pattern will be ready soon.

Off I go again. TONS more to knit! :)

Review: The Spinner’s Book of Fleece: A Breed-by-Breed Guide to Choosing and Spinning the Perfect Fiber for Every Purpose

The Spinner's Book of Fleece: A Breed-by-Breed Guide to Choosing and Spinning the Perfect Fiber for Every Purpose
The Spinner’s Book of Fleece: A Breed-by-Breed Guide to Choosing and Spinning the Perfect Fiber for Every Purpose by Beth Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book about a week ago from the publisher for review.
I have not put it down since!

I don’t know how I could live without this book for so long!

What a wonderful resource!!!

This book will NOT teach you how to spin. It will teach you how to spin a yarn that suits the fibre you have! We(well I anyway) think about our projects and what the end result will be and then go from there. I have not ever started with the fibre. This book has toppled my spinning habit on it’s head! I cannot wait to go and find some of the breeds Mrs. Smith is talking about in her wonderful book and spin them into the perfect yarn for the perfect project!
I have always loved to knit with my home spun yarn, but this will make the whole experience even more rewarding, I think. To know the best way to show off any fibre’s strong points and really make it work for you and the project.

Mrs. Smith also gives a bit of a background on the sheep breeds, she discusses in the book. Couple this book with The Field Guide To Fleece and you are pretty much set for any fibre market, or breed auction you could imagine! I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY OUT SOME OF THE TIPS she gives for choosing your fleece at an auction, or a fibre festival! :)
I feel so much more confident to go and buy a fleece instead of processed fibre. I feel armed and ready!

But wait! There is more!
The book also teaches you how to identify the random bits in your stash, to which you lost all notes and labels. (yes, I have those too!! LOTS of those!)
So much information about the breeds and how to keep your head on straight when going to fibre shows and how to pick fleeces, or more processed fiber.

I honestly believe this book is a necessity in every spinners library. No matter if you are a beginner, or an expert. We all can use a refresher course from time to time and a little place to look things up. We can’t keep EVERYTHING in our heads, all the time.

Thank you, for such a wonderful resource book! I know I will recommend it to all my fibre friends.

The information is well written and easily understood and put in, are o practice. I find it always so important that even books like this one, for plain information are written well and in an engaging manner. This is absolutely the case for Beth Smith. She knows what she is talking about and gets it across in a way that doesn’t make you fall asleep three pages in.

I feel so much more confident in picking my next fleece and processing it myself to really show it off to it’s best.

View all my reviews

Forest canopy shawl

forest canopy shawl mosaik

A new pattern is about to be tested and come out soon.  Just in time for holiday  knitting. It’s a very fast knit, so you should have plenty of time to make it as a present. I will let you know when it becomes available!