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by: Gretchen

Get down to spinning with PLY spring!

PLY spring is the down(-like) edition, and it’s delightful!

Breed studies and beautiful projects abound in [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] . Every issue of PLY provides readers a deep dive into a specific fiber or technique and this season you’ll learn about the wonderful qualities of down and “down-like” breeds, and what makes each fleece distinct. This issue also features articles on washing, dyeing, carding, and spinning down fleeces. So whether you’re knew to these versatile fibers, or an old down hand, there’s so much to enjoy!

 

[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
  [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]

Rainbow dyed Teeswater and Cheviot fleeces by Natalie Redding.

Deborah Robson is the co-author (along with Carol Ekarius) of two of my favorite resources,  The Field Guide to Fleece and The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn as well as the [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] . In her article When is a down really a down?, Deborah provides a great overview and comparison of traditional UK down breeds.

 

The Field Guide to Fleece  The Field Guide to Fleece
The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn  The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn
[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
  [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]

Back on this side of the Atlantic, Devon Johnson offers a great piece on 5 Down-like American Conservation Breeds. I really nerd out about issues of biodiversity, genetic resources, and the need for conservation, so I appreciated Devon shining the spotlight on these conservation breeds: Gulf Coast Native, American Tunis, California Red, Clun Forest, and Dorset Horn. I found the subtle differences between these fibers fascinating, and I’m glad to see attention given to the unique value of heritage and conservation breeds.

For more resources and information about rare breeds, sheep or otherwise, check out the great work of the Livestock Conservancy and Rare Breeds Canada!

One of things I always appreciate in PLY is the meticulous testing and experimentation they do. With scientific precision and fearless creativity, they save their grateful readers hours of trial and error – and occasional tears! This month Rachel Smith takes on A Down Breed Sock Experiment, in which she test drives (or rather, test walks!) socks 2-ply and 3-ply handspun from both Cheviot and Suffolk breeds, and whether you make these socks or not, the lessons she shares are great for helping any spinner understand fiber characteristics as they apply to finished pieces. Grab a copy now and find out which socks held up best!

If you’re in search of some great projects for your handspun downs, PLY proves this fiber is plenty versatile and very beautiful!

I’m in awe of the delicate and well planned color changes in the Lorikeet Cardi by Jennifer Adair. With these techniques you could give even your favorite Noro yarns a run for their money! The process is as compelling as the finished piece, and both are amazing…

Check out Phyll Lagermans’s lovely Tunis Socks. The design really shows off the slight slub of the handspun and both written and charted instructions are clearly presented. Great socks for your favorite DK or fingering weight yarn.

Let the soft natural wool speak for itself in the Ensphere. An elegant, yet unfussy cowl/scarf hybrid by K.M. Bedigan. Cozy up or keep it casual in this long loop accessory. Show off your yarn in versatile and effortless style!

Kick off your spring spinning with the ever-inspiring PLY!

[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]

 

[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
  [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]

Related items of interest: • Spinning Books

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