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PLY Magazine - What is in each issue

 Ply is a magazine primarily for spinners and those who use hand spun yarn. 

Single copies are posted at a cost of  $5 postage charge. If you are wanting multiple magazines then postage is $13.00

SOLD OUT issues, no longer available in print format are: First(1), Silk(4), Twist(5), Worsted(7), The Basics(20), Sock(23)

Electric Issue 33 Summer 2021

Yes, that’s right, the summer issue is filled with tools that go vroom vroom, buzz buzz, or even purr quietly. So of course it covers the one so many of us have and enjoy – the electric spinning wheel, but it also talks about carders, winders, dyeing, and drones. It includes blending, spinning, plying, consistency, planning, traveling, and stories that will inspire and delight. There’s history, evolution, and a spinner who sells everything to set out as a spinning nomad. Then it more loosely interprets electric and talks about conductive fibers, sparkle, and bright colors. Of course, there are amazing projects too.

Double Coated Issue 32 Spring 2021

The Double-coated issue is twice as full and gorgeous as whatever you’re reading now! In fact, it’s so full we had to add extra pages (it comes in at a whopping 136 pages).

From the softest sheep to “carpet sheep,” from Norway to Arabia, from woolen to worsted, from North Ronaldsay to Kihnu and Hungary to Soay, this issue travels around the world and is filled with sheep you’re going to want to snuggle and spin.

It includes everything you’ve ever wanted to know about primitive and double-coated sheep, including separating, not separating, prepping, dyeing, spinning, plying, knitting, history, folklore, and more gorgeous images than you can shake a stick at. You’ll want this issue. P.S. It’s also got Nancy Bush. ’Nuff said.

Warmth Issue 31 Winter 2021

This issue is full of everything: it’s got smart, informative articles that run the gamut from dyeing (with Sasha Duerr) to how to spin the warmest worsted yarn possible, from what the warmest sheep breeds are to how to spin a very fine woolen yarn.

It’s got colorwork convertible mittens as well as a brioche hat from Nell Ziroli, and Maggie Casey and Judy Steinkoenig team up to make the warmest yarn and the warmest woven scarf. Judith MacKenzie writes “Notes from a cold country,” 6 of our favorite spinners tell you about the warmest yarn they can make, and we take socks that were once warm and make them warm again.

You’ll read about things that warm a heart and community, such as fibersheds, community art, and Shetland’s traditional pile blankets, and a piece about one of the warmest women in the community.

Of course, there’s more, too! It's time to get toasty, ya'll!

The Basics Issue 30 Autumn 2020 SOLD OUT, digital only

  • Do you ever feel like you don’t know all the little things in spinning that you should  know?
  • Have you ever been trying to join a new piece of fiber and instead you get a bump, wisp, or fiber that drifts apart?
  • Ever been plying and have a strand of your 2-, 3-, 4-, cable-, or chainply break?

The Basics issue can help with that and so much more. It’s anything but basic! Since all of us learn about spinning in vastly different ways, in various places, and at different times, we’ve all got knowledge gaps. This issue strives to rectify that, informing newer spinners while exciting those who have been adding twist to fiber for some time – from what you should have in your spinning toolkit to why staple length matters to different types of joins to what to do if a strand breaks while plying (2-ply, cables, chain plied, etc). We cover balance and measuring your yarns as well as color, treadling, and the difference between woolen and worsted. Plus, there are some fantastic projects you’ll want to knit over and over, in all the yarn sizes! This is an issue to keep and refer back to again and again.

Supported Spindle Issue 29 Summer 2020

  • Have you ever wondered when you should use a supported and when you should use a suspended spindle?
  • Do you want to spin on a supported spindle but aren’t sure where or how to start?
  • Do you want to know how to spin everything from cobweb to upcycled to eyelash yarn on a supported spindle?

Supported Spindle Issue 29 Summer 2020

  • Have you ever wondered when you should use a supported and when you should use a suspended spindle?
  • Do you want to spin on a supported spindle but aren’t sure where or how to start?
  • Do you want to know how to spin everything from cobweb to upcycled to eyelash yarn on a supported spindle?

This issue has the answers to all of these question plus so much more. It’s for the beginner and seasoned supported spindle lover alike. It covers the best fibers and preps to use from qiviut to cassette tape; how your whorl affects your spin; and how to get the longest lasting and/or the fastest twirl. It’ll have you spinning thin thin thin and spinning puffed yarn, silk eyelash yarn, and yarn out of upcycled materials. Important basics are covered such as how to wind a stable cop, how to spin without hurting your body, and how to flick with the best of them. With special features on the rich history and culture of supported spindle spinning (including how they’re still incorporated in daily life around the world), this issue spans the globe. Including a brand new layout artist/designer and illustrator, don’t miss this gorgeous and diverse issue of PLY Magazine.

Issue 28 - Fur

The Fur issue is all about those sumptuously soft, heavenly haloed fibers that tempt and (sometimes) torment spinners.

  • Do you have trouble working with short, slick fibers?
  • Does the idea of prepping, blending, spinning, or dyeing angora thrill and intimidate you?
  • Have you ever wanted to (or been asked to) spin the fiber of a beloved pet?
  • Are you interested in spinning something so soft it almost feels like it’s not there?

This issue can help. From fiber prep to dyeing to blending to spinning, fur is the focus. A great many knowledgeable spinners came together in this issue to inform and inspire. Whether they focused on cat, dog, possum, chinchilla, wolf, rabbit, or even sea otter, these fibers are gathered, handled, processed, and spun with thoughtfulness, care, and often love. We will always love wool, but there’s something special about fur.

ISSUE 27 - Prep

Have you ever wondered what fiber preparation was best for the yarn you want to spin? Do you struggle with getting the fiber prep you want from handcards, drumcarders,  or combs? Want to know 12 ways to save a sticky or slightly felted hand-dyed braid of fiber?

Whether you are a technical spinner or an intuitive one, this issue will help you plan the perfect prep for the yarn you want or spin the best yarn from the prep you already have. It’s full of fantastic spinning and prepping advice and lots and lots of gorgeous tools. Roy Clemes gives away all his secrets for drumcarding  while Emily Wohlscheid and Gigi Matthews work with texture, fine and bold. Jackie Ottino gets gorgeous natural color for Bren Boone to spin up into a near-perfect yarn while Jill Duarte discusses color by blending and then spins stable singles. Both of those yarns are showcased in some of the most gorgeous projects PLY has ever had: The Diamonds Cowl by Tanis Gray and the Kaleidoscope Cardi by Amy Christoffers. And that’s not all! There’s wise words from Stephenie Gaustad (plus a profile of that giant of spinning); galleries featuring different fiber preparations; secrets for dizzing; prepping your wheel;  saving a braid; and saving a sheep on the edge — Shetland! It’s a pretty wonderful issue, don’t miss it.

ISSUE 26 - Cloth

Have you ever struggled with how fiber choice affects the cloth you want to create? Does your yarn transform into the cloth you imagine, be it warm, drape-y, strong, lustrous, ethereal, or smooth?  Do you wonder what fabric type is best for the yarns you create?

This issue can help address all those questions and more. It’s full of sound spinning advice and lots and lots of beauty. Let the words of Judith MacKenzie, Stephenie Gaustad, and Sarah Swett inspire you while Michelle Boyd, Beth Smith, Jillian Moreno, and James Perry (plus more) get serious with how to spin for the cloth you want. You’ll read about why your cloth might turn out too heavy, how color changes in different cloth types, and how fiber, prep, and twist impact your final cloth. Plus there are amazing designs by Susan Pandorf, Cal Patch, Susan Fricks, and Jennifer Lackey.

ISSUE 25 - Suspended Spindle

Are you new to suspended spindles and want to know how to…do everything?

Do you want to wind beautiful fancy cops and make center-pull balls?

Do you want to learn all about spindle dynamics and what works best for producing different yarns?

This issue is entirely devoted to those spindles that are suspended in midair as if my magic (or magical yarn). No supported spindles here – all suspended spindles. The issue has the basics, of course – what a suspended spindle is, the parts of it, and a step-by-step tutorial on how to use one. But there is more to know, deeper to dig. We go into how they work and why; how to pick a first spindle; how to spin woolen and worsted; different ways to ply (including ply on the fly); and so much more! We give you a roster of different types of suspended spindles through the ages; the best woods for spindles; how to fix spindle ouchies; and how to wind the prettiest cops around. This is an issue to savor.

ISSUE 24 - Bond Corriedale

So many spinners spend so much of our spinning lives spinning very medium sheep and so we decided to devote an entire issue to two of the most perfect medium sheep we know – Bond and Corriedale.

  • Do you love Corriedale wool but have yet to try Bond? Learn more about why you’ll love both breeds in this issue.
  • Do you want to know more about making the exact yarn you want from medium-ish wool? This issue is all about that wool and all the yarns you can make from it.
  • Does yarn density and grist interest (or confuse) you? Us too, but Patsy helps explain it in a way that makes sense.

Nothing is more glorious than a breed that’s easy to spin and easy to wear, that’s this issue’s focus — Bond and Corriedale. Which really means the whole issue is all about medium sheep: how to work with, prep, spin, and finish these fibers that makes up so much of what spinners spin! Learn about how these two specific breeds came to be, where they diverged, and what that means for your spinning. Corriedale has long been one of spinners’ favorite breeds for everything from hats to sweaters to socks. It’s affectionately called Corrie and it’s known for being long, soft-enough, and easy to spin. But Bond, Corrie’s sister fiber, has many of the same qualities but boasts a bolder crimp and often a softer hand. Full of spinning knowledge, photography, and projects, this issue will give you so much spinning fodder, you’ll wish you had some Bond or Corrie on hand, and chances are – you do!

ISSUE 23 - Sock SOLD OUT, digital only

Nothing says you’re devoted to the craft of spinning and knitting like socks! This issue covers socks inside and outside, toes to cuffs.

  • Have you wanted to spin socks but you’re not sure where to start?
  • Do you yearn to spin stocks that last and last? Listen to what our sock knitting expert has to say about the perfect sock yarn.
  • Would you like to know which yarn structure holds up the best on your feet?

The Socks issue of PLY is filled with everything you need to know to start (or keep) spinning socks. We talk about the best breeds (and why), the fiber preparation that lends itself most to sock spinning, different drafts, and the best plying methods for socks. If you love spinning socks, let us show you what we found when we compared the most popular sock yarn structures; it might just change your sock spinning forever! We talk about adding nylon, adding mohair, and if you need to do either. Learn about superwash fiber and make your own decision whether or not it’s a good fit for you and your socks. Are you a Turkish spindle lover? We’ve got a gorgeous article all about sock yarn turtles. Obsessed with color? No problem. Get bored spinning for the second sock? We’ve got a solution we think you’ll love. Want a special luxury pair of socks? We’ve got you covered. This issue is chock-full of socks, including a couple of great patterns

Issue 22  - Power

Spinners are powerful people — we make yarn. This issue is all about that power, harnessing that power, increasing that power, and enjoying that power.

  • Do you want to know how to spin faster and more consistently?
  • Do you want to be more mindful about your spinning? Build better spinning habits? Find greater meaning?
  • Have you ever wondered how to move from 4-ounce braids to greater lots of fiber for larger projects?

This issue covers power from lots of different angles and one of them is sure to speak to you. There are articles about speed and production but if you’re not concerned about faster yarn making, there’s also pieces on mindfulness, consistency, habits, learning, spinning with chronic illness or pain, and using your wheel. All of these things add to your power as a hand spinner. There’s also interesting experiments on drafting, fiber prep, yarn construction, and resulting yarn longevity. We even have a showdown between yarn and a robot that you won’t want to miss. Of course there are powerful projects too!

Power can mean so many things — spinning quicker, finer, more consistently, or even more mindfully. This issue is all about becoming a more powerful spinner, whatever that means to you.


Issue 21 - Flyer Led

Flyer-led or Scotch tension, whatever you choose to call it, this issue is all about that wonderful, versatile, infinitely adjustable spinning wheel! If you have one, want one, or just love spinning, this issue has tons to teach!

  • Have you ever wondered how to set up or adjust your wheel for the exact yarn you want regardless of grist or twist amount? This issue will help!
  • Does your brake band or drive band material matter and if so, what’s the best?
  • Are flyer-led wheels good for some fibers and not others? We’ve tested it and we’ll share what we’ve found.

This issue may choose flyer-led wheels as a jumping off point but it’s all about spinning and no matter what type of tool you use, this issue is full of brilliant spinners sharing smart and useful spinning knowledge. Learn the basics of the flyer-led system and then delve deeper into ergonomics, single treadle or double, different fibers, different diameters, and some great spinning experiments. There are wonderful summer projects and 2 new features: Sheep on the Edge and Person of Interest, both are worth your time! Enjoy this fantastic read and then get spinning!


Issue 20 Flax

The spring issue is all about flax. And Linen. And spinning. And people. And the world. It’s an issue filled with so much knowledge and so many personalities that it almost didn’t fit in the 112 pages we had for it.

Have you been intimidated by this mysterious yet humble fiber? This issue can help, starting with the language, processing, preparation, and the simplest way to begin.

Are you unsure of how much twist linen yarn wants and needs? This issue explores that very issue, for singles and plied yarns.

Are you ready for some more advanced techniques? Different preparation, finishing, bleaching? This issue has that too.

We tried to cover it all, from basic to beyond. Whether you’re a veteran flax spinner or somebody that’s not sure where flax ends and linen begins, this stunning issue is made for you. Covering history, lingo, growing, processing, spinning, plying, and finishing plus when and how to dye, why you might want to bleach your linen, how to spin it wet, dry, and on a spindle, and exactly how much twist it really needs, this issue is chock full of spinning stuff! There are also 3 fun and accessible projects in 3 different fiber arts.

Issue 19 Planning

Planning! The Winter 2017 issue is all about planning and while we know that that spinning by the seat-of-your-pants can be fun and therapeutic, we also know that planning sometimes a plan is needed. This issue is here for you when you need a plan!

  • Do you want to know how to plan for the exact right twist angle, the just right amount of yarn, the perfect project.
  • Do you struggle with spinning math or inspiration?
  • Do you like lists? We got lists for teaching spinning, planning classes, planning fiber studios and nooks, ultimate spinning tool bags, and what you need if you have to bug-out quickly.

This issue covers that gamut when it comes to planning and fiber.  With a range of topics from technical spinning to fiber lifestyle, there’s not just a little for everyone, there’s a lot! As usual, there’s also gorgeous photos and interesting, challenging projects.

Prep it 
Dirt is Heavy: Amy King 
Avoid Disaster: Assembling the Ultimate Spinning Tool Bag: Terri Geurette
Finding Choices Through Control Cards and Samples: Donna Kay  
Spin it 
Spin it: Planning a Gradient Shawl: Christopher Kale
Spin it: Spinning for Traditional Swedish Twined Knitting: Jill Graham
Spin it: Inspired to Spin: Sony Hartley 
Knit/Crochet/Weave it 
How to Use an Unplanned Yarn: a plan: Ashley Martineau
Twined Mittens: Jill Graham
Briarcrest Shawl: Christopher Kale 
Follow the Fiber: From Cordova Alaska Mountainsides to Southern Ontario Spinning Wheel: the wild Alaskan Mountain Goat : Lisa V. Kennedy
Illustration: Abigail Swartz
Coming Soon
World Bazaar 
Teaching: How to Plan a Fiber Class: Jennifer Green
Art in Calculation: Stephenie Gaustad 
Project Yarn Investigation: Planning a Substitute: Patsy Zawistoski
Secrets of a Fibre Whisperer: planning based on fiber and crimp: Michelle Boyd (1650)
What if the Lights Went Out? Laura Halfpenny 
Teaching: Build a Teaching Schedule: Esther Rodgers 
Planning by the Pound: Hannah Merritt Woods
Preparing for A Sheep to Shawl: Carol G. McFadden 
The Way Back: Finding the time for fiber again: Christina Pappas
Building a Fiber Nook: Melany Parrott
Patchwork of Success: Planning a more positive you: Natalie Redding
A Custom Studio Space: Michelle Kaston   


Issue 18 Semi

Semi semi semi! Yarns exist on a spectrum with the most intimidating (and sometimes unattainable) ones at each end – TRUE WOOLEN and TRUE WORSTED. Everything else is in between, and it’s this everything else that the Semi issue is focused on. It’s packed full of information, experimentation, and opinion but very few hard and fast rules (because there are very few of those in spinning).

  • What does it mean to draft against your prep and when and why would you want to do it?
  • How do you spin semi-woolen or a semi-worsted and what, if any, difference does it really make to the yarn.
  • Do semi-yarns wear and tear differently than their true spun sisters?
  • What about fiber type, does it influence where a yarn falls on the spectrum?
  • What are semi-yarns good for, better for, and best for?

Semi yarns are what most spinners spin most of the time, isn’t it time to really understand what semi- means! This issue will illuminate and inspire.

Prep It
Changing your Fiber Orientation: Amy King
A Cloud in your Hand: Stephenie Gaustad
Spin It
Spin it: Peaks Hat: Benjamin Krudwig
Spin it: Semi-Sweet Cowl: Amy King
Semi-Shiny: How spinning from the fold can add luster: Debbie Held
Knit/Crochet/Weave its
Knit it:Peaks Hat: Benjamin Krudwig
Crochet it: Semi-Sweet Cowl: Mary Beth Temple
Semi-weaving: Mary Berry

A Semi-Primer: Beth Smith
When Semi-yarns are the Better Choice: Michelle Boyd
Spinning in the In Between: How prep and draft combine to affect color, grist, yarn, and fabric: Jillian Moreno
Trio of Tunics, a semi-study in wear and drape: Rachel Anne MacGillivray
Semi-supported, Semi-suspended, Semi-Russian: Ekaterina Gorges
The Semi Spectrum Across Plies and Knit Structure: Melanie Duarte
Extreme Semi: When fiber type shines through: Kara Perpelitz
Guilded: We spin for Traditional Colcha Embroidery: Susan Hector
Bazaar World Market
Indie Spinner
Ergo Neo:Variety is the Spice of Spinning: Carson Demers
Hot Button: What does Semi mean? Jillian Moreno, Devon Johnson, and Maggie Casey

Issue 17 Bobbin-Led

Prep It
Michelle Boyd: Prepping on point (preparing fibres for smooth, speedy drafting on a quill wheel)
Spin It
Maggie Casey: Spinning on a Wheel that Pulls
Liz Honig: Project spinning, Pavonine Shawl
Rachel Smith: Quilled: Learning on a Lendrum
Hannah Merritt Woods: Quilled: Learning on a Hansen
Joan S. Ruane: Spinning Off the Point
 Knit It
Lars Rains: Pavonine Shawl
Amy King: Bobbin-led Break Down
Tove Skolseg: Opportunities: unsung talents of the bobbin-led wheel
Brenda Dunse: Spinning a Variety of Fibers on a Bobbin-led Wheel
Sylvia French: Your Bobbin-led Break Band
Beth Smith: The Bobbin-led Wheel You Didn’t Know You Had
Deborah Robson: Seeking the Source and Meaning of “Irish Tension”
Beth Smith: The Bobbin Winder you didn’t know you had
Jessica Cook: Bobbin-led Wheel Makers Profiled
Jonathan Bosworth: History and Evolution of the Spindle-Wheel
Jonathan Bosworth: Zen Spin
Stephenie Gaustad: The Point: The driven spindle
Natalie Redding: Deconstructing the Mystery Fleece
Jessica F. Dunlap Guilded: Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild
Tip Jar
SCENE Bonus: PLYAway 2 Roundup

Issue 16  DOWN (-like)  is all about down (non wool sheep) Down and down-like breeds are a bit of a dirty word in the handspinning world, but we think it’s time to change that. This issue will convince handspinners everywhere that these sheep are for more than meat – they can make darn good yarn!


Don’t know what a Down is? Deb Robson will change that right away and then other fantastic spinners will tell you how Downs differ when it comes to spinning, processing, and dyeing

Wonder if there’s any difference between the 6 main down breeds? There is and this issue will talk about each one and what you might want to do with it. It’ll also tell you about down-like breeds and what to do with them.

Think Down and down-like breeds aren’t good for projects? Just wait, this issue has 3 projects (knit and crochet) you’ll want to work up right away!


What makes a Down a Down: Robeson, Deb
Washing Downs: Perry, James
Dyeing Downs: Redding, Natalie
Ensphere: Bland, Debbie
Wayfarer’s Tunic: Mcfadden, Carol
How to spin a Down sock:  Boyd, Michelle
Lorikeet Cardi : Adair, Jennifer
Battle of the Dorsets: Reynoso, Alex
Down with the Felt Resistance: Pacuska, Alison
Why spindles stop: Garripoli, Amelia
American Down-like Conservatory Breeds: Johnson, Devon
Sock experiment: Smith, Rachel
Take a chance, spin a down: Donna, Kay
3 ways to spin carded fiber (spin it): Smith, Beth
Oxford breed study: Becker, Lisa
Clun forest breed study: Roberts, Dunja
Hot Button: spinning downs worsted?
Ergo Neo: Demers, Carson


     Lorikeet Cardi: Patch, Cal  (crochet)
    Ensphere Cowl Hood: Bland, Debbie  (knitting)
    Wayfarer’s Tunic : McFaddon, Carol  (knitting)
    Tunis socks: Lagerman, Phyll  (knitting)


        Issue 15 PLYING

        is full of some voices you know and trust as well as a few new ones it was a pleasure to work with.


        Beth Smith starts the issue by breaking it down as if you’ve never plied before.
        Michelle Boyd,  demystifying plying math by looking at, investigating, and testing all the popular plying formulas.
         Stephenie Gaustad and Kara Perpelitz talk about stretch and elasticity with regard to plying.
        Mary Berry and Gwen Powell discuss different plying structures
        Esther Rodgers looks into what happens when you combine different types of singles with different ply structures.
        Patsy Zawistowski goes on the lam with her illegal plying,
        Kim McKenna introduces a way to ply I’ve never seen.
        Carson Demers weighs in to keep your body running smoothly in Ergo Neo, and SCENE and Tips are informative as well.

          Projects. One crochet (Shibaguyz Designz) and one is knit (Carol McFadden). One Weaving piece by Beth Smith to inspire you. You are going to want to work up these projects, I just know it! 

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