I rarely do book/magazine reviews on the blog, but that’s about to change! Based on a tip from Jennifer Beamer of Expertly Dyed, and a Craftsy class on Spinning with Jacey Boggs, I ordered the back issues of PLY Magazine about a month ago. Now, it has taken me some time to get to stop spinning and knitting long enough to read several issues, but I’ve had the pleasure of reading three issues now and WHOA, this is such a great resource! I hope other spinners know about it (you probably already do and, if so, are making a funny face at me right now!)
I’m a big supporter of indie magazines (I subscribe to Taproot as well–another terrific magazine, this one with NO ads! And sometimes fiber/knitting related content too). Ply is no exception to this rule: it’s definitely an indie production supported by the spinning community (first via Kickstarter and now via subscription); the minimal adverts are well chosen and actually, quite helpful.
So far, I’ve read the First issue, the Color issue, and the Twist issue . . . yep, the issues have been themed so far; a trend in indie mags, methinks, and a helpful one at that. I’ve learned about the ways that archaeologists use twist to trace cultural movement, found terrific advice on ways to use a drum carder for blending, and read about breeds such as American Jacob. It’s the kind of magazine I have always wanted to find relating to fiber: not a lot of fuss, but a ton of information and in-depth articles written by folks who know their stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I also love Spin-Off Magazine, but PLY is different. It’s as if the editors peered into my breed-specific-obsessed, newbie-but-hungry-to-learn, sometimes-technically-invested brain and then printed issues that spoke to my questions and interests.
So. Much. Information.
I will admit that the design of the first issues is, well, indie. The 5 person team seems to have learned a lot about design as the issues progress. And I for one am more than willing to put up with a bit of funny document design when the information is top-notch. Don’t judge this magazine by its early, inner design. After my week away in NY without my spinning wheel, reading only these magazines for fiber comfort, I came home totally psyched to try some new things and experiment with color.
I also ordered an official subscription because, as it turns out, I can’t imagine missing a single issue. Thus ends this gushing promo for a magazine with which I have no affiliation 🙂