Ply Magazine

There’s a lifetime of spinning in Leicester. Our Spring 2015 issue focuses on the 3 main Leicester wools: Bluefaced, Border, and Longwool. Brimming with history, fiber studies, breed comparisons, spinning techniques, finishing tactics, and some fabulous projects, this issue will leave you satisfied and eager to sit and spin. If you want to tailspin a yarn that looks like it’s still on the sheep or spin some Longwool for weaving, we’ve got you covered. If you’ve wondered how the 3 breeds stack up next to each other or how to finish this amazing fiber, this issue can help. If you’d like to spin Leicester for softness or to know if you should use BFL or Merino, you’ll find help on our pages. Also, a “who’s that spinner?” that should be called “who’s that shepherd?” and a closer look at our 3 fibers under a scope. Of course Lazy Kate is there to make you laugh and Ergo Neo will help keep you pain -free.


A narrator is a much stranger toy at the novelist’s disposal than is usually thought. It’s not just something as depressingly ordinary as a character—more a vast system of smuggling. And there’s one kind of narrative voice or tone in particular that offers a way to explore that difficult relationship at the hidden center of every art form: the one between writer and reader (or spectator). Although this tone seems to exist most easily in novels, it isn’t only to be found there—it appears wherever anyone tries to figure out what a monologue might mean, or how to talk to a you. It is garrulous, self-aware, hyper, charming, and occurs internationally, but what makes the voice a form is this: Narrators of the kind I mean are adepts of a confessional mode that’s actually designed to exonerate them completely. What could be more dangerous than someone convinced of his own goodness, his own innocence? Someone who believes that what he feels is far more important than what he actually does.

What I like about this sort of voice is that it takes in both the high aesthetic and the dirty political. And in fact perhaps the only route to the dirty political is through the high aesthetic, and vice versa—or at least that’s what this voice makes you think. I have no idea what name to give this voice I’m talking about. It seems to me an as yet undescribed category. So let’s call it something oxymoronic and impossible. Let’s call it the Innocent/Corrupt.

Swimsuit, “Chandra.” Live at PJ’s Lager House (Detroit, Michigan – June 1, 2012)

From George W. Bush, Decision Points. Chapter “Freedom Agenda,” p. 433:

Putin and I both loved physical fitness. Vladimir worked out hard, swam regularly, and practiced judo. We were both competitive people. On his visit to Camp David, I introduced Putin to our Scottish terrier, Barney. He wasn’t very impressed. On my next trip to Russia, Vladimir asked if I wanted to meet his dog, Koni. Sure, I said. As we walked along the birch-lined grounds of his dacha, a big black Labrador came charging across the lawn. With a twinkle in his eye, Vladimir said, “Bigger, stronger, and faster than Barney.” I later told the story to my friend, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada. “You’re lucky he only showed you his dog.”

Cover by Peter Saville, 1980

Jerome Leibling. Brighton Beach, 1995.

Orphan Annie ‘Ritz Cracker’ sweater, 1971.

Havana 1950. Coat and dress by Tina Leser. Model Jean Patchett.

John Huston and Orson Welles, during the filming of the unfinished The Other Side of the Wind. Ph: Mike Ferris.

Mary Frey, Catcher, 2014. Stoneware, underglaze, carbon fiber, 5 × 5 × 4.5 in.