Spinning Improvement

As you know, dear reader, I decided to take up the ancient art of spindling last July, and in October, I joined the ranks of wheel spinners. In the year (almost) that I have been spinning, I have made a lot of progress.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not anywhere near being a master spinner. I probably will never be close to being a master spinner. I’m just not interested in all the really technical stuff. The only thing I really care about is being able to produce yarn that I like. I still have a lot to learn, but I think I have reached the point where I produce singles that are consistent in both size and twist.

My default singles are quite fine, so fine that when I ply two of them together, I get a lace-weight yarn, and when I ply three of them together, I get a fingering-weight yarn. And four of them plied together results in a nice sport-weight yarn. My singles have become a lot more consistent, with much less variation in the thickness and amount of twist, and my plying has improved to the point that my finished skeins are virtually always nicely balanced. I’ve come a long way from my first attempts at making yarn.

Do you remember my very first yarn? I spun this from a sample that came with a “toy wheel” spindle that I bought to get started.

My very first yarn, a Shetland/mohair blend spun and plied on a spindle.

My very first yarn, a Shetland/mohair blend was spun and plied on a spindle.

There’s a lot of thick and thin, and some parts are over-spun, but all in all, it’s a pretty darned good first effort.

My second yarn, which was spun and plied on a Knit Picks Turkish spindle, also has a lot of variation in the thickness.

My second yarn, Wool of the Andes spun on a Turkish spindle.

My second yarn, Wool of the Andes,was spun on a Turkish spindle.

When I first finished this yarn, I was horrified by how inconsistent it looked. But looking at it now, I see a gorgeous art yarn that I probably couldn’t replicate no matter how hard I tried.

I will probably keep these two skeins forever. I love them too much to ever part with them or knit them up.

My first two skeins of handspun yarn.

My first two skeins of handspun yarn

My spinning has advanced a lot since these first attempts. I recently finished what I consider to be my very best yarn to date. The fiber is Wool of the Andes Roving from Knit Picks (which isn’t roving at all but, rather, combed top) that I spun and plied on my Ladybug.

Two lovely skeins of handspun yarn

Two lovely skeins of handspun yarn

This is my most consistent yarn yet. The singles have very little variation, and the plying is very consistent.

Beautifully consistent and balanced.

Beautifully consistent and balanced

It’s a lovely fingering-weight 3-ply yarn that I’m itching to knit up into something.

A fine 3-ply yarn

A fine 3-ply yarn

It’s hard to believe that these two skeins of yarn were spun from the same type and preparation of fiber but the same spinner.

My best and my first

My best and my first

What a difference a year makes.

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I’ve come a long way as a spinner in just one year.

It’s time to try some new fibers and techniques and to add some new skills. Here we go!

8 thoughts on “Spinning Improvement

    • Thanks. I’m afraid I’ve become pretty one-dimensional in my spinning, which is fine because for the most part, I’m interested in spinning yarn for socks, sweaters, cowls, and shawls, and my default yarn is perfect for that. But I really want to expand my spinning horizons now that I’m comfortable with my default production.

  1. I just started spinning about a month ago on a Kromski Polonaise wheel. My first skein turned out thick and thin like yours, but your more recent efforts give me hope. Tomorrow I will try to Kool Aid dye my second and third skeins.

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