Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Spinning Stories

On top of knitting, painting and teaching, there are several other hobbies that I thoroughly enjoy.  One of those things is spinning yarn.  I will admit that I don't spin as much as I knit or create, but my wheel isn't the most portable thing on the planet.

Gifted to me almost two years ago, this vintage handmade wheel was passed on to my by a lady in my knitting group who had received it from someone else.  Apparently it's had three or four different owners.  Given than I have never owned a wheel (due to expenses), I felt so honored to be trusted with this gem.

My first skein on the wheel was a bit loosely spun, but still a nice beauty.  This was a 2 ply with blue merino from my stash paired with a bat of orange/blue with sparkle.  I really like the color on this one and for a first try it turned out nice.

Probably my most successful to date is these two skeins of handdyed BFL from my LYS.  I loved how the colors pooled and slowly changed.  It plyed up really nice too.  Something I've learned from wheel spinning is that I definitely prefer BFL - or any animal with a long staple - over Merino. 

This yarn is also the first wheel spun I've knitted into something, for it became one of my favorite shawls - gnarled oysters - which I wear on a weekly basis. 

A nice thing about wheel spinning is that (I believe) it's easier to try out new techniques.  One of those for me was Navajo Plying.  I had never tried it before but the rainbow stripes on this BFL made me want to preserve that.  The result was a yarn that ended up a bit tight and springy, but still very fun. 

This last skein was a total experiment for me.  1-ply is a dyed purple alpaca, which spun up very nice.  The second ply is some matching solid deep purple merino which I held with some sparkle thread throughout.  The end result is a lofty 2-ply yarn that really shines in the light.  I haven't decided what to make with this, but I know I want to make something soon.

This past weekend I pulled out my wheel, oiled her up and started another spinning project.  I'm taking the leftover blue and violet merinos from some of the above skeins and holding them together to create the first ply.  Once all the singles are done I'll likely just ply it back on itself.  It's spinning up really nice, so I hope that I do it justice in the end. 


I hope you enjoyed this journey with me.  Spinning is something I wish I could do more. Are you a spinner? Or maybe some other fiber craft besides knitting?  Share below, I'd love to hear your stories!
Have a fabulous week :)



  1. Look at your spinning! I am jealous as I wish I could spin, but I don't dare as I think I have my hands full with knitting. Seems only fitting that an artist like you would expand your talent to spinning. Enjoy the journey!

    1. Well Andi, you do really nice knitting, so I think it's ok to stick with that. I'm the kind of person who has to constantly expand and try new things or I get bored!

  2. Oh, what gorgeous skeins - each of them is unique! I dream of trying spinning someday, but I am afraid I have too much on my plate already and I just won't be able to devote enough time to learn this wonderful craft!

  3. You should see what some of my friends spin up - even nicer than mine. I will say that I have some even nicer spindle spun skeins.
    Sometimes life is just too crazy to take on any more things, I wonder myself sometimes if I'm in over my head.

  4. Your handspun is so lovely! I'm a huge fan of handspun, but have never tried spinning- I am terrified I'll fall in love and have another hobby,w hen I'm already such a slow knitter!


Even if you are just saying Hello, I always love hearing from you :)