Did you know

Did you know, that sometimes, when you own a spinning wheel, you can actually go and use it? It’s true. And sometimes that spinning wheel will be kind enough with you that, should you stop spinning half-way through a skein, and neglect it for a few months entirely, the spinning wheel will NOT, actually, clomp its way into your bedroom in the middle of the night and beat the living daylights out of you until you promise to return to spinning with it.

No, it turns out that it will just wait patiently for you while you go on using your leisure time entirely for knitting and nothing at all related to spinning, despite promises of returning to a daily 20-minute spinning session. Spinning wheels are nice like that.



This is a hand-dyed bit of Falkland wool from The Sweet Sheep, purchased back in the fall and which I started spinning up before Christmas. (Named ‘Flintstoned’, yuk yuk yuk). It’s been quite pleasant to spin.

As my first attempt at spinning something multi-coloured, I decided to try the approach of splitting the length of fiber down the middle lengthwise, then spin each half individually starting at the same end, then ply them both together and hopefully end up with something approximating a striped skein of yarn.



And lo and behold, it sort of worked. It’s not perfect by any means, but there are definite sections of colour consistency – pink and blue and orange and purple sections, and the parts that weren’t perfectly matched are still nicely blended in similar tones for the most part. I’ll take it. It’s somewhere around a DK weight I think (104g altogether, not entirely sure of the yardage yet), and my consistency is gradually improving. I’m not quite as even as I would like to be, but I’m also not quite as over-twisted as I was in the beginning, and am cool with showing gradual progress.

The best part? This is how much was leftover after plying:


GO ME. THAT’S RIGHT, BABY. Just a couple of little yards left on one bobbin, the rest completely plied up! I rule.

No idea what this yarn (or any of my handspun for that matter) will become yet. Right now my goal is just to keep on spinning and producing more handspun and see how it goes. I’d like to learn chain-plying at some point, and actually figure out how to integrate more spinning time into my week. Because as it turns out, the spinning does not actually happen when you aren’t looking. Dang it.




And did you know that sometimes, you can actually make yarn? It’s crazy, crazy I tells ya. What they won’t think of next.


  1. Really? Could this be true? I’m not sure I believe you, I’m pretty sure my wheel hates me and just won’t work for me. I’ve neglected it way to much.

  2. Oh, so lovely. You must be so proud of yourself. I wish I could make something so beautiful! I dream of owning a spinning wheel, but cannot afford it now or in the near future. However, I do have a spindle. Do you recommend learning on it? It seems so backward, slow and archaic. Am I looking at this wrong? Should I be practicing like crazy for the day when I can get a wheel? I don’t want to waste my time and money on roving if it won’t help me. I think you’re gonna tell me to get on it, aren’t you? Maybe I just need a kick in the franny!

  3. Nice yarn! I have the same mind-blowing realizations about spinning all the time! Who knew?!

  4. barefootrooster · ·

    oh, glenna, this is GORGEOUS. and i hear you about the wheel. i am having a heck of a time making room for my wheel in my daily/weekly routine right now. but it just sits there, waiting patiently, and does not seem to hold a grudge.

    your spinning is truly lovely. knitting with this will be heaven. seriously.

  5. girlunravelled · ·

    at spinning class last night, we practiced Navajo Plying (chain plying) and OMG, it’s just too much fun! Nice way to keep the color consistent.

    but knitter beware, do not chain ply while wearing rings. there was an epic tangle that had me howling (half in laughter, half in pain).

  6. Val Champ · ·

    Hmmmm, is there a rule that says that you have to knit it after spinning? I think that you should be able to just look at it and imagine…

    I’d like to learn to spin someday but we are ‘hours’ from a yarn shop that teaches spinning. I think that Toronto would be the closest and that is 5 hours away. If I bought a wheel that might be what pushes my hubby over the edge…LOL

  7. I’m not a spinner – not to say that I haven’t been tempted, but there is only so much room in my house and my head for the other crafty things I do. But – OOOOH! I love that yarn.

  8. ladyoctavia · ·

    That is really beautiful yarn! Go you!!

  9. That really is gorgeous. And I for one, look forward to seeing it knit up.

  10. While I love the idea of spinning, I’m afraid the reality of it wouldn’t be pretty. I don’t really have room for a wheel, and I’m afraid a whole lot of roving would give its life for nothing. Maybe someday when my DD is off to college and I take over her room, although somebody told me I was mean to do that. Not exactly a win/win situation.

  11. Your yarn is beautiful. It’s so even. I haven’t done any spinning in years. Maybe some day I’ll get back to it. Now I have to rip out three rows of a lace knit because I made a mistake on row two, I think. Happy spinning. Gita

  12. Beautiful colour combination! It’s so pretty. 🙂

  13. That’s lovely. And the little, tiny bit of variegation in the color of the plies is going to make the final knitting really vibrant. Go, you! 🙂

  14. Spinners turn into weavers!

  15. Katie Owens · ·

    Your blog today could have well been written by me! What a lovely yarn, well worth all the effort. It has inspired me to dust my wheel off and finish that last bit of the jacob fleece…

  16. I’m really pleased to hear it doesn’t happen while you’re not looking because it would be terrible to miss that beautiful process in progress!

  17. Wow. That looks like beautiful yarn! So happy for you!

  18. I’m so jealous! I don’t know how to spin and am dying to learn (like I need more projects!).

    Also wanted to let you know that you contributed to a wonderful day in NYC for me and my daughter. As part of our day we went to lunch at Alice’s Tea Cup and stopped by Knitty City, both places we found off your blog. We of course couldn’t resist buying yarn at Knitty City so I mentioned I had found them through your blog, which earned you a “We love Glenna!”. Thanks again!

  19. how long have you been spinning? i want to know how long it might be before my yarn looks that good! 🙂

  20. Beautiful yarn. Beautiful. And I quite like the glimpse of your niddy-noddy, too. (which should be a fixed length so if you count the strands you know your yardage)

    I have a homemade n-n made from plumbing supplies. It works but it ain’t near as pretty.

  21. Nice! Lovely yarn and yes indeed GO YOU on the whole ye of little leftover singles!!

  22. That is a truly beautiful bit of yarn. To me, spinning and plying and those sorts of things are all filed under “magic”. The technique and technology are just too advanced for my brain to wrap around it, and I am left with only the ability to applaud people like you who can actually, you know, MAKE yarn!

  23. Ooh, pretty yarn. I’m sure whatever you make it in to will be gorgeous. At my spinning guild today we were wondering if the Daybreak Shawl would be good for 100g of handspun yarn – along with a solid colour of either handspun or millspun.

  24. Ohhhh! Beautiful.

  25. I think that skein looks lovely, I’m totally impressed.

    I hear similar stories are also true with sewing machines, which is what I’m hoping for with mine.

  26. I haven’t bought a wheel yet, but I’ve been spinning on a spindle for a couple of weeks, and it’s both fun and productive enough that I’m planning to buy more roving this weekend. It was a lot harder to learn than I thought it would be, but when I slowed down, prepared the roving carefully, and took things step by step, I got better quickly.

  27. Beautiful Yarn! My spindles have been whispering the same thing to me lately, but I’m not sure they are telling the truth.

  28. Oh gosh, it’s so pretty! Spinning is next on my list of New Things to Try, when I feel brave.

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