A new venture, and a discussion of yarn management

Welcome to Knit One Spin Too. I aim to bring fiber arts to you. That means workshops to your area, knowledge to your computer, and information to your hands.

I’m starting out with my very first series of workshops on July 27 – 29 2012. On April 15 or so, I will open registration for a weekend of workshops held at Hofstra University in Uniondale, NY. I’m calling this new event “Spin-U 2012”, since I hope to have more than one Spin-U in the future. You’ll be able to find out more information as I have it via our Events page.

With that bit of administrivia out of the way, I wanted to have a small discussion about yarn management.

Yarn management is how you handle your yarn after it’s spun. If you’ve wound it on to your spindle or bobbin, that’s yarn management. If you’ve tied it up in a hank or balled it on a winder or nostepinde, that’s yarn management.

This past weekend, I went to Homespun Yarn Party in Savage, MD. I held a longest thread contest. When watching my spindle spinners, I became aware that there needs to be a discussion of yarn management for spindle spinners:

Laura and Corinne spinning

Laura and Corinne spindle spinning

Spindle spinners often end up with a length of yarn that is as long as their body is tall, sometimes longer if they reach up over their heads to spin like Corinne is doing above. What do you do to move that yarn from its spun form onto the spindle? Do you use wide arm movements and squiggly yarn tangles to move the yarn onto your spindle shaft? There are better ways.

One way is to butterfly or wind the yarn on your fingers, creating a much shorter, but well controlled length of loose yarn between the spindle and your hands. Abby Franquemont shows her version of this technique at about 3:56 in the video below:

Abby’s video shows how she handles her yarn, winding it between her index and middle fingers. She doesn’t make a point of showing you what she’s doing, so I took a quick video of my own to demonstrate “butterflying” yarn on my fingers:

There are lots of ways to do this technique. This is just the way that I do it. I know people who wrap the yarn around their pointer and middle finger like Abby does, walking it up to the spindle, and I know people who wrap the yarn around the widest part of their fiber holding hand, although wrapping the yarn that way can affect the twist in the singles, increasing or decreasing it. Do what’s comfortable for you. There is no “spinning police”.

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