Thin? It’s All Relative

Moreno Big Yarn 1 sm Our latest issue of PLY is all about spinning thin yarn. When I think about thin yarn I think about that finer-than-fine yarn, that’s really thread, some spinners can spin.

I say some spinners because so far I’m not one of them.


As I read through this issue I realized that thin is relative. I usually like to spin fattish yarn, aran weight or worsted so my particular thin is a 2-ply fingering weight yarn. One person’s thin isn’t another person’s thin and it doesn’t have to be. I’m happy with that. All of the knitting I’m doing lately is for fingering to aran weight yarn, so my thin-for-me yarn is perfect.

I’m sure I could spin finer if I had a burning desire or a particular project where I want to use a finer yarn. Actually, there may be finer yarn for me in the near future because my current fingering weight yarn isn’t quite fine enough for the stitching I’m getting more and more excited about.

ply blog fine

How fine will I go?


5 replies
  1. Dorothea
    Dorothea says:

    I agree Jillian! I have sometimes felt like some spinners look down on those who can’t spin super fine. I spin in the range of yarn that I USE which is fingering to aran-ish. The spinners who I most respect are those that decide before they start what size the yarn should be, and then have an end result in line with that decision. That is truly a master spinner, in my opinion. My personal range is still mostly determined by the fiber preparation, some preps are easier for me to spin than others. But I am working on the predetermined sizing – that will be a very good day!

  2. Cicely
    Cicely says:

    great post!

    i’m also becoming increasingly excited about spinning for eventual use in embroidery projects

    would love to hear more about your journey!

  3. Becca R
    Becca R says:

    I am with both of you. What impresses me the most (and that I often see in very experienced spinners) is the ability to connect the intention of the imagination with the execution of the hands. I do believe that the more skills we can develop however can only enrich our imagination and spinning in every area. My default yarn is around fingering weight and spinning finer is fairly doable as well. I struggle with consistency in thicker singles. I only use spindles currently so a lot of the wheel techniques are foreign to me. I do have some skeins that I just like to look at but mostly I want to be able to spin the kind of yarn that I use and be able to spin toward specific characteristics for specific projects.

  4. Tara
    Tara says:

    I enjoy spinning finer. I usually do fingering to lace-weight projects and currently dreaming of a cobweb angora shawl. I’m actually in envy of people who can spin a even, thicker yarn. However, I find that that is not what I personally want to work with so I’ve trained my hands to spin what I want to work in.

  5. Caitlin Doran
    Caitlin Doran says:

    What I consider “thin” has definitely changed over time as I’ve learned more about spinning and have gained finer control. I also find that sometimes “thin” can be impacted by the tool I’m using. My wheels can spin just about anything, so my conceptual range of thick to thin is much broader. But when I spin on an itty bitty spindle, I find myself concentrating on much finger gradations of thin-ness. That little spindle can’t do chunky, but it can do more different kinds of thread than I would ever attempt on a wheel.


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