Keeping Track While Spinning and Lazy

toolsThere are a lot of different ways to keep track of your yarn for consistency while spinning. I like the lazy ways. Here are four ways to keep track that I use when I spin.


On the left, WPI gauge: I love this one from Nancy’s Knit Knacks. I find I get a more consistent reading with this one because I roll the yarn on rather than wrap it, so it goes on gently not pulled tight. I use this way of measuring while I spin the least.

On the right, Spinner’s Control Card/WPI Gauge: This is a piece of clear plastic that has lines painted on it approximating the WPI of yarn. To use it, hold your yarn either on top or under the plastic and see where your yarn fits but doesn’t extend past the lines. I used to use this one a lot, but I kept forgetting what number my yarn was supposed to be, so I moved on. This is my third favorite way of measuring.

In the middle, Card of Laziness (two ways of measuring in one): Some spinners call these control cards, but I’m not about control, I’m about lazy. I use card stock tags.  On the top I wrap unfinished singles. While I spin I can compare the singles I’m spinning to the ones on the card, by holding them side by side. On the bottom of the card on the left is a ply back sample made from fresh single twisted back on itself and pretending to be a balanced 2-ply. Every so often while spinning, I pull a length of single from the bobbin, let it twist back on itself and compare it to my ply back sample. (The yarn on the bottom right is 2-ply that has been finished.) I use these two way of measuring almost interchangeably, but the singles wrapped on the card wins as my #1 because it really uses the least effort, skipping that time-consuming plying-back stage.

I can’t spin without measuring now. While I do like my yarn to be mostly consistent, I’m not anal about it. I’ve spun too many yarns that start out worsted and finish less than DK to shun measuring while I spin.  I’ve reluctantly become a measurer, but a lazy one.

Tell me your measuring stories!








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2 replies
  1. Jan in TN
    Jan in TN says:

    I am soooo glad to find someone who admits in print to my spinning issue: laziness! I love spinning, and have no problem actually doing the treadling (or e-spinning!), but I hate fiddling with checking grist, twist back, etc. I guess I’m a git-er-done kind of person. Thanks for the information! I don’t think I’m too lazy to try this!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Of course, the information and notes that you find helpful to the process may differ slightly, but these 6 items are a great jumping-off point as you begin your sampling process. If you plan on spinning a yarn with 2 or more plies, make sure to keep careful track of your singles as well as the resulting yarn once they are plied together. In particular, the thickness of your singles will be important to note, and this is something you can easily check throughout the spinning process to ensure consistent results. Shown below is our sample yarn held against a Spinner’s Control Card (find out more about these useful tools here on the PLY Magazine blog). […]

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