Spinning Confession: I Write On My Bobbins


bobbins PLY

Yes, you read that right. I take a brand new piece of equipment that costs between $30 & $50 and write on it. With a Sharpie. And it keeps me sane. My spinning tools are just that, tools that I use to make yarn.

It took me a long time to finally break down and write on a bobbin. I remember exactly when, too. It was at SOAR in a Kathryn Alexander class on energized singles. We had to spin some singles Z and some singles S. I tried to keep S on one side of my chair and Z on the other, but they kept rolling together.

Kathryn sees my struggle, comes over and says, “Just write on them, with a pencil, S or Z”.  I did and have never looked back.

All of my bobbins have been weighed and marked with their empty weight. With that information I can weigh my bobbin mid-spin, subtract the empty weight and know how much yarn I’ve spun so far.

I mark my bobbins for direction of spin, especially when I’m making crepes or cable yarns.

The orange sticker on the Schacht bobbin in the photo is a note to tell me where in a multi-color, multi-ply, multi-yarn project this bobbin belongs.

Storage bobbins get all of the writing love. The one in the photo reminds me that it weighs .65 ounces empty, the yarn on it is Vegetable Medley (from Into the Whirled) and I spun it to chain ply. When I pull it out of my spinning basket I know exactly what it’s for.

I often mark my bobbins with the name of the project, article, sample that the yarn is destined to be since I work on several projects at the same time.

Writing on my bobbins saves me so much time, stress and mental space. I rarely  have to play the ‘what’s on this bobbin’ game.

Now I just have to get better at erasing all the project info off of my bobbins when I’m done with the yarn!

5 replies
  1. Kay Smith
    Kay Smith says:

    I was in that class too (SOAR 2007, Michigan), and I have been marking my bobbins ever since. I can’t imagine what a confusion I’d be in if I didn’t!


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