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!








wristbands or tyvex envelopes cut down


It’s January and around my house that usually means a lot of wool washing is going to happen. I have 8 teaching appointments this year and almost everyone chooses classes that require unprocessed wool. That’s because around 75% of my class list consists of classes that are about processing wool from raw. I love it. I think the yanr you get when you do your own processing is better than the yarn you spin from mill processed stuff – that’s not to say that i Icelandicdon’t spin plenty of mill process wool. It’s like thinking about cakes. The completely home made from scratch cake will always be better than the box mix but that box mix surely has its place on my shelf.

Anyway, when I get to scouring I usually wash about 60 to 80 pounds per week. This year my list has 21 breeds that need a good dunk in the hot water. That will take me about 3 weeks to complete.

Everyone has their favorite method for scouring raw fleece and I thought I’d talk about mine today.

I’ve read every article that has come in my view about scouring and talked to other spinners who love raw fleece and from all of them I developed the method that works best for me and my space. I tried doing the whole fleece in the bath tub and I hated it. I ended up wet from my shoulders to my waist. Plus all that getting down onto the floor made me sad.

I tried it in the washing machine tub but I hated it because at first it was too scary and then it was just too much moving the wet wool in and out of the tub. as the water filled and drained.

I haven’t tried the fermented suint method because I need to get the wool washed now and it takes too long…plus it stinks.

In addition, I have tried most of the wool scouring products plus Dawn and Orvus and found that my favorite is Unicorn Power Scour. One of the main reasons I love it is because there is no need to boil water to get the temperature high enough to melt the lanolin. There is some kind of magic ingredient that makes that not necessary and since I wash wool in my laundry room on the second floor, heating water would make me crazy.

So after all that, what do I do? I have 4 tubs that I use. I got them from the people at Soak. They call the ones I use Phil. You can get them from the Soak website or your local shop that sells Soak products.  These basins hold between 1.5 and 2 pounds of wool depending on the breed and how fluffy it is. That’s why I have 4. If I have a fleece that weighs 8 pounds I can almost always wash the whole thing all at one time. woolwash1

So, I line the basins up using my washer and dryer as a counter top. I have a utility sink next to the washer and I have a cut off garden hose attached to the faucet. This way I can direct the water to the tub that is furthest away without having to move it an extra time. (ignore the messy stuff around the sink, please.)

I turn on the hot water and let it run a bit until it is as hot as it will get. We have our hot water heater set to 120 degrees F. (Unicorn recommends 140 but this temp works for me.) Then I start filling the woolwash5buckets until they are a little over 3/4 full. It seems like a lot when you are going to put the wool in but the wool soaks up some water and often I have to top them off a bit after the wool is in.

But before I add the wool I add the wool wash. The Power Scour works sort of like dye as far as how you determine the amount to use. It is based on the weight of the wool you want to wash. For these basins when I am washing about 2 pounds I add around 2 to 3 tablespoons in the first soak.

When I add the wool I push it down into the water. I have a couple of paint stirrers on the shelf for this purpose.

I soak the wool in the hot water and scour for at least 15 minutes. It’s important to not forget about the wool at this point because if the water cools and the lanolin sets back onto the wool it can be much more difficult to remove.

So, after 15 minutes I take the basin to the sink and dump it out. I squeeze out a bit of the water and refill the basin with hot water. At this point I add half as muchwoolwash4 of the scour to the basin. After all 4 have been emptied and refilled I let them soak for another 15 minutes.

I repeat the process 2 more times but with only clear water. So that’s 2 washes and 2 rinses. After the last soak the water may not be clear. There may still be some dirt showing but I don’t worry about it. There are several more opportunities to get the last bit of dirt out.

At this point when i dump out the basin in the sink, I transfer the wool into lingerie bags. I woolwash6used to just squeeze out as much water as I could and then roll the wool in towels but I like to spin it out in the washer now. It gets out more water and I don’t have as many sopping wet towels  laying around.

One bag will hold all of the wool from one basin.

I let it go through the whole spin cycle. Make sure that your washer doesn’t spray water  during the spin. If it does, you can turn off the water going to the washer during this part.

And finally I take the wool to the drying racks.woolwash These are just sweater drying racks that are stackable. I have several of them and if I run out of space i move to the floor. I wash wool until there is no more space and then I may need to take a a day or off while the fleeces dry and some space is available. I make sure to write the breed on a card and place it next to the wool. Sometimes if you have several white fleeces drying next to each other it can be a little confusing so the labels are important.

All of this takes about 90 minutes from start to finish and I feel pretty accomplished.

Do yu have any special things you do to wash your fleece?

If you are interested in playing with the fleeces i’m scouring now, come and see me in Boulder Colorado! I’ll be ther in February. Here’s the link for registration.

Facts about PLY – What makes us different?

Lately we’ve been working on outreach – getting the word out about PLY so that we can get our magazine into the hands of more spinners – and in that process, we’ve put together a little list of “fun facts” about PLY as a way to introduce ourselves to new people.

Even if you’ve been with us for a while – subscribing, reading this blog, following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – we think you might find this interesting!


We’ve all probably heard (or used) the phrase “Spinning – because knitting isn’t weird enough!” And maybe that’s one of the greatest things about being a spinner – embracing the “weird,” and doing something a little bit different from what everyone else is doing.

Here at PLY, we like that we’re different from other magazines on the market. And if you’ve been reading our magazine for a while, chances are you like our differences, too! Here are some ways we embrace our own “weird” and strive to stand out in the magazine publishing and fiber arts industries.

Facts about PLY Magazine

me, teaching longdraw while the shawl keeps me toasty. Also, wearing the apron Bernadette made me! I'm so lucky!

  • PLY Magazine is owned and run by Jacey Boggs Faulkner, an avid spinner. No other company or person owns, operates, or has a stake in it.
  • PLY has a main staff of 3: Jacey (editor in chief, director, ads, accounting, etc), Kitten, Jacey’s ex-husband and good friend (layout and design), and Bernadette, Jacey’s best friend (photography). There are 5 other people that help out: Utah, Jacey and Kitten’s 13 year old does some graphic work; Levi, Jacey’s husband, packs and ships all the back issues; Karen who does all the freelance copy editing; Jessica B. upkeeps the website; and Jessica C. does much personal assisting.
  • PLY is proud to pay everyone involved in making it great a living wage, almost 4 times the industry standard. That means that all writers, designers, illustrators, and photographers get paid. (The only person not getting a regular salary is Jacey.)
  • PLY is always themed, printed on thick, archival, white paper, has a printable spine, and is shipped in a recycled plastic wrapper to protect it from damage.
  • PLY believes that it’s not just known names that have something valuable to contribute to the spinning world and to that end we accept article proposals from every spinner!
  • Jacey believes in transparency and strives to always be fair and truthful.
  • PLY started at 104 pages and was recently upped to 112 pages. Picture of the Texture Issue
  • Each issue never has more than 15% advertising (most magazines are 50%-75%).
  • PLY’s advertising ads are affordable, to allow indie fiber companies to have feasible advertising.
  • Because of the low percentage and price of ads, PLY’s subscriptions make up the majority (80% – 90% instead of the normal 10% – 15%) of revenue. That means that every single subscription counts and also explains why the subscriptions are a bit more than other non-independent magazines and why PLY never goes on sale.
  • PLY is published 4 times a year (March, June, Sept, and Dec). The price for a subscription in the US is $36.
  • PLY was started with the money from a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $37,000 in a week. That’s when we knew we were really onto something.
  • Currently, each issue of PLY takes $75,000 to produce. That includes everybody getting paid (except Jacey).  Each issue brings in $12,000 in ad revenue which means that the subscriptions have to make up the other $62,000 each issue ($248,000 annually) at the current subscription number. So when we tell you that we really appreciate that you’re a subscriber – we mean it!


If we’ve convinced you that this publication might just be worth a read, you can head here to subscribe or pick up a back issue in our shop.

If you love what makes PLY different and enjoy reading the magazine, we hope you’ll share our message with your spinning friends!

“Hey spinners! Have you heard of @Plymagazine? Read all about what makes them different, in a good way:”

(Click to tweet this!)



Cover of the Singles Issue

What’s inside the Singles Issue?

The Winter 2015 “Singles” issue is busy making its way to various destinations around the world. Whether you’re a subscriber waiting for your copy to arrive, or you’ve been thinking of subscribing and you’d like a preview before you buy, today’s post is here to give you a sneak peek inside the issue!


Cover of the Singles IssueJacey’s opening article in this issue starts  – “Any yarn is possible, even singles!” And in this issue, that’s the goal – to show you that spinning a singles yarn is definitely possible, even if you’ve struggled with it in the past. The issue is full of “how” articles that’ll get you spinning, but it’s also got a fair number of “why” articles that’ll get you thinking!

Great Articles!

We’ve rounded up the a talented group of spinners and asked them to share their insights and experiments with us, and as always we’ve got a tip jar full of helpful hints from our readers, humor by Franklin Habit, and how to keep your spinning body happy by Carson Demers! Take a look at what you’ll get!:

  • Singles: Fiber Matters, by Beth Smith – Though it’s true you can spin a singles yarn out of any fiber, Beth Smith tells us what’s what when it comes to choosing a fiber that will give you the best results in a singles yarn.
  • The Race is On: Singles vs. 2-Ply Yarns, by Jillian Moreno – People say all the time that spinning singles is faster, is it true? Jillian finds out!
  • Bias Point, by Elizabeth Watt – Ready to have your spinning mind blown?  Read this slowly and then read it again!  It’s illuminating!
  • Journal of a Singles Sock Yarn, by Grace Shalom Hopkins – Read the journal of a girl wearing 2 socks, one is singles yarn and the other is plied.  You might be surprised by the last entry.
  • Single and Free, by Katherine Johnson – Singles yarns aren’t just for knitting, you know!  Katherine Johnson takes on tatting, tri-pin loom weaving, and naalbinding with singles yarns and it was awesome enough to make the cover!
  • Weaving with Singles: A Test of Abrasion, by Carol G. McFadden – Carol breaks out her rigid heddle loom and tests how 5 different types of singles (different fibers, preps, and spins) hold up in scarves.
  • Taming the Wild Single, by Stephenie Gaustad –  Nobody can tame a wild single like Stephenie and she walks you through various methods and how they work.
  • Hot Button: Tension-Set Yarns – Several experts sound off this issue on the controversial issue of setting a yarn with tension.
  • Spin it! Color-Changing Singles, by Melissa Yoder Ricks –  Melissa loves color changing singles yarns and shares several ways of spinning and using  a singles yarn.

Fantastic Projects

In every issue of PLY, you’ll find a handful of projects for knitting, weaving, crocheting and more – along with instructions for how to best spin the yarns you’ll use in those projects. Here are the projects from the Winter issue:

  • Veila Scarf, by Susanna IC – This lacy, crescent-shaped scarf is knit out of a soft gradient singles yarn. Ann Krieg explains how she spun the yarn for this project using a Falkland wool.
  • Nebel Hat and Cowl, by Susanna IC – Ann Krieg spun the same fiber for these projects, too, but the resulting project is more striped and textured than the gradient scarf. These projects knit up quickly and really showcase the softness of a singles yarn in a project where it’s single-nature won’t be a drawback.
  • Ondulant Scarf, by Carol Feller – A smooth, subtle waving shape makes this scarf graceful and understated.  In the accompanying Spin It! article, Kathryn Benavides will guide you through the process of spinning for this project.
  • Bad Girl Scarf, by Sylvia Becker –   Sylvia uptwists on purpose, and shows how awesome it can be when a good girl yarn goes bad, especially if you just have the right pattern to go with it.
  • Tapestry Weaving, by Deborah Behm – The wonderful and dear Deborah  (whom we will all miss) walks you through an explanation of how to spin singles for tapestry weaving, and also provides a simple and fun project anyone can weave (seriously – you make your own loom!).
  • Weaving on a Peg Loom, by Ann Mickow – A single and fun way to weave — on a peg loom! Ann demonstrates the process and explains how to make a quick and great loopy scarf out of singles yarns.


All Everything Else!


You’ll also find Jacey’s article where she talks about how she experiments as a way of  learning more about her spinning. Tip Jar is where you’ll find your fellow PLY readers explain how they control the twist in a singles yarn. In Ergo Neo, Carson tells us to take care of our body when spinning on a spindle. Who’s That Spinner? introduces us to Johanna Carter, who takes us on her journey of learning to knit in childhood and expanding her skills to include spinning as an adult. Check out her spindle-spun sweater!  Scene is full of things on the spinning scene that you’ll want to know about including the upcoming Ply Away retreat, lotion bars, and books and DVDs to enhance your spinning education. Franklin Habit and his pal Lazy Kate are back again with another adorable comic, and in Follow the Fiber Sue Tye and Jill Sanders take us along for their Saori weaving tunic project from fiber to finished object. It’s a beautiful and inspiring story of making no mistakes.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that right here on our website! And be sure to pick up a copy of this issue if you don’t already have one (or it isn’t on its way to you)!

Use Your Yarn

I teach a lot of classes and I am always surprised at how many spinners I meet who don’t use their handspun yarns for projects. They give me lots of reasons for it. (1) They don’t think they have enough yarn for a project or (2) they don’t have enough matching skeins or (3) they think their yarn is crappy or (4) they don’t really know how to use it or (5) they sell it.

I have answers for all of this and I hope if you are a person who doesn’t use their hand spun yarn that I can help you change your mind. Let’s go through the reasons one at a time.

Number 1: Not enough yarn for a project. 2015-11-29 12.06.07

For this problem, if you are a knitter or crocheter, I love Ravelry. If you go to the Patterns section you can search based on yarn size and yardage for projects and you would be amazed at how many projects there are available for small amounts of yarn. I just finished this Lucky Cowl  designed by Amy King with a teeny tiny skein.


Number 2: Not enough Matching Skeins


It’s funny how we all have some kind of color scheme that we stick to when we buy fiber. what that means is that most of your fiber will coordinate. It doesn’t need to matche exactly to make a project. In addition, this shawl was made with 3 different thicknesses of yarn. and it worked and it’s warm and I love it. This shawl was made using the Knitting Lace Triangle Shawls book by Evelyn Clark


Number 3: The Yarn isn’t Good EnoughIMG_20140128_164238

This is a terrible excuse! Here’s the great thing about using your yarn – The lumps get hidden in the fabric or make a nice texture. See the yarn on the right? It’s Columbia, three ply, spun with a long draw which is less consistent than short draw. It also is a roving that has a lot of neps in it so that adds to the texture. I used it for the Hiro hiroSweater which was designed by Julia Farwell Clay. But check ouot the finished sweater! All of those lumps disappear!

I wear this sweater all the time! You can even see the dirt stains in this photo because I don’t want to take it off long enough to clean it. I love it so much I’m thinking of making another one. Probably with lumpy yarn, too.columbiaskirt

I used the same fiber for a weaving project I’m working on. I made the yarn a bit thinner but it still is not very consistent but I made a beautiful skirt from the woven fabric! (Ignore maggie’s messy room behind me.)


Number 4: Not Sure What to Do With It

This is where sampling or trying things or just swatching comes in. Maybe you need a beginning knitting/crochet/weaving lesson. Maybe you need to find a group of people who are also interested in yarn. Maybe you should pick out a project from a Ply Magazine issue and work on it.Most of us are spinning smooth yarns and the magazine reflects that but there are plenty of articles, the current issue and a couple of issues coming up that will inspire those of you who love textured yarns.

Number 5: Sell The Yarn

Here is where I will climb atop my very tall soap box. And these words go for even those who don’t sell their yarn but aren’t using it. How can you know how to improve your yarn if it isn’t being used in any projects or swatches? How do you know that it even works as intended? Please, please, please! Use your yarn. See how it acts in the fabric. See if it softens or gets more firm. check if the plying is too tight or too loose. Make sure it doesn’t fall apart or begin to pill before the skein is even used up. These things will make you a better spinner.

If you don’t know how to weave/knit/crochet, ask a friend to try some out and give you feedback. You can always use these samples and swatches to help sell future yarns.

Yarn is not a finished object.

What are you working on with your handspun yarn? Let me know!

And the Winner Is!

Thank you so much for all of you who took the time to review the Texture Issue of Ply. The winner of the batts is Christina Bowers!



Learning to Love the Singles yarn

Guest blogger Amberlee Venters visits us today with her story of learning to spin outside her own box and give singles yarn a try, both for spinning and knitting. If you’ve ever been hesitant to spin a singles yarn, Amberlee’s story might just inspire you to try an experiment of your own.



The Inspiration

In my spinning room (if you understand “room” to mean “bin in a closet in a room,”) I have a bunch of 4-oz braids of gorgeous, multicolored roving, which is mostly the result of several years in a fiber club that I never could quite stay on top of. These braids, bags, and bumps sit there, nestled in amongst their brethren, waiting for the day that they will reach their full potential.

I have only knit with singles yarns a few times, and during those experiments I learned of my tendency to remove twist from the yarn as I knit – a super-helpful technique for creating a finished object without a million ends to weave in. This, along with the multitudes of plied yarn available to me, has been enough to generally put me off spinning singles.

As I rarely knit with singles I also don’t tend to spin singles that will remain singles. My goal since learning to spin has been to achieve the coveted sock yarn, consequently I almost always approach my spinning with fingering weight in mind. So the idea of spinning something new, along with the motivation that this new method might result in going from braid to yarn in a shorter period of time, led me to give singles another try.

The Experiment

I sat down with a 4-oz braid of Falkland wool, zero expectations, and no plan. I debated with myself the best way to spin this fiber: Do I go with my default fingering weight? Or, more accurately: Will I be able to achieve anything else at this point? Maybe I should try to aim for something thicker. This is a singles yarn after all, it’s staying a singles yarn. And anyway what if I hate it? Better to have less yarn if I hate it.

As I discovered, spinning singles yarns goes refreshingly quickly! Within a few days I filled the bobbin and exhausted tPicture of Singles yarnhe fiber. Success! I had made a single that would stay a single, and with no plying to do I was practically done!  The next challenge would be winding the yarn off the bobbin. (See above comment re: I accidentally untwist everything I knit.) To my complete surprise I was able to wind the yarn from the bobbin easily and with no breaks. More Success! Perhaps it would even make it through its bath in one piece! Maybe I’d even manage to not felt it into a huge mess! I eagerly drew a tub of water and deposited the fiber within. What emerged some time later (I tend to forget when I put things in to soak. Surely I’m not the only one? No? Just me? Cool) was the most uneven mass of yarn I had created in years. When I first learned to spin I read that once you attain the thin, beautiful, even sock yarn of your dreams it is nigh impossible to spin anything other than fingering weight without extreme concentration and clarity of intent. Since I went in to this with neither of those qualities, I expected the worst. This yarn came out completely uneven and crazy, but also squishier and softer than anything else I’d managed to create thus far. So maybe it wasn’t a failed experiment after all!

Now the real test – could I knit with this yarn without untwisting it and ruining the project? I settled on a simple cowl pattern – the Variance Cowl by Lisa Mutch – a quick knit in case thing went hilariously awry. As it turns out this was a good choice, because I did indeed untwist the yarn while I was knitting. Twice. However, I ended up with a very lightweight, squishy, soft cowl. Lighter than anything I’ve made before, despite its lack of lace and abundance of wacky inconsistencies. This is a revelation! (This wacky hobby of mine is a bit silly out here in California, you see. Making lighter weight items is key to enjoying knitted things for more than a month or two each year.)

Picture of Singles yarn woven

The Results

Confronting my hatred of singles has taught me a few things:

  1. Spinning for singles yarn is speedy compared to the slow spin of sock yarn. This is great news, especially when faced with a seemingly unending bin of 4-oz braids from fiber clubs.
  2. I have to watch my twist, particularly because of my knitting problem. If I had been more fastidious regarding the amount of twist added I probably would have encountered less untwisting in the knitting process.
  3. Not spinning fingering weight yarn is really tricky! I still ended up with a finished yarn that’s somewhere in the range of heavy fingering to sport weight most of the time.

Going into this experience I fully intended to continue disliking singles yarns, but this is not the case at all. I’m sure I’ll experiment more with spinning singles yarns for the sake of singles in the future, but I definitely need to plan my attack more completely (if you understand “completely” to mean “at all”).

Photo of Amberlee


Amberlee exists on Ravelry under the slightly embarrassing username: amberleesapain. She currently has no blog but is considering starting one.

Why Do Spinning Teachers Teach the Same Classes?

ply teaching blogpost smallerI’ve had a couple of people ask me lately, with all of the spinning teachers teaching these days why do they all teach the same classes?


Well they do and they don’t.



Think about teaching spinning like sneezing, everybody does it, just not in the same way. Some people shake the walls and windows when they sneeze, some have tiny cute ah-choo sneezes, and some hold their noses and don’t let it out at all.


Or think about all of the fiction you’ve read in your life. There are really only four stories, but in the hands of different authors they become delightful and unique things.


Spinning is the same thing. There are classes about fiber, drafting, color, plying, finishing, etc. But no two teachers teach them the same way.

How a teacher teaches is based on how they spin, what they love, how they were taught and how they like learning.

Some teach through story telling; some follow a strict outline.

Some mosey along; some teach at speed.

Some say, one way only; some give variations.

Some give you 50 choices; some give exactly what you need, no more no less.

You’ve probably had classes from each one of those teachers.

None of them are particularly better or worse, they are just different.

To have a great class experience, you need to find the one(s) that is right for you where you are in your spinning journey right now.

If you take a class with me know that there will be color, because I don’t like to spin white wool for three hours. I tend to go fast, because I want to show you as many things as I can. You will have choices, because some days I don’t want to spin every variation and some days I just can’t spin blue fiber. And I rattle the walls and windows when I sneeze.

That’s me, no two teachers teach the same way.


So how do you choose?

You might know you’re in the mood for one type of teacher or the other. You might be besotted with a topic and want to hear what every teacher has to say on it.

You can ask other spinners who have taken a particular teacher’s class what it was like.

Be sure to read the class description carefully, between the lines – if you want to dabble in a topic, you want to avoid classes with the phrase in-depth. If you are a knitter you may not want to take a class with a teacher that spins to weave. If it says 12 ways in three hours, you will be spinning quickly.

If you have questions email the teacher and ask, we’re always happy to answer.

I still take as many classes as I can squeeze in because there is always a different combination or approach to spinning, and I always come away from a class having learned something new.

Review the Texture issue and win some batts!

small colorful battsIt’s that time again, the time when I ask you to review the current issue. I want to know what you think. I have some gorgeous textured batts to send one lucky reviewer/subscriber. They’re the kind of batts that make fantastic corespun yarn, the kind that Steph Gorin wrote about in this very issue. If you’ve never tried this technique, it’s be the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. Of course, if you’ve already tried it, you don’t have any need for more fiber do you? Oh, right, spinners always need more gorgeous fiber!

So here’s what you do. Just leave a review for the texture issue of PLY Magazine here, under the review tab. Also make sure to leave your name! On December 3rd, we’ll use a random number generator to pick a number, find the comment that matches that number and announce the winner! We’ll use your name to look up your address and ship your gorgeous batts the very next day! You’ll be corespinning in no time!

Want to Spin Faster? Find Your Focus

Moreno 12 Varigated 2 smOver my years of spinning I’ve noticed something that helps me spin faster, focus. Not just focusing on the spinning, but what entertainment helps me spin.

Sometimes I watch movies or TV, sometimes I listen to music or books, sometimes I hang out with friends while I spin. Each one has an effect on the speed of my spinning.

Here’s what I’ve figured out works for me. Hanging out and spinning with friends is my favorite, but I spin my slowest. When I’m social spinning, I tend to pay the least attention to my actual spinning, and I stop and start the most. There’s a lot of show and tell, getting tea and snacks and wanting to try everything my spinning pals are doing.

I thought that watching movies or TV would be my fastest spinning friend. Nope, it’s as much distracting as it is relaxing. I can spin just fine without looking at my spinning, but looking away splits my focus, especially if what I’m watching is exciting or has a lot of tension (think Walking Dead). And watching television with commercials really puts my spinning rhythm off.

Listening to music is OK, but finding exactly the right music that fits mood and treadling speed sometimes combo drafting Moreno 1 SO SP15is hard. When I first started spinning I tried to spin to bluegrass because I thought I would spin faster to faster music. I spun horribly over twisted yarn instead. Note to self: treadles do not work like an accelerator in a car.

The best thing for me to really fill bobbins is to listen to audio books. It doesn’t matter what I listen to; it can be Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Harry Potter, but it has to be a book not a podcast.  Something about listening to stories puts me in the best flow. I watch my spinning, but am transported and entertained. I’m always surprised at how much I get done when I listen vs. watch something.

Do you get into your spinning flow by watching or listening?