Spinning Singles. I’m Seeing Some Progress.

After my initial spinning post, I almost despaired of ever spinning singles that would be worth plying or knitting with. Now, four spindles full of yarn later, I think I’m seeing some progress.

Practice hanks 2, 3, 4 and 5. Slowly getting better. It’s nice when the progress is so visible.

Hank #2 was the first hank I spun after reading up a bit on spinning online and discovering that water was necessary to set the twist in my yarn. That’s why Hank #1 looked like this:


Hank #3 is the first hank I successfully spun at a non-chunky gauge. I was so proud of how I started to learn to control my drafting, not letting it come out in hap-hazard chunks. Well, not as much, anyway.

Hank #4 is the first merino roving I allowed myself to touch. It was a horrid pepto-bismol pink, though, so I decided I didn’t mind ruining it in the name of learning. Its character was so unexpectedly different form the generic practice wool I’d been using that it confused me a bit. I couldn’t seem to maintain control and I kept letting the yarn get too thin without enough twist. It broke frequently. I got lots of practice at joining. Ah, joining: that was the theme of Hank #4.

Hank #5 is the same merino as Hank #4, but spun on a brand-new, much lighter spindle. I find that the new spindle is better balance and turns more smoothly (my first spindle is handmade from a dowel and a toy wheel).

After seeing how Hanks 4 and 5 turned out, I am thinking that I might like to try steaming my yarn to set the twist instead of soaking it in the sink. Perhaps this will cause less fluff-factor to creep in. I may need to acquire a niddy-noddy. At the moment, I’m using legs of a small upside down side table  to wind my yarn: a little awkward. It makes me wonder what sorts of household items other new spinners misappropriate. Sounds like a good idea for another blog post. Feel free to steal it.


  1. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to make a niddy noddy there are instructions on how to make them out of PVC pipe. It isn’t the prettiest thing to look at, but it can help for those just starting out. Congrats on the progress.

  2. I think it takes time for it all to “click.”. I don’t spin regularly so I always feel as toughi am starting back at the beginning! I have a tendency to spin thread – great for 16 plying. 😦

  3. You’re doing great. I made a lot of lumpy rope when I started too but keep at it. My latest new trick is a nice long draw on a Canadian Production Wheel (which is FAST) which produces a reliable sock weight (or a little thicker, depending on how much it fluffs when I wash it).

    As an aside, I’m not a fan of steam blocking. Your yarn is going to change now, or it’s going to change the first time you wash the finished garment. Personally, I’d rather see the change before I go to the effort of knitting it up. But, your mileage may vary. Spinning is a very personal thing and if you like the results, that is all that matters.

    I’d also recommend you keep some of this early stuff so you can watch your progress but it also makes great felted potholders. Once you felt it, no one can tell how lumpy/bumpy the yarn was. Great job!

    • Once spinning is no longer the “shiny new toy” in my life, I wonder where it will land in my hierarchy of fiber obsessions.

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