Finishing Up: The Aftermath of Spinzilla!

The yarn I spun and plied during the weeklong frenzy that was Spinzilla is now in limbo! It joins a number of other skeins of handspun yarn that are waiting for a dip in hot, soapy water.

I have one basic method for how to wash wool yarns:

1. Draw a generous bowlful of very hot water.
2. Drop in a glug of rinse-free wool wash.
3. Drop in yarn and leave to soak (read: ignore) for 20 minutes to hours.
4. Squeeze out skein.
5. Snap skein vigorously between hands.
6. Hang on an available rust-free surface.

Spinning and drying fiber

Several months’ worth of spinning, drying on the deck.

All the Singles Yarns

For singles, though, the story can be a little more complicated. If you ended Spinzilla with loads of singles, Kate Larson has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Fulling

This style of finishing is a little shocking! It relies on a big difference in temperature between wash and rinse water, along with some rough treatment to the yarn.

1. Drop your skein in a generous bowlful of very hot water, along with a glug of wool wash or soap.
2. Allow to “acclimate” for about 5 minutes without allowing the water to cool.
3. Using a plunger or just your hand, agitate the yarn a bit.
4. Squeeze out the hot water and drop the skein in the cool water rinse. Agitating here is optional. If desired, go back and forth between hot and cold.
5. Toss the skein against a table or other surface a few times, then snap it between your hands.

Fulling singles

Fulling transforms singles, letting them bloom.

Steaming

Steam can seem like a magic trick—it’s a crease eraser, so the difference between kinky unsteamed singles and straight steamed ones is really obvious.

1. When winding off your skein, tie every few wraps to hold the skein flat.
2. Holding the skein taut (and your hands out of the steam), apply steam from a kettle or garment steamer to the skein.

Steaming singles

The steamed portion of the yarn has been straightened as if by magic.

Kate is full of terrific advice, and I’m going to refer to her Finishing Up video while tackling my Spinzilla yarns!

Spin happy,
Anne Merrow


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