3 Ways to Get Started Teaching People How to Spin Wool

I enjoy spinning alone, but my joy multiplies when I share it with others. So I make no secret of the fact that I’m on a mission to introduce people to spinning. I love teaching people how to spin wool, and I never turn down an opportunity to start someone on the path to a new craft.

Recently, I taught a few one-hour classes on beginning spinning, knitting, and weaving at last month’s Interweave Yarn Fest.* I adore the moment when the whole mysterious process clicks for the students and they make yarn, knit a row, or weave a pick. Priceless!

how to spin wool

Spin Off Editor Anne Merrow demonstrates how to spin wool at the Open Streets 2017 bicycling event in Fort Collins, Colorado. Photo by Andrea Lotz

Want to learn more about handspinning? Start teaching. Here are 3 ways to begin teaching people how to spin wool.

1. Demonstrate at a local event.

A wool festival isn’t the only place a handspinner can draw a crowd. Art fairs, historical and cultural festivals, and even farmers’ markets offer an opportunity to turn people on to handspinning. A spinning wheel in an unexpected place will prompt the strangest questions from people unfamiliar with the device. Children especially will find the whole process of making yarn intriguing.

2. Teach a friend.

A private one-on-one session with a good friend is great practice for your budding teaching career. Your familiarity makes you both relaxed and more comfortable. When explaining the basics of handspinning, you’ll see right away what works and what needs further explanation. And the next time you get together, you’ll have a new activity to engage in.

3. Get active online.

Ever dream of being on YouTube? Making how-to videos offers an opportunity to share your expertise and get feedback through the comments. It’s a little less intimate than teaching in person, but all of your bloopers can be edited out, and you can show techniques in great detail.

Try these suggestions to obtain some experience teaching—they’ll help you gain the confidence you need to start offering more conventional classes at your local yarn shop or fiber festival. An added bonus of teaching people how to spin wool, knit, weave, or crochet is that you get to learn about your craft from a different perspective. Students ask great questions, which helps you learn more about the process, too.

If you’re already teaching spinning, how did you get started? Share in the comments below!


* Mark your calendars for next year’s Interweave Yarn Fest, which will once again be held at the Embassy Suites Loveland in Loveland, Colorado, just an hour north of Denver, on March 28–30, 2019.

Featured Image: Spin Off Assistant Editor Elizabeth Prose teaching at Interweave Yarn Fest in 2017. Photo by George Boe

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One Comment

  1. Christine Z at 4:13 pm May 9, 2018

    I work in a public library as a Librarian and had previously taught a needle tatting class. Therefore when I began spinning and shared with my colleagues they asked if I would teach spinning classes, and that is how I got started. It is a ton of fun and now I have a loyal following of students that are always bringing in new students. I have learned so much about spinning from trying to teach spinning it is amazing.

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