Handspinning Hacks: Our Favorite Unexpected Spinning Tools

Clever spinners know spinning tools can be found in the most unexpected places. Whether you can’t find a necessary thingamabob or some other pressing need inspires ingenuity, finding new uses for items you already have on hand can be extremely satisfying. This left me wondering: What handspinning hacks do other spinners use?

spinning tools

Label your skeins with flagging tape. Photo by Elizabeth Prose.

My hack: Flagging Tape

I use 1-inch plastic flagging tape, found at my local hardware store, to identify skeins of yarn during finishing. It comes in an assortment of bright colors. Writing the details on the tape with a waterproof marker helps me distinguish between skeins (and not mix up breeds) when finishing several skeins at once, which is especially helpful in a class or workshop.

Looking for other resourceful ideas? Here are a few gems from our Spin Off community:

spinning tools

Lost your orifice hook? Use a knitter’s all-in-one knitting tool, just like Debbie Held keeps on hand. Photo by Elizabeth Prose.

Debbie Held: Grab a Knitting Tool

Wheel orifices vary greatly from one another, so it can be difficult to keep track of the right hook for each wheel. If you’re anything like Debbie, you have a bit of trouble keeping track of your hooks anyway. But Debbie uses her all-in-one stitch-fixing tool for knitters to thread any orifice she’s working with, and its 4-inch, lightweight construction makes it efficient for threading any spinning wheel. Debbie can always find her handy tool in her knitting notions pouch on the ottoman of her crafting chair.

spinning tools

Amy Tyler suggests writing the weight of each bobbin on the end. Photo by George Boe.

Amy Tyler: Written Reminders

In the Spin Off Summer 2017 issue, Amy shared her hack for easily calculating the weight of yarn while it’s still on the bobbin. Write the weight of each bobbin on the end, and you’ll be able to figure out the yarn weight by simply subtracting the bobbin weight.

Sarah Anderson: Paper Bag Lazy Kate

A paper grocery bag, a few metal knitting needles, a few plastic grocery bags, and some rubber bands might seem like a bunch of random items, but Sarah tells us how to use them all together to make a lazy kate. Easy to assemble, it’s a great lazy kate for stashing in a suitcase when traveling!

Anne Merrow (Editor of Spin Off): Secured Ends

Anne has a few ideas for securing the end on her new electric spinner. Her spinner doesn’t have a knob adjacent to the orifice, but people have suggested she use a piece of hook-side Velcro. She’s also considering using a Bead Stopper or a binder clip, but you’ll have to stay tuned to see which hack she goes for and whether it works!

What are some of your favorite spinning hacks?

—Elizabeth

Featured Image: Amy Tyler’s bobbins each have their weight written on the end. Photo by George


Learn more great spinning tips in these videos from Spin Off!

 

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