Her Handspun Habit: What Is Your Handspun Yarn Telling You?

We all know that a skein of handspun yarn is made up of more than just fiber. Other elements count, too: the preparation, the color, the tools and how they’re used, and the ever-important mood of the handspinner. Spinning tops my list of stress-relieving crafts, but sometimes my inner tension shows up in the twist.

“Say what?” you ask. Indeed, the handspinner’s frame of mind, be it relaxed or stressed, can have an impact on her handspun yarn.

Think back. Can you remember a time where you sat at your spinning wheel (affiliate link) and enjoyed spinning nirvana? Yet, I’m sure you can also recall a time or two when you’ve gone back to the same wheel and spun pure junk—perhaps even with the same fiber. We can’t always be in a Zen frame of mind. Add anxiety or a challenging day into the mix, and the outcome of your lovely yarn becomes far less dependable. So, what’s a stressed-out handspinner to do when her feelings get in the way?

Isn’t spinning there to help us decompress and relieve stress? Yes, . . . but not always. When I sat down at the wheel during my recent move, the singles looked just as I had felt: twisted up in knots and out of sorts. They were nothing like the ones I had been effortlessly producing from the same fiber only a week before. “But I just need a few minutes of relaxation!” I pleaded with my inner self. No, what I needed was to face the fact that I had just entered a major state of avoidance, and that the best thing I could do for myself was to put that wheel away and face the night of packing I had ahead of me.

handspun yarn

The top bobbin was started the week before Debbie’s move, while the peaks and valleys of the bottom bobbin represent how she was feeling hours before the movers arrived. Photo by Deborah Held

When life is challenging and your spinning just isn’t working out, step back for a moment and take an honest assessment of what’s going on inside of you and your current circumstances. I would never suggest that we refrain from spinning when we’re stressed, but the ability to read your yarn occasionally involves more than grist.

Has your handspun yarn ever told you something you needed to hear? Let us know in the comments below!

—Debbie

Featured Image: Don’t let stress ruin your spinning habit. Photo by Getty Images/Michael Moeller/EyeEm


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