In the Craftermath: Picking Up the Pieces

I’ve invented a new type of natural disaster. After a whole weekend spinning on the couch while binge watching and listening to a good book, I walked through the living room and noticed two things: a clear tush-sized space on the couch and a complete disaster in arm’s reach around it. This is the Craftermath, and every spinner has seen one.

Empty spinning wheel bobbins underfoot, the lazy kate’s poky shafts just behind me, and the niddy-noddy teetering on the couch are the first things you see but not the worst. The floor is covered with greasy tissues from wiping off the flyer before reapplying oil, plyback samples, broken bits of yarn that didn’t make the cut, neps, and VM. While spinning, I usually lose an orifice hook, and when I get up I find it buried in the couch cushions. (And don’t even mention spinning with silk or sparkly Angelina fibers. Those get everywhere.)


Beware an avalanche of yarn. Image collage from Getty Images/Glow Images and ksana-gribakina

Even when I lived alone and didn’t mind squalor, I couldn’t just move on to the next spinning project forever. Leaving spindles around is a great way to have them stepped on. Leftover fluff redeposits on my clothes, and my cats like to lick up samples of yarn and fiber—none of these are things I want. Here are my strategies for minimizing the craftermath.

1. Keep a scrap bag and sticky tape nearby.

Quilters and stitchers use thread catchers to gather up tiny bits of string. I keep a trash basket or at least a waste bag within easy reach. Sticky tape helps catch the stray bits of fluff and seeds.

2. Use a lap cloth.

A lap cloth isn’t just handy for providing contrast so that you can see your yarn in process. Even when the weather’s warm, a smooth, tightly woven piece of fabric covering my lap keeps fiber from sticking to my legs or pants.

3. Consider cleaning up every night.

It’s a pain to put things away and take them out again, but keeping the mess manageable makes the eventual craftermath less dreadful.

4. Reconsider your definition of “cleaned up.”

Maybe your housemates aren’t keen on handcards on chairs and piles of wool on the floor, but perhaps your lazy kate and niddy noddy could live in a large, attractive basket. Spinning wheels make attractive furniture—so much that 1980s decorators were known to install nonworking fakes. Spinning is part of your life; can it be part of your living room?

—Anne Merrow

Featured Image: Photo by Getty Images/Westend61

Plan your next craftermath !

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