Sarah Makes Spinning Fundamentals Fun

Sarah Anderson puts the fun in spinning fundamentals.

Sarah Anderson puts the fun in spinning fundamentals.

Besides her absolutely spectacular spinning, there are two things you’ll notice immediately about Sarah Anderson: her curiosity and sunny disposition. She often asks, “I wonder what would happen if…” and then sets out to find out for herself. One of my favorites of Sarah’s experiments was to test whether chain-plied yarns would last as well as standard three-ply yarns in a pair of socks. She spun and knitted a pair of socks, one in each technique, and wore them until one sock gave way—and discovered that both socks developed holes on the very same day, disproving both the traditionalists and the Navajo-ply believers.

As for the positive outlook, it keeps her moving ever forward to new spinning knowledge. Sarah once bought a lovely, fine Targhee fleece with a bad break midway through the staple. Rather than mourn it as a loss, which many spinners would do, she used it as the basis for exploration. She took advantage of the break to play with handcarding wool with exotic fibers to make delightful blends of color and texture.

What are the building blocks of spinning?
The same building blocks that create the smooth, even yarn at left also create the beaded yarn and bubble crepe at right—and you’ll learn them in The Building Blocks of Spinning.

The same building blocks that create the smooth, even yarn at left also create the beaded yarn and bubble crepe at right—and you’ll learn them in The Building Blocks of Spinning.

When I first started talking with Sarah about creating a video, her colorful, playful textured yarns caught my eye. Sarah’s yarns are artful and disciplined, creative and restrained.

But rather than a course on spinning those slightly funkier yarns, Sarah had something else in mind. Making stable, usable art yarns, she said, starts with a solid grasp of the fundamentals of spinning and plying. To spin a boucle yarn, you need to begin with good singles, she said, and that’s where she wanted to start.

Four hours of video later, Sarah had The Building Blocks of Spinning, a comprehensive look at spinning, plying, and good technique. Sarah is the perfect guide on the way to better spinning, teaching you to build one skill on top of another with confidence and good cheer of your own.

Anne Merrow

 

 

 

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