Spinning to Knit a Large Project

Abby Franquemont.

Abby Franquemont.

Spinzilla is here! Your bobbins are empty, your wheel is oiled, and your fiber is chosen. How can you go the distance and reach your yardage goal? Or is your goal to spin enough yarn to knit a large project such as a sweater? Abby Franquemont knows just what steps you can take to spin a large amount of yarn and meet your objective.

Comfort is key!

Abby suggests setting up your workspace so that you are as comfortable as possible.

  • Have a space that is easy to work in, with all of your tools in easy reach.
  • Make sure there is good lighting; a well-lit workspace is easier on your eyes.
  • Do you have a comfortable chair? Adjust your chair height, arms, and back so that you are in a perfect position for long periods of spinning.
  • Lastly, place your wheel in a location where it is relaxing to spin and draft for an extended time.

Get Warmed Up

Abby suggests performing a timed warm-up spin—measure out a quantity of fiber and see how long it takes to spin it. This exercise will help gauge how much time will be needed to spin your target yardage and stay on track. Sit comfortably with your shoulders in a neutral position; your hips should be higher than your knees. If you find that you are waiting for twist or want to treadle faster, now is the time to adjust your wheel and change to a faster whorl. If the twist is coming at you too fast, change to a lower ratio.

Samples at the Ready

Once you’re satisfied with the singles you’re creating, wind some off on a card. Also tie a short length of self-plied yarn so you can check twist easily, and refer to your sample card often to maintain consistency. Anytime you take a break then return to spinning, check the sample card to verify that you’re spinning uniformly.

At Arm’s Length

Abby shows how to measure yarn for a large project.

Abby shows how to measure yarn for a large project.

Finally, make sure that anything you will need while spinning is within reach. You don’t want to stop and get up to grab something in the other room. Have a good supply of fiber at hand. Make sure it is prepared ahead of time. If you need to card, comb, predraft, or break up your fiber supply into smaller chunks, do this prep ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll lose momentum and spinning time.

Spinning a large quantity of yarn for a project or to meet a Spinzilla goal is something even beginners can do. With a bit of planning, you can spin contentedly for hours.

Happy spinning!

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