10 Reasons Why Spinning Yarn Is the BEST Craft

It’s not a contest, they say. Sure, we’re all winners. But in my competitive little heart, I know that spinning yarn is the very best craft, a better way than any other to spend your time.

Here’s why you should spend National Craft Month spinning. (Read on to learn how a spinner can be an even bigger winner.)

10. Most fundamental post-apocalyptic fiber skill.

When the lights go out and we’re back to living in caves, everyone else will come knocking on our . . . caves when their disposable fashion wears out. It all starts with the yarn. Need materials to knit, quilt, weave? Come down and see me sometime. (If you’re not careful, you can get impaled on a knitting needle. You might get tetanus in that doomsday cave.)

9. Most likely to elicit awe and amazement from onlookers.

When you knit or crochet in public, you’re likely to get comments from smart alecks asking you to knit them a hat. When you spin in public, people generally say, “WHOA! What are you doing? Can you teach me that?” (No one is exempt from the “I wish I had time for that” people. They will be at the end of the line outside my cave.)

8. Curiosity.

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity,” said Dorothy Parker. (I like that one way better than the one about the cats.) At some point, each of us was one of those onlookers, and we said something like, “I had no idea!” or “What makes it turn into yarn?” or “How do you keep it going like that?” Spinning is an excellent pursuit for people who wonder why.

7. You get exactly as much control as you want.

Control freak? Get out the protractor and measure your twist angle; choose your fiber by micron count; check your control sample obsessively. Free spirit? Do what feels good; spin what you like; enjoy the process. (There are no spinning police.) You still get yarn.

6. Community evangelism.

Knitters get together for knit night. Weavers have guilds. When you tell a spinner you might want to spin, they say, “HERE IS A SPINDLE AND SOME FIBER FROM MY STASH AND I WILL GIVE YOU MORE WHEN THAT’S FINISHED AND NOW YOU ARE A SPINNER TOO.” Contrary to popular belief, there is no quota system or secret back room chart of who aspinnerates the most newbies, not that you’d know it. We just know that the world needs more spinners. (Also, “aspinneration” is a thing.)

5. Infinite reasons to spend time with cute wooly animals.

Visit the green fields of England, the cashmere goats of the high mountains, or hang out with a sweet fluffy bunny. Gotta know what you’re spinning. (You could do beadwork, but beads don’t cuddle.)

4. Most possible pleasure from your craft project.

I wouldn’t be so foolish as to claim that spinning is inexpensive, but if you measure the pleasure you’ll get from any batch of fiber from fleece to final finished project, spinning wins hands-down. (To people who ask, “Why isn’t it cheaper? You have to make the yarn yourself!” I say, “Why would you pay for a country club membership? You have to hit the ball yourself!”)

3 Makes yarn! (We like yarn.)

Some people tell me that they won’t learn to spin because then they’d have more yarn. This is like saying that you can’t win the lottery because then you would have more money. We like yarn. It’s our favorite. And handspun yarn is way nicer than even the most precious artisanal small-batch millspun yarn. Which leads to . . .

2. Perfect complement to any other fiber craft.

Want to knit a sweater? I know where you can get yarn for that. Like to weave? Tapestry, rigid-heddle, or multishaft? You can make just the right yarn for that. Do you crochet? Even you can spin yarn perfect for that. If you can make your own string, you can do anything. (Beware, though: That other stuff will take time from your spinning.)

1. Spinning is magic.

I can’t remember the first time Judith MacKenzie told me, “Twist is magic glue,” but I repeat it to every aspiring spinner I meet. You have fluff that pulls apart. You twist it a little. Kazam! It doesn’t pull apart. It’s yarn. (Judith is the first to say that the forces at work in the universe are also at work in your yarn, but pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Magic.)

Still with me?

We spinners are all winners, but until March 30, 2017, you have a chance to Win Your Wishlist. Pick out a bunch of things to satisfy your curiosity, find a new use for your yarn, and even line your stash with some new awesome fiber, and at the end of the month you could win it. It works for any of the crafts that Interweave serves, but I really want a spinner to win. Or three spinners.

—Anne

craft month 2017 wishlist


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