Spinzilla: Tips for Spinning Under Pressure

While many handspinners describe time at the wheel or with a favorite spindle as their happy place, spinning can be stressful at times. From Spinzilla to sheep to shawl, Spin in Public Day to deadlines for holiday gifts, spinning under pressure can harsh our fiber bliss.

As a handspinning author and instructor, I’ve certainly had projects over the years that had me spinning frantically for a double-booked deadline. Here are a few ways I’ve learned to treadle fast and yet keep my spinning cool.

Kate’s Tips for Spinning Under Pressure

Fiber Choice

Choose something you love to spin! My very best motivation for speedy spinning is a captivating fiber. It might be the preparation, color, fiber blend, or phase of the moon, but certain fibers long to be spun at a given time. Choosing a fiber that I am motivated to spin for a competition like Spinzilla will ensure that I am enthralled with my spinning and sit at my wheel.


This delicious pile of Camelot roving followed me home from The Natural Twist. Spun with a woolen draw, it would be a speedy Spinzilla project.

The Perfect Chair

Finding the right spinning chair for your body can take some time, but is vital to spinning happiness, in my opinion. I struggled for years to find a chair that was low enough for my short legs, but was comfortable to sit in for long periods. My favorite is a swivel desk chair without arm rests—what works for you? Don’t forget to take breaks, stretch, and take a deep breath every once in a while. Release the Spinzilla stress!

Find Your Happy Place

If I’m spinning in a group, I love being present and listening to what is happening around me, but at home I might enjoy multi-tasking. I often follow podcasts, listen to audiobooks, or watch spinning workshop videos. With a busy life and a frightening flow of email, listening to an audio book or watching a workshop helps me to carve out space in my life and not fret about all the things left undone.

Time spent spinning helps me find joy in the rest of my life. So it’s important to make sure my spinning bliss isn’t tarnished. Vanquish your spinning stress with a gorgeous braid of your favorite fiber and a comfy chair. If those don’t work, chocolate cake usually does.

—Kate Larson
Editor, Spin Off

Featured Image: Kate’s spinning nest: luscious fiber, treasured wheel, tea, and Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez.

Seek Your Spinning Happiness

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