Warming Up for Spinzilla!

  In preparation for Spinzilla, I've pulled out my fiber, cleared off some bobbins, and queued up some video.

You’ve probably heard the buzz about the upcoming “Monster of a Spinning Week,” Spinzilla, which takes place October 5-11. (That’s Monday to Sunday.) I’m getting ready by finishing up one last spinning project, getting my wheel ready, and queuing up my entertainment.

Spinzilla Tip!

Before you start spinning, use a very accurate scale to weigh each bobbin, and write the weight directly on the bobbin. At the end of the week, you can find the number of yards per pound with a McMorran balance, subtract the empty bobbin weight from the full bobbin weight, and figure out your yardage without having to wind the yarn on a niddy-noddy. For more on this and other ways to measure your yarn, check out our handy post on how to measure yarn.

  My greatest Spinzilla obstacle: a new kitten who loves fluffy things!

When I spin with friends, I enjoy the conversation around me, but when I spin alone, I take advantage of the time to catch up on television and videos. And when I watch spinning videos, I get the best of both worlds–friendly teachers to listen to and time to soak up more spinning knowledge.

Next week I plan to do some of both: attend the spinning meetup at the Denver Art Museum, and download a few spinning videos to improve my skills during this intensive week.

To get started, I’ll watch Abby Franquemont’s Drafting: The Long and Short of It, which will teach me about woolen, worsted, and every method in between. (I’ve heard that woolen spinning is faster than worsted, but a lot of spinners find it to be harder, too–so this is a perfect time to practice.)

And once I have miles of singles, it’s time to ply. Remember, Spinzilla gives credit for plying (as long as singles and plied yarns are all spun during the week). Plying can zoom right along, but you don’t want to mess up your yarn during this important step, so that’s where The Gentle Art of Plying comes in. Master spinner Judith MacKenzie shares her tips and tricks for yarn well plied.

And for fine-tuning and skill building, Spinning Lessons by Maggie Casey and The New Spinner’s Guide to Troubleshooting will come in handy. I was lucky enough to learn to spin from Maggie, and I’ve been known to take the same class from her more than once–she has a knack for gently sharing the piece of information you need to make your spinning more successful.

A tip from Maggie: It’s always the wheel. Figure out where the wheel isn’t fine-tuned and your problems will probably be solved.)

My best Spinzilla tip? Have fun and spin the best yarn you can. It’s not necessary to obsess over every inch–your yarn will improve over the week no matter what–but make yarn you’ll be proud to have when the week is over.




imageplaceholder Anne Merrow
Editor, Spin-Off Magazine

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