What to Watch While Handspinning

Just when I’d perfected the multitasking that time management gurus have promoted for years, it turns out there’s really no such thing as multitasking—just people who cultivate and manage a short attention span. But when spinning becomes a matter of muscle memory, I like to enjoy doing two favorite things together. Here are 5 favorite things to watch while handspinning:

1. Nothing!

When spinning, I turn first to audiobooks and podcasts—fiber related or not. Listening to the voice of a wonderful narrator, I’ve spun along to several Harry Potter books, a fun mystery series, and my favorite NPR podcasts. But don’t listen to a 16-hour novel all at once; take breaks and stretch while spinning to avoid injury.

2. Watch: Talky dramas. Skip: Action/adventure.

Dialogue-heavy shows such as The West Wing let you turn your eyes away from the screen for a few minutes without losing the thread of the story. Shows that require your eyes glued to the screen every second may make your handspinning suffer. If the story line makes your pulse race and your feet move faster, you will have a difficult time spinning consistent yarn!


I could listen to Margaret Stove (and her New Zealand accent) all day long.

3. Watch: Shows with great foreign accents. Skip: Films with subtitles.

Even if I weren’t spinning, I’d love watching Norman Kennedy in From Wool to Waulking or Spin Flax & Cotton. Norman can sing me Gaelic waulking songs and tell me stories of Shetland spinners all day long. Margaret Stove’s gentle Kiwi accent makes the prospect of spinning for lace seem relaxing. But handspinning time is the wrong time to catch up with the Best Foreign Film nominees.

4. Watch: Jeopardy! Skip: Wheel of Fortune.

Alex Trebek tells you everything you need to know to enjoy the perennial favorite game show, but you’ll need to keep looking up to see what Vanna reveals.

5. Watch: Stand-up and late-night comedies. Skip: Slapstick.

Most stand-up specials struggle to find visually appealing angles, but when you’re keeping one eye on the yarn and another on the fiber, you can safely look away from the lady with the microphone. The Three Stooges, on the other hand, loses all its appeal if you need to look away.

For an exhaustive look at what to enjoy while crafting, see Secrets of Binge-Pairing.

—Anne Merrow

Featured Image: Image by Andrei Daniel ?iclean / EyeEm/Getty Images

Spin & Watch: Our Kind of Multitasking


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