Spinning Techniques, Articles, Projects, & More

High or Low Whorl? Selecting a Spindle

My first spindle was a gift. My mom overheard me admiring a beautifully painted whorl while at The Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. Then she listened to me whine about wanting to learn to spin for some time after. That Christmas the spindle I’d been fawning over was under the tree. Being a firm believer that […]

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What’s Your Spinzilla Strategy?

Spinzilla challenges us to spin as many yards as possible in one week, but beyond that, what fiber we use or what gauge we spin is up to us. Have you made a plan or created a queue of tempting fiber options to help you treadle your way to the finish line? Strategy 1: Random […]

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Revive Your Fiber Stash

Your fiber stash—do you love it or fear it? When you find some neglected batt, long-forgotten roving, or half a bobbin of mystery singles, are you excited and grateful to see your forgotten treasure—or does it feel more like an obligation nagging you to spin it already? I’m selecting treasures from my fiber stash to […]

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Backstrap Weaving on Display

Weavers around the world use backstrap weaving to create incredibly complex and beautiful cloth using fairly simple looms. You can find backstrap weavers throughout Asia as well as in Central and South America, including among the Maya of Guatemala. For centuries—possibly even millennia—Mayan weavers have used the backstrap loom to create beautiful cloth full of […]

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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 […]

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With bated breath, we tie off our newly skeined handspun, carefully slide it off the niddy-noddy, and marvel at its beauty. After a little wash and time to dry, we consider our skein of handspun yarn completed. But is it really finished? That depends on who you ask, but industry insiders will tell you that […]

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Naturally colored cotton ought to come with a notice: Colors might not remain as they appear. As Stephenie Gaustad reveals in Spin Off’s Summer 2018 issue, factors such as time or soaking the fibers in an alkaline solution can alter cotton’s original color. Here’s Stephenie to explain how she stumbled upon this fact and the […]

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Spin Off Loves Spinning Tools (Old and New)

I still feel a little guilty about buying a second spinning wheel. I know to some spinners that sounds decadent, and for others it’s an absolutely amateur-level spinning-wheel collection. The right spinning tools make the job more pleasant, even if the job is just to enjoy your spinning. Some people love to say that you […]

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5 Ways a Busy Spinner Can Rock Spinzilla

Last week, I signed up for my sixth Spinzilla (on Team Spin Off, of course!). The next day, I signed up for a 3-day conference during Spinzilla week—taking place on the other side of the country. While some spinners are gathering in groups or binge-watching TV, I’ll be sitting in seminars and flying (economy class). […]

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