Predrafting sparks intense controversy. Some spinners swear by predrafting spinning fiber, or gently pulling fibers a short distance forward out of a combed top or roving prior to spinning. Spinners such as Maggie Casey use the technique as needed; others scoff and scold at the very thought. Whether you normally predraft or not, some fibers […]

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Textured Knitting Stitches and Handspun

Trial and error taught me a lot about dyeing yarn when I made my first handspun vest, and about plying when I made my first handspun socks. These lessons helped me on my second handspun vest, and then textured knitting stitches disguised less-than-perfect handspun yarn. Plying For this project, I used (again) my favorite commercial […]

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You start spinning in earnest and suddenly you are making yarn! It’s a great feeling—that fiber magically transforming right before your eyes in your hands. As you gain confidence in your ability to make a handspun yarn that both sticks together and is reasonably consistent, you may decide that you’d like to try making different […]

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Spinners have worked with wool for thousands of years, and with good reason: it dyes easily, wears well, and comes from cute sheep. But it’s not the only option available nowadays. We can spin fiber produced from other animals, from plants, or from manufacturing processes. Bamboo, soy, and corn can all be made into yarn. […]

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Alpaca fiber is among the finest fiber in the world. Soft and long and in a range of beautiful natural colors, alpaca can be a joy to spin if you know where to start and what makes it different from sheep’s wool. I hadn’t had much experience spinning alpaca until I started volunteering at a […]

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