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Sara Greer spun almost as much yarn on a drop spindle as on her wheel.

Spinzilla is for Spindle Spinners, Too!

Since the Spinzilla ball has gotten rolling, I’ve heard more than one spinner say, “I’d do Spinzilla, but I won’t have time to be at a wheel, and I can’t do it on just a spindle.” Just a spindle? Good thing the Vikings didn’t hear you say that—their spindle-spun sails worked just fine for sailing…

Worsted spinning requires that no twist enter the drafting zone.

Conquering Combing

Are you clueless about combing? Or do you shy away from combs and hackles because of the sharp, menacing-looking tines? Combing fibers is the best way to achieve a true worsted yarn. The combed fibers should be parallel to one another and spun with no twist in the drafting triangle. New spinning tools are an…

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Spinzilla! Sign Up, Get Set . . .

Spinner registration opened for Spinzilla last week! (If you haven’t heard of this annual event, now in its fourth year, here’s the lowdown: Spinners around the world compete to see who can spin the most in a week. Some spin on teams, and some spin solo. The money raised benefits the NeedleArts Mentoring Project to…

Scenes from Ross Farm: Tillie the Leicester Longwool with her twins. Photo: Scott Manko.

Sheep in the City

Amy and Scott Manko of Ross Farm Fibers have been spreading woolly cheer at fiber festivals and conferences for several years. They are known for the amazing collection of breed-specific fibers and yarns that are created using wool from their Pennsylvania flock. The first time I stepped into the wool-scented Ross Farm booth was in…

Amelia Garripoli demonstrates double drafting on a Tibetan supported spindle.

Support for Tibetan Spindle Spinning

Yearning to try something new? Are your fingers itching to finger-twirl a fresh spindle for fall? Maybe take a spin with a different tool for Spinzilla? Regular Spin Off contributor Amelia Garripoli is passionate about supported spindle spinning, particularly the Tibetan supported spindle. Tibetan supported spindles are bottom-weighted spindles, usually supported in a bowl while…

How big is your fiber stash?

Reviving Your Fiber Stash

How big is your stash of spinning fiber? How do you store it? Is there such a thing as too much fiber in your stash? Jillian Moreno says that your stash is a reflection of you. It is a personal time capsule of your spinning aspirations and color preferences. Do you have an abundance of…

Judith recomends changing the drive band to change the way your wheel spins.

Is Your Spinning Wheel Ready for Spinzilla?

Ladies and gentlemen, start your wheels! Spinzilla registration opened on September 1st, and it is never too early to begin training. Whether you are on a team or spinning rogue, is your wheel up to the challenge? With less than a month before the competition begins, now is the time to get your spinning wheel…

fall 2016

The Ancient, Evergreen Spindle

For a very simple tool, the spindle has so much to offer. Portability, challenge, entertainment, and productivity—all are available no matter your skill level, budget, or spinning style. It’s no wonder that our contributors had a lot to say about the subject in the Fall 2016 edition of Spin Off, and I can’t wait to…

Draft to the side

Spinning Woolen: The Many Names of Long Draw

I became a knitter because I was cold. I had moved to Wisconsin, and knitting was the perfect year-round activity to make wooly things to keep my family and me warm and toasty. (Please ignore the fact that most of my family lives in Oklahoma and Texas; they do not usually need warm and wooly…

Processing flax. Photo courtesy of Vävstuga Weaving School.

Learning to Spin Flax

Have you tried spinning flax? I love opening a new strick and imagining all of the textile possibilities for the long, lustrous fibers. While I have visions of weaving towels with my handspun linen yarns, for now I am spinning for narrow woven bands that incorporate both linen and woolen yarns. They are so much…