How to Spin

electric

Fun with an Electric Spinning Wheel

Sarah Anderson is just one of the many spinners who has tried an electric spinner and fallen in love. Finding a new tool doesn’t mean she’s abandoned her old ones, though—read on for her thoughts on electric and human-powered spinning. As a child, I remember watching a sitcom named Get Smart. Maxwell Smart was a…

Spinning natural fibers is a gift indeed.

The Gift of Spinning: Beginning Spinning on a Wheel

I received my first spinning class as a gift. Amy Clarke Moore (former editor of Spin-Off) had known me for about a week when she offered me the spinning for beginners class with Maggie Casey that she’d won in a benefit auction. She’d been game to take it herself, years of spinning knowledge and all,…

The same building blocks that create the smooth, even yarn at the top also create the beaded yarn and bubble crepe at the bottom—and you’ll learn them in The Building Blocks of Spinning.

Sarah Makes Spinning Fundamentals Fun

Besides her absolutely spectacular spinning, there are two things you’ll notice immediately about Sarah Anderson: her curiosity and sunny disposition. She often asks, “I wonder what would happen if…” and then sets out to find out for herself. One of my favorites of Sarah’s experiments was to test whether chain-plied yarns would last as well…

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Jillian Moreno + SweetGeorgia = Clear, Gorgeous Color

Editing Spin-Off is my favorite part of my job, but a close second is what I think of as “personal shopping” for our readers—dreaming up fun combinations of books, magazines, videos, tools, fiber, and more to whet your appetite. I was excited to create the Spin Handpainted Top kit, but as you’ll see, I had…

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Spinning Yarns with a Purpose

I began handspinning as an extension of my love for knitting. However, I have a confession: I often spin without a project in mind. Regularly, I sit at my wheel with a lovely 4 oz. braid of handpainted top or roving and spin my default two-ply yarn. I might split my top, or not. I…

A pair of lambs at Beech Grove Fiberworks. Photo by Kate Larson

Farm Fresh Fleece

There are two ways to grow wool: standardized and in great quantity, which is perfect for commercial use, or fleece by fleece, in what’s called a “handspinner’s flock.” Commercial doesn’t have to mean bad or lifeless–there is great wool to be found in repeatable lots, and those sheep can produce a lot of wool to…

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Thigh Spinning in the Pacific Northwest

At the end of February, spinners, weavers, and scholars gathered for the 1st International Salish Wool Weavers Symposium (SWWS). Hosted by the Suquamish Museum in Washington State, this was the first event of its kind. Learn more about the symposium in last week’s Spinner’s Connection story. Weaver and spinner Ashli Tyre attended the symposium and…

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The Spinning Book that Changed My Life

When I first joined Interweave, a little over 10 years ago, I wasn’t yet a spinner. It may surprise you that the editor of Spin-Off may have been spinning for less time than you, but it’s been quite a decade. (I’ll tell you how I learned to spin below, but that’s not the reason for…

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Practical Spinner’s Compendium Review

“Nothing is created alone!” says Sara Lamb in The Practical Spinner’s Guide: Silk. In the Practical Spinner’s Guide series, four extraordinary mentors share their advice on all the ways to spin plant and animal fibers. The books in the series work together to give you a deep, inspiring and—yes—practical exploration of fibers and their uses.…

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A Traditional Spinner Goes Electric

One of the things I’ve learned over and over in my fiber life is to never say never. I was never going to weave because weaving makes cloth, which mostly needs sewing, which is not my thing. An embarrassing number of looms and one decent sewing machine later, here I am, editor of Handwoven magazine…