handspun central.

I seem to be spending the majority of my ‘free’ time right now on three things: Test knitting, knitting socks for my family, and spinning. If I’m totally honest, the majority of my ‘free’ time is spent spinning.

This weekend, which I hope you are enjoying, I have two projects to show you. One was wheel spun and plied, the other spindle spun and plied.


The first was wheel spun on my Kromski Minstrel, per usual. It is the completion of my project from last week: The Malabrigo Nube in colour 852 Persia. So … I’m totally sick of this project. I am really happy with the finished 248yrds of 2-ply. It has a lovely twist. It is soft and ‘squooshy’ but I am so done.


While I was spinning it, I felt I was spinning quite thick and thin but actually, when I went to ply, I realised this wasn’t the case at all. It is quite even and adding a lot  crap ton of twist while plying resulted in yarn I really love.


This has been a good lesson for me in spinning, actually. While I have a specific project in mind, the yarn will be what it will be. If it works for the project, awesome. If not, there are many more projects out there. I am going to let it rest for now and see what comes to me before I dive into the other braid … I need a rest from thinking about this project!


While I was plying on my wheel, I was plying on my spindle. This is some old old old Sweet Georgia Yarns’ Panda in an unknown colourway. It is again a 2-ply. It has lots of twist and lustre. After reading a really interesting blog post by Abby Franquemont about socks and sock yarn construction, I decided that since I don’t really have enough fibre to make 3-ply socks, I will spin for 2-ply socks instead. These are going to be for my mom … one day in the future.


From just a small 25gm sample of the fibre (I divided it up into 3 25 gram piles since that is all I have), I managed to get 90 yards. Not half bad! I figure if I chose a toe-up sock pattern, I’ll just stop knitting the legs when I run out of yarn.


Spinning and plying on two different tools is really interesting. While my wheel is significantly faster, I feel that I have much more control over my spinning on my spindle. While my spindle provides me with much more control, my wheel is much less physical to operate (treadling is easy-peasy!).

sgy hot hot heat

Sweet Georgia Yarns’ Polwarth + Silk in August 2014 Fibre Club Hot Hot Heat [Spoiler Alert!]

Wheel spinning provides me with a quiet environment to focus completely on what is in my hands and entering the wheel. Spindle spinning is portable – I can spin the backyard while James plays in the sandbox.


Hedgehog Fibres’ Silk/Merino Top

They both have their wonderful pros and cons. Would I change either of them or eliminate one? Yes and no.

The only thing I would change – or add, rather than change per se – is that I would like my wheel to be slightly smaller and more portable. If I were to purchase a wheel now, I think I would save my pennies (although, we don’t have pennies in Canada anymore … so, I’d save my nickels!) and buy a Schacht Sidekick. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever buy one in the future but at this time, that is not in my plan. I love spindle spinning and will continue to spin much on it … I can always ply on my wheel which I absolutely love to do!

What tools do you love to use? What could you do without? What do you wish you had in your tool belt?

Happy crafting :)

Join the Conversation

  1. I love my wheel, but have often thought of buying a more portable one…or possibly an e-spinner (although I love to treadle way too much). The one spinning tool I’ve always regretted not investing more in is a lazy kate. I have the one that came with my wheel, but it’s never been the right one for me. All your spinning is coming out beautifully! I am especially curious about how the Hedgehog will spin up.

    1. I am so curious too – I’m thinking of digging this weekend! I know what you mean about the lazy Kate as well as the e-spinner. I think I’d like to invest in more fibre prep equipment next though … I think that’s really what I want to do!!

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