Stained Glass

The color of this yarn was not very cooperative – these photos reflect the colors much better than the ‘on-the-bobbin’ photo.

I’ve noticed lately that some new spinners think that you need to have a perfectly balanced skein of yarn when you unwind from your bobbin. Unless you are going for a very loose twist and you aren’t using your yarn for socks, this is not the correct way to be going about things. Sock yarn – or any yarn you plan on using in an item that will get a lot of wear – needs a lot of twist to be hardy and to withstand all that rubbing that goes on underneath your foot while you are walking around.

For example, this is what my yarn looks like when it first comes off my bobbin:


See how it still has some extra twist? I didn’t photograph it but that whole skein just wrapped around itself to the left when I took it off the skeinwinder and the yarn was twisting back on itself like nobody’s business. I went and threw it into a bath of hot water (yep, HOT. As long as you don’t agitate it, you’ll be fine) and some Eucalan:

Spa time

and let it sit in there until the water had cooled – actually, I think with this I let it sit until I noticed that the water color had darkened and I became nervous that it was going to mess up the yellows in the skein so I took it out and let it sit in my salad spinner until it cooled off. Then I rinsed it with cool water (because the soak water had become blue) spun it out and thwacked it (hit it against the side of my tub a few times) and after it was dry, it was a lovely, balanced, sproingy skein of someday-sock yarn:


That concludes my PSA about handspun without enough twist. ;o) Go forth and be twisty!

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10 Responses to “Stained Glass”

  • What’s the rationale for using hot water rather than cool/cold? Does it help set the twist better? I use cold for everything, but that’s more “just because I always have” than for any real reason…
    Sarah’s last post …BOOK REVIEW: If Walls Could Talk

  • JessaLu:

    I think it helps set the twist better – and I think hot makes it ‘sproingy-er’ I just did a skein in cold and it didn’t scrunch up as much

  • I know nothing about spinning but I know a lovely yarn when I see one, I know that quite well! :) Beautiful job as usual.
    Rachel’s last post …This and That,,,

  • Exactly!

    If it’s not a kinked up mess off the bobbin, I wonder how the yarn will wear as socks.
    Cookie’s last post …Sometimes you just have to laugh

  • It’s beautiful! I just finished spinning 6 oz that I hope will become sock yarn and yes, I plan to overply it.
    Carole’s last post …Eye Candy Friday

  • Gorgeous again. I’m spinning their Stained glass but with the sparkly stuff in it. It took a long time for me to tighten up my spinning – something about it makes you sort of feel like you’re doing it wrong, but if you want those yarns to wear well, you’ve got it right. I love the thwacking part.
    Chris’s last post …We’re in the Real World Now….

  • I’m doing a similar project and it’s going to be overplied. I seem to do better with hand spun sock yarn that’s plied that way. Those colors came out great – they will make some beautiful socks.

  • Ooh, I love the colors in that yarn! It looks like it will be fun to knit with.
    Nicole’s last post …WiP It: the Weird Edition

  • That is so very true, and your spinning is so very lovely!
    Sarah’s last post …Technical Difficulties

  • Josee:

    Did you have three bobbins and plied it that way or did you Navaho ply that? It looks like a 3-ply but I can’t be sure. Either way, that be purty yarn!

    I’ve been wanting to test overspinning the singles then plying them normally versus just spinning the singles normally and overplying them… I want to see if there’s a difference or if the result is the same. Anyone done that before?

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