24 August 2012

Spinning from the Fold

I’m in a bit of a hurry today as I’m getting ready for a fibre retreat that I’m teaching at this weekend (yes, my first official “all on my own” fibre teaching gig) but I just ran across this article and wanted to share it.

The fabulous Abby Franquemont explains spinning from the fold.

This is how I spin on the supported spindle – pretty much always. I can do a supported long draw with woolen rovings (such as these) and I love that, but the prep isn’t quite loose enough for spindle spinning, at least not for me. I like to grab a hunk of fibre, fold it over my finger, and go to town. The resulting yarn has gorgeous bounce and fluffs up beautifully once you wash and whack it. Abby’s article explains this effect in ways I had sort of grokked, but only tangentially. 

I’ve posted this before, but here’s me doing my thing with the great wheel – using the spin from the fold technique that I mastered, believe it or not, on the supported spindle. After I figured it out on the spindle, I was off to the races with my wheel.

me, spinning from the fold on the Great Wheel

If you’ve not tried this technique, thinking it is really tricky or only for certain fibres … give it a shot. I tried it for the first time just a few months ago, and I wish I’d known about it sooner. For a long draw woolen style spinner like me, it opened up a whole new realm of fibre possibilities!


  1. i had my first lesson in this while i was in north carolina this summer. i had thought it was something special that i wouldn't try until i mastered the "regular" kind, but no! now to see if i can remember it when i try again his weekend, after a month spent on a crochet project. i remember my problem was pulling the fiber back enough before clutching, thinkng it would just drift apart...

    (this is littlemee, btw :)

  2. Well hello there littlemee!

    Long draw is always this act of faith - believing that the twist will hold is hard! Really, it boils down to timing - pull back just fast enough to stay ahead of the twist, but not so fast that you let it drift apart. With the 'from the fold' kind I think it's easier not to have it drift apart, it's really easy to see the 'tails' of the fibres grabbing more from the folded bit on your finger. Try something longish in staple (one of my faves is a silk/merino blend) and really well prepped and open. You'll be amazed, I'm sure. :)


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